Stormstown. In fact, it’s my own city of Tinckhamtown. Those who know “The Road to Tinkhamtown” by Corey Ford will know what I mean. Tinkhamtown is an Eden-like place for fishermen…a place you’ve been to before and would like to go again. A place where you feel completely satisfied to spend eternity. If the Lord has a better position for us Hunters, I can’t wait to get there!
Today, Stormstown has mixed housing developments with a few wilderness areas but is essentially off-limits to hunting. Back in the 1960s, when I remember it, it was mile after mile of a rolling farm and was the ultimate mecca for small game hunting. It was my dad’s favorite place to look, and soon it became mine, too. I have many fond memories of that place.
I was told that the majority of the fields were where Pennsylvania grew, studied and harvested the vetch of the crown. Before harvesting, it provided a nearly impenetrable cover for rabbits and other small animals. Once harvested, the bare fields pushed the rabbits to fence rows and thickets and became the world’s best rabbit hunting spot!
We’d get to the parking lot at dawn, grab our hunting jackets with shotgun shells, and head across the fields. In addition to rabbits, we also came across pheasants, feeding in thickets, and squirrels in the surrounding forests. We always planned to be back in our cars by noon for two reasons. One, for a bit of a break (and lunch). And secondly, for more shells – because we were always on the verge of running out by then! After lunch we set out on the other side of the
Our car has just as much movement (and fun) as we did in the morning!
Like I said, I had many lasting memories from the hunts there…like the time when my dad and I were walking through a forest to go from field to field. I was shocked by something that hit the brim of my hat so hard that it crooked. Startled, I quickly put my hat back and my senses back in time to see a squirrel running away from me to the nearest tree. I just stood there and watched it go.
Dad said, “Why didn’t you shoot?”
I couldn’t even answer, I was so stunned! Mr. Bushytail seemed to have lost his balance and fell from the tree, neatly hitting the tip of my hat on his way to the forest floor. I’m not sure who was the most surprised – it was my mother!
I remember one time before I was old enough to hunt but I was tagging along the same path. My father and many of my uncles and cousins were walking hand in hand across a field. I kicked a rabbit out of a duel behind them and it broke through their line and ran away from them. They each opened the five fires (three shots each), and when the smoke faded, Mr. Cottontail disappeared into the next brush pile unscathed! Fifteen rounds in total and none of them touched a hair (or a rabbit)!
When we got tired of trampling in the fields, we would find a spot in one of the woods and “sit a spell” for squirrels. There were plenty of mature oaks and plenty of squirrels to take part in the oak feast. Squirrels were one of my favorite little game types to hunt anyway, and Stormstown was always good for lots of action.
There was an old deserted farmhouse in the middle of the lane that we chased after and I felt it added to the ambiance. Every time I got there I was nostalgic, wondering who the people were who lived there many years ago. I would always take a break and sit on the balcony and try to imagine what life was like for them at the time. Was that at the turn of the century? Or maybe depression? And what made them leave the place and move on? I asked the locals in the area, but no one seemed to know anything about its history. So, to this day, that remains a mystery to me. Which only adds to the romance of the place.
One day, my father and I were hunting with several of my uncles and we were walking through thickly wooded areas looking for rabbits. There were two men in the field, my dad was on the edge of the brush and I was in the thickest stuff – I had the smallest legs – and the least seniority! Trying to dive into those things would have required a military tank. But what the rest didn’t know was that there was a well-used deer trail about 10 yards in the brush. Once I found it, I had no problem maneuvering in the woods…
About halfway through, I heard my father yell, “Watch out, here comes Buck!”
And darn it if 4 points are not nice! It was the bed in front of me and why he decided to run towards me when he jumped rather than turn away from me, I will never know. But he did! So it was now on a collision course with me. I was so excited when he got close to me that I realized there was no room on the road for both of us! I could see the fear (or fire) in his eyes when he came and I didn’t want to wait to see what it was. It was on full charge and nothing (even me) was going to stop it from where it was headed.
When he approached, I jumped from the side of the road in the brush to the right. But the brush was so thick and lifelike that it pushed me back across the road ahead of him. As soon as the bear arrived, she retreated to the left. He walked past me so close that he cleaned me up
His leg is also gone! The sight of him, wide-eyed as he jumped out in front of me, will burn in the banks of my memory forever!
Dad shouted, “Did you take a good look at him?”
To which I replied, “Oh yeah, you’ve got a really good look.” Better than I wanted, in fact! “
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