Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - 38

more of a scouting trip for the following day.
At about 3 p.m. he sat down atop a
5-gallon bucket, 150 yards away from
the corner of the field where he likes
to set up for deer. The afternoon was
quiet, and through the trees, a brilliant
full moon was rising.
Two hours later - about 20 minutes
before quitting time - Tom spotted a
bear crossing the field at 150 yards.
It had snuck in on him. And by the
time he got it in the scope, it was mere
yards from the woods line.
The bear hesitated briefly, but Tom
rushed the shot and missed.
Discouraged at blowing his chance,
he hustled over to check for blood and
- unbelievably - saw the bear running
in another field, more than 200 yards
away.
The bear hesitated before crossing a
swampy area as Tom settled the crosshairs on its vitals and pulled the trigger
of his .300 Weatherby Magnum.
The bear dropped in its tracks.
"I couldn't believe my good fortune,"
he said. "To have two chances at a
bear, with only minutes to spare was
just unbelievable," he said. "I'm sure
glad the Game Commission added the

extended bear season in my WMU to
make the hunt even possible."
Tom tagged and field-dressed the
bear, then called his son Travis and wife
Brenda to help get it out and loaded in
his truck.
The next morning Tom and Travis
were the first to arrive at the check station at the Northwest Region Office in
Franklin, checking the 168-pound male
and freeing up the rest of their day to
hunt deer.

SNOW-BOUND BUCK

Tom hunted that day and others
during the firearms deer season, and
ended up passing on several small
bucks, but finished the season with his
tag intact.
While Tom enjoys the challenge
of hunting with a flintlock, the early
part of the season brought snow and
temperatures maxing out in the single
digits, and he kept his muzzleloader
on the rack.
But on Tuesday, Jan. 9, when afternoon temperatures climbed into the 30s,
Tom headed to his property at Black
Ash and a pop-up ground blind he'd set
up next to a turnip field, not far from
where he'd killed his bear.

Cover Painting by Dana twigg
Warmer winters have spurred more and more trappers
to try their hand at beaver trapping because they limit the
need to make beaver sets through the ice, which means less
chopping. It's just like trapping muskrats, but on a larger scale.
Basic sets include bank-den entrances, narrowed stream
channels and castor mounds. When using body-gripping traps
on waters inhabited by river otters, remember to offset the
trigger to allow the otter unimpeded passage through the
trap. Don't worry that you might not catch the beaver: it's
pretty hard for one to make it through a body-gripper without
springing it. Some blanket beavers go more than 60 pounds.

38



Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019

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Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - Contents
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Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - Cover3
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