Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 56

I

Golden Through the Decades

WAS adding up figures and statistics from entries in my hunting journal from
the 2018-19 hunting license year in my home office one day after the close
of the spring gobbler season when I yelled to my wife Debbie that it was my
golden anniversary.
"What are you talking about?" Deb said. "We've been married for 39 years,
and I can't believe you didn't know that."
An explanation is in order.
The 2019-20 hunting season is my 50th since I started hunting at 12 in 1969.
Like most things in life, changes are inevitable. And things sure have changed
in the hunting world in 50 years.
Through most of the 1970s wild ring-necked pheasants were fairly abundant
in southwestern Pennsylvania where I grew up. My dad and I had access to a lot
of farmland in Fayette and Washington counties.
Cornfields on farms in those days had a lot of foxtail growing on the edges,
and after pushing through a big field, you'd quicken the pace near the end, filled
with anticipation of what often was coming - a dozen or so cackling roosters and
hens exploding from the cover. If you recovered from the shock, all you had to
do was make sure you could drop a rooster without hitting a hen.
I still love hunting pheasants, but it's the stocked variety now.
Rabbits were plentiful back in the day, too. And you could jump-shoot them
out of short grass fields. That doesn't happen like that nowadays, although the
hunters running beagles still do well on bunnies.
In the 1980s, grouse were plentiful in southwestern Pennsylvania, and in lieu
of making the trek up north to our camp in Forest County, we made the switch
to deer hunting in Greene County during that decade.
In the 1990s, the deer population really increased in Greene and Washington
counties. I was harvesting bucks just about every year.
After antler restrictions were put in place in 2002, I started harvesting bigger
bucks, mostly 8-points, and started doing most of my deer hunting in York County,
where Debbie and I moved to in 1987.
In the 2000s, turkey hunting, especially in the spring, took precedence for me,
and the population remained high where I hunted in Schuylkill County.
From 2010 to recent years, bird hunting, particularly pheasants and doves is
what I've enjoyed; squirrel hunting, too.
In 50 years, I've hunted 1,512 days for 4,550 hours. I won't mention the total
number of game taken, but squirrels and doves are pretty even and well into the
hundreds for each species taken.
Fifty years and it's been golden!

Bob D'Angelo

56



Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019

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

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 50
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - 56
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2019 - Cover4
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