Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 23

"S

Just Hunting

O THAT'S WHAT they look like," offered an older man heading in
to hunt on the forest road I used to cart out a buck on a firearms season
opener two years ago.
You couldn't miss his sincerity, or his admiration of the big-bodied buck. He
spoke briefly - almost indifferently - of his hard luck with bucks. But he was
happy to be out there. And for me.
The man said he was hoping to break his streak of more than 20 years without
a buck. And, within a minute, he was on his way. The woods, he said, waited.
I wished him the best, then whispered some words skyward as I continued my
haul to the parking area. It seemed the right thing to do and it couldn't hurt.
The man was coming into the woods a couple hours late. He was dressed
to roam. It appeared his hunting was recreational, not invested vacation time
guided by earlier recon. The mountain's wildness and his walking partner, an old
Winchester .30-30, surely energized him.
His approach contradicted almost every other hunter's on the mountain. But
was he wrong? Or just hunting?
Sometimes the meaning of hunting evades us. First, and foremost, it is
recreation that doubles as an essential conservation tool. Its pursuit matters to most
Pennsylvanians who enjoy hunting, benefit from the sport or count on hunting to
limit property damage caused by deer.
But not all hunters head afield committed to killing a deer. The odds suggest
you won't. And the drive of most veteran hunters cannot replicate what they
manifested 20 years earlier. Recognizing that helps any deer hunter keep his or
her expectations in check.
Most of us have hopes on any day we deer hunt. We're looking for some
sliver of success. But could you imagine hunting 20 years and not taking a buck?
It would be an almost unbearable load for most. Unless, of course, you don't
regularly measure your hunt. You just go.
In recent years, I have found myself more focused on the hunt than the result.
As I continue to age, I'm less intense about hunting, more interested in picking
preferred days to hunt than making sure I get afield often. Hunting is no longer a
mission for me, it's recreation. I prefer that otherness now, but I don't regret my
mission years.
So, in a way, I understand that opening-day fellow's motivation. Our approaches
were different, but we were both there for the same reasons: we wanted to be and
still could. That satisfaction is enough.

Joe Kosack
DECEMBER 2019	

23



Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019

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

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2019 - Cover4
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