Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - 56

BY R.W. SCHLEMMER

SO THAT'S WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE?
The alarm went off at 5 o'clock on a crisp
November morning in 1972, and I woke up
my father, Leonard, and hunting companion
Jim Scott.
Scotty had been designated camp cook
since our first bear hunt in 1969, a year when
he and I made the steep climb up a snowcovered ridge that overlooks Cooks Run and
the Driftwood Branch. We were looking down
the south slope, trying to catch our breath,
when, unbeknownst to us, two bears crossed
our trail 100 yards behind us. We discovered
their tracks while following our own back
down the mountain, and tore off in pursuit,
but never did catch up to them.
That evening, we talked with hunters from
two nearby camps and learned of nine bear
sightings in all, including a 150-pound sow
that was harvested.
From that day on, we decided to take bear
hunting seriously, putting in time scouting,
studying bear habits and keeping tabs on the
food supply in the areas we hunted.
Bear season wasn't open in 1970, but we
were encouraged by the amount of sign we
spotted near camp while turkey hunting.
We had no luck during the warm 1971
season, but it didn't diminish our enthusiasm.
And in 1972, we found plenty of sign bears

56

were making the most of a bumper beechnut
and acorn crop. Even more encouraging was
the 2 inches of snow that fell during the night
before the opener.
At daybreak, Dad, Scotty and I crossed a
small meadow behind camp and began the
long climb to our stands. Dad stopped at a
fork in the trail, and he would work his way
up to me and Scotty. I proceeded to a small
basin higher up the mountain and Scotty went
about 300 yards to my right, near where we'd
cut the bear tracks in 1969.
At 7:30, I was watching a doe work the
snow for acorns when a series of gunshots
echoed off the mountain. A closer shot
sounded from Scotty's direction. Then two
more rang out.
I hurried over to find Dad and Scotty
standing over a 180-pound bear with a shiny
black coat.
Rolling in the snow and laughing with joy,
we congratulated Scotty.
On the trip to the check station and back,
we stopped in Emporium, and the bear
attracted a huge crowd.
A question from one excited admirer made
a lasting impression on me.
"So that's what they look like?" he asked
with a big smile.



Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020

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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - 2
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - 5
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2020 - Cover4
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