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The Sportsman's Corner

Some Odds and Ends


I am sometimes asked how to dry the gristle attached to the beard of a gobbler that a hunter probably wants to save as a memento of a successful hunt. At one time I dipped the gristle of the beard into a small pile of salt to dry it. This was messy. I now pour a small pile of baby powder onto a small piece of paper and dip the gristle into this pile. I then prop the beard's gristle against the pile of baby powder for several days, perhaps dipping the gristle into the pile again. It takes only a couple of days to dry the gristle, and it is a clean process. I guess this hint comes a little too late to help with a beard from this spring, but it might be something for a successful hunter to try sometime down the road.

When a hunter kills a nice buck, he usually wants to save the antlers if he does not have the deer head mounted. He might then want to attach the rack to a mounting board. The antlers are attached to a section of the deer's skull plate that is often difficult to clean. However, there is a way to clean it quickly after the hunter skins the skull plate as best he can. Here's what Bruce Houck, my brother-in-law, taught me to do years ago. Cut a plastic gallon jug in half. Set the skull plate down in the half-jug firmly. Then pour Clorox over the skull plate. Let the plate sit in the bleach for several days. After removing the skull plate from the Clorox, rinse it with cold water and dry it. The bleach will have removed any excess hair from the plate, and it is now ready to attach to a mounting board.

Recent reports suggest that the commissioners of the Pennsylvania Game Commission are planning to revisit their decision to move the opening day of deer season to Saturday and may consider moving it back to Monday in 2020. This sounds like they realize they have acted against the wishes of the majority of Pennsylvania's hunters. If this is the case, why don't they just admit their mistake and vote to change it back to Monday for the 2019 season? With modern technology and a conference call type of vote, they could do this quickly and easily. The decision could be publicized through a series of press releases to various media outlets. A re-vote for 2019 might gain the commission some much-needed good will.


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