A SUCCESSFUL DEER AND BEAR HUNT
By A. B. COOPER
Union Co., Pa. It is a chartered organization owning about 109 acres on which is erected a good ten-room house and a good barn. It is by the side of a railroad station, Lindale, and about three miles from a game refuge. Penn Creek. Cherry Run, Weikert Run and other streams close by abound in trout, bass and other fish and also eels. Game in this section is plentiful. A number of camps secured the limit of deer (six) and several bear were killed.
While hunting in this section in the fall of 1917 a goodly number of deer were killed but they are much more numerous now, thanks to a good game law. In 1905, there were only about 250 deer killed in the state. The number killed increased gradually until 1917 when approximately 1,700 were killed. In 1920 about 3.000 and in 1921 nearly 5,000 deer were killed. None but male deer having horns four inches above the skull may be killed. This law not only protects the doe but is a great safeguard to human life.
Now for our hunt:
We started for our camp on the last day of November, most of the members
getting on the train at Johnstown. In the party were some who had been hunting for years and a few who had no experience in hunting deer. Among the latter was one, Curtis Eash. Earl Paden, who had hunted deer before, got a great deal of enjoyment on the trip in telling Eash how to hunt deer. Among other things, he told Eash that deer ran about at night to feed and in daytime would sit around in the woods asleep like rabbits. Eash . replied: "If they do that I am going to get one."
We arrived at our camp about three o'clock in the afternoon and got ready for the hunt, which started the next morning. Getting out early we went to the top of East Paddy mountain and
started to drive east on the north side. We had not gone 200 yards on the drive when a single shot rang out. Would you believe it ? Eash found a buck lying in its bed and shot it so dead that it never rolled out. The laugh was on Paden then.
The line was started again and we had not gone far until a couple of shots stopped the line again. Merle Hollsopple got a nice buck that time. By this time we were keyed to a pretty high pitch and everybody was "on his toes."
On east we went when suddenly two shots rang out so close together that it was almost as one shot. A big buck tried to go through the line and Steward Wiant and John Jamison both fired and both hit that buck square in the head.
Jamison generously said: "Since we cannot tell whose shot hit first, you take the head and I'll take the hide."
This was deer No. 3 and not eleven o'clock yet. It was quite a job to get these deer in as it was a long carry and rough. The men who were not needed to carry made a drive after that but no more shooting was had that day.
On the second day we drove west on the south side of East Paddy mountain where John Hironimus put a bullet in a nice buck but did not stop him.
On the third day Bill Gassier got a nice buck, the nicest head secured. This buck ran at least one hundred yards after a bullet had shattered its heart. Bill was pretty well pleased with his kill and long after he had gone to bed we could "hear him thinking" over the lines of Robert Service:
"There's a four point buck a swinging in the shadow of the cabin
-And he roamed the velvet valleys till today; But I tracked him by the river and I trailed
him in the cover And I shot him on the mountain miles away."
The next day was Sunday and we got a pretty good snow which stuck on the trees and made it very unpleasant to go through the woods, so we got in a supply of firewood the first of the week and tramped around a little close to camp.
Nothing more of interest occurred until the next Thursday, which was an ideal day for hunting. We went to Cherry Run to cross Penn Creek to hunt White mountain. We lined up along the top of the mountain, three ahead of the drivers and two behind, with the drivers extending down over the mountain. This is a very rough mountain, rocks and laurel very plentiful.
We had not gone far until Dr. Grazier, who was first ahead of the drivers, got two shots at an old bear. He saw two cubs with her. They turned and went down the mountain ahead of the drivers and Man, Dear! talk about shooting. You would imagine that you were "somewhere in France." I was the first ahead of Dr. Grazier and I walked to the brow of the mountain and saw two bears going out the side of the mountain. I opened fire on them and, with the aid of John Hironimus, one was pulled in. The firing had ceased along the drivers' line and we called back along the line to see what was killed there. Word came back that three bears had been killed. We looked at each other in consternation for here was the fourth one and three was the limit to a camp. Well, the deed was done and all that we could do was to carry them down over the mountain to the road and you may be sure that it was some job for it was over rocks of all sizes and shapes and covered with snow. When we got together we learned that E. W. Kautz, W. A. Snably and Bill Gassier were credited with the three bears. When we got to Cherry Run we still had three miles to go so we sent one of the men to a farm house for a team and wagon and had all the bears hauled to camp where we hung them all up on the porch where all the world could see. I then went to the nearest telephone and called the residence of Miles Reeder, Game Protector, and was told by his wife that Mr. Reeder was away and was not expected back until the evening of the next day.
I then called the Board of Game Commissioners at Harrisburg and talked with Mr. Seth Gordon, Secretary, and gave him the facts in the case. Mr. Gordon got in communication with Mr. Reeder, who came to camp, and took a statement as to the facts in the case and took the extra bear and gave it to the nearest hospital and sent the head and hide to the Board of Game Commissioners who, after reviewing the case, returned the head and hide with a very nice letter, complimenting the Club on the sportsmanship displayed in reporting the killing of the extra bear. It was very gratifying to get a letter of that kind and it shows that the Board of Game Commissioners will extend a helping hand to those who inadvertently violate the law.
We had a very successful hunt and enjoyed every minute of the time. When we would come in from the hunt we would have a nice big wood fire to sit by and listen to the Victrola, which Jas. Gassier was thoughtful enough to take with him.
Hunter-Trader-Trapper. October: 1921,
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