Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - 39

Walking through the deep snow
crusted with ice was tough on Tom's
back, but the wind was right, and he was
situated in the blind before 3 o'clock.
The first deer soon showed up at the
far end of the field, and over the next
hour, about 25 antlerless deer and five
small bucks were in the field. But all
were more than 300 yards away.
Around 4:30, Tom noticed a lone
deer feeding off by itself to his left,
about 100 yards off. He watched the
deer through binoculars and when it
picked its head up, he knew by its wide
rack that he'd never seen it before.
Tom watched the buck for half an
hour. It moved closer, but not by much.
But with his Lyman 50-caliber
flintlock resting on shooting sticks, he
aligned the front sight within the rear
peep, held high on the buck's shoulder
and sent the 348-grain Powerbelt bullet
on its way.
When the smoke cleared, Tom's buck
- a 7-point with a more than 20-inch
spread - was stretched out on the snow.

SEVEN STRUTTERS

After several days of steady rain to
start the 2018 spring gobbler season,
Tom had a feeling the birds would be
talkative when the weather broke on
Tuesday, May 1.
He headed to a property close to his
home, where he'd located several toms
before the season.
At 5:45 a.m., he sent out some soft
clucks on his slate call. Three gobblers
hammered back. But they weren't real
close, so Tom called a little louder.
This time, two other toms gobbled
from another direction. And they were
much closer. Tom continued softly calling and had all five birds gobbling back.
Then, two other birds behind his
MARCH 2019

TRIPLE TROPHY PROGRAM
The Game Commission's Triple Trophy
Program ran from 1966 to 1972, with the
exception of the 1970-71 season, when
bear season was closed.
Sixty-seven hunters qualified for the
award during the program's inaugural
year, and received a patch and certificate.
During the five years of the program, 346
presentations were made.
Although there no longer is an official
program, and completing the Triple Trophy
occurs more regularly because of the
excellent deer, bear and turkey populations, it remains quite an achievement and
a hunting goal for thousands.

setup started gobbling - seven gobblers
going at once.
Tom was situated at the corner of two
fields, adjacent to a stand of hardwoods.
A gobbler on his right was closing the
distance, faster than the others, and Tom
had decided to try for the first gobbler
that offered a good shot.
Tom spotted the strutting gobbler
with a short, thick beard emerging from
the woods. It stopped 15 yards in front
of him and gobbled.
And when Tom pulled the trigger
of his Benelli 12-gauge semiauto, his
Triple Trophy was completed.
The gobbler had nearly 1-inch spurs
and its stubby 2-inch beard obviously
had snapped off.
But it was a trophy like no other, and
one that meant so much.
While Tom speaks fondly of his
Quadruple Trophy, he said his 2017-18
Triple Trophy is even better because of
what he went through just to get back
in the woods.
"Going through my accident ordeal,
I've learned that life may have its ups and
downs, but as long as you don't dwell
on the downs and keep pushing ahead,
things will get better," he said.
39



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
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - 2
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Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2019 - Cover4
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