The Way I See It, Jim Wagner of Smoketown has to look in the mirror, as do many of the deer hunters complaining about the PGC and DCNR. Mr. Wagner submitted a letter to the editor that was published it the New Era's Saturday, Jan. 12 edition. My tolerance level has reached its peak and I submitted this piece as a rebuttal. Not certain whether it will be published by the daily or not, I offer it as the lead to my column. "I have attempted to stomach most of the drivel by disgruntled hunters regarding the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources regarding their deer management program, but in response to the latest outburst in the New Era's Jan. 12 edition from Jim Wagner from Smoketown, I can remain silent no more.When did the PGC and DCNR mount their massive deer-eradication program? Did they employ the services of the National Guard or arm all their employees with weapons of mass destruction to wipe out the whitetail?
No Mr. Weaver, it was we hunters who purchased the permits, acquired the bonus tags and adopted the catch phrase," if it's brown, it's down".
If we hunters would have followed the guidelines, as originally presented by Dr. Gary Ault, if we would have been satisfied with the harvest of one or two animals, instead of playing the macho role of taking as many as legally available, perhaps there would be more tails sighted in the 12-county area to which you alluded.
We have no one to blame but ourselves if there is a serious case for extinction. But I think that not to be the case.
Our hunting practices have changed over the four or more decades I've been privileged to hunt the whitetail. Few camps put on drives and sadly those that do continue to harvest without regard to whether the animal is a yearling, doe or button buck. Not unlike the trend of yesteryear, it's more important to leave the bush with a kill than to enjoy the privilege of the tradition and the satisfaction of an experience in the wild.
I take exception to Wagner's reference to the PGC and DCNR as rogues (scoundrels and dishonest). I have nothing but respects for the personnel employed by these organizations and have met no one associated with these organizations who does not have the best interest of the environment, wildlife and sportsman in mind.
Admittedly I sincerely hope that the PGC does make some adjustments to the program, but because they allocated licenses does not imply that they eradicated the herd. That massive eradication you reference Mr. Weaver, was the result of we hunters. We leveled the sights and pulled the trigger."
Randy Yoder used an 8-iron to cover the 125- yards from tee to cup recording a hole-in-one on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Tanglewood Manor Golf Club's No. 16.
Chip Schaeffer covered the 295-yards on Tanglewood Manor's No. 12 using a driver and putter to record an EAGLE on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
Chester County native, Ben Davis, the 1995 first round pick (2nd overall) of the San Diego Padres, recently signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles and has been invited to Spring Training. Davis has had an up and down career that included a stint with the Camden Riversharks of the Independent League. The Malvern Preparatory School alumnus did sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, but was released in August as a free agent.
You may recall that it was Davis, a catcher, who broke up Curt Schilling's potential no-hitter with a perfectly executed eighth inning drag bunt in a game between the Padres and Diamondbacks in 2001. Davis took a lot of unjustified heat, as the score was only 2-0 Arizona, which meant the tying run was at the plate. Add to that Tony Gwynn wason the bench that night as a possible pinch-hitter.
Davis resides in West Chester, Pa with his wife and baby son.
§ The Phillies pitchers and catchers will report Clearwater on Thursday, Feb. 14, (Valentine's Day) with the rest of the squad reporting on Wednesday, Feb. 20. Bring it on.
§ I had the pleasure of being invited to the Barnstormer's "Hot Stove" event at the Host Farm Resort and Convention Center this past Wednesday, Jan. 9. John Kruk was the guest speaker and Von Hayes was introduced to the crowd as the new coach of the Barnstormers.
Solanco alumnus and Athletic Hall of Fame member, Doug Bushong was seated beside Ruben Amaro, Jr. and Kruk representing the Jay Group, who sponsored the event. Bushong, the president and CEO of the Jay Group, was presented a signature jersey by the Barnstormers as a token of the support his company gave toward sponsoring the benefit, with proceeds going to the Lancaster General Hospital's Oncology Department.
The night was well attended by local baseball fans including former Detroit Tiger Don Wert and his wife Marlena. Also in attendance was the Wert's daughter, Barbara Wert, who now works for the Barnstormer organization. Dave Thomas, Mike Hart, of the Solanco Little League, Wayne McVey, a Lancaster City police officer, who resides in Quarryville, were also on hand. I'm sure there were more local residents in attendance that I did not notice while attending. Following the silent auction, one of my friends in attendance, Jerry Schwebel, walked away with a Phillies baseball cap autographed by one of his favorite Phillies, Chase Utley. As the crowd thinned, "Schweb" and I stood in line to shake Hayes and Kruk's hand securing both of their autographs as well. We were even more thrilled, as we were leaving, we spotted Don and Gene Garber and requested they sign our respective baseballs that were presented to all the attendees. I'm confident Gene was really impressed with my baseball knowledge when I said that every baseball card have of him has him in a Cub's uniform. Gene was very gracious in not embarrassing me, as Gene never played for the Cubs and Jerry eased me outof the dilemma by saying, "I'll bet you mean the Braves", which of course was the case. As indeed all of my cards of Gene show him wearing the Braves uniform. Incidentally, Gene began his MLB career in 1969 with the Pirates and then went to the Kansas City Royals in 1973 where he accrued a 9-9 record (4.24 ERA) that included four complete games.
MUDDY RUN DEER COUNT
EXELON will hold their annual deer count on Sunday, Jan. 20, between the hours of 1 - 4 p.m. This has proven to be a fun and interesting activity those who have participated in years past. The event requires VOLUNTEERS who are physically able to conduct a steady walk for two hours or less with the sole - no pun intended - purpose of counting deer. This activity is one way of monitoring the whitetail population within the recreation park's boundaries.
Parents with small children are encouraged not to have them participate.
The activity will be held rain or shine so participants are asked to dress appropriately.
Volunteers need not register prior to the activity, but are required to attend a brief orientation at the park's Information Center before entering the bush to begin the counting process. Those volunteers with large vehicles are asked to consider transporting individuals to specified starting areas.
For more information call 717-284-5863.
§ OXFORD LITTLE LEAGUE
Oxford Little League's - registration for spring 2008 (Tee-Ball, Baseball & Softball) is fast approaching
o Jan. 16, 2008 at Penn's Grove Cafeteria from: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
o Jan. 19, 2008 at Union Fire Company #1 - Firehouse from: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Registration flyer available at www.oxfordll.org Note: If this is your child's first year with Oxford Little League please remember to bring his/her's Birth Certificate.
A softball tradition continues in Oxford and players from the southern Chester and Lancaster County area are offered an opportunity to be a part of this great spring and summer time activity.
There may be frost on the ground outside, but that hasn't stopped softball fever from returning to Oxford. This summer the Oxford Athletic Association Complex, off Route 472 South, will once again be home to the Mason-Dixon Men's Modified Softball League. This softball league has been in existence for over 30 years and has provided many summers of fun to a countless number of the Oxford, Kirkwood and Quarryville young (and not so young) men.
The "boys of summer" start their competition with an Early Bird Tournament in late April and then continue league play from May through mid-August. Regular season standings produce a playoff series and the League Champion is decided by late August. Many league teams also compete in local and state tournaments throughout the summer.
The league is looking to add teams and individuals for the 2008 season. If you or your team is interested in joining the Mason-Dixon Modified League there will be an organizational meeting in early February. Contact Greg Melrath at 610- 880-9056 with any questions or for further information.
York College junior, Keli Ward, an Oxford Area High School alumnus, earned game high honors scoring 21 points, including a 3-for-5 performance from beyond the three-point arc, as York downed Alvernia College on Monday, Jan. 14, on the Charles Wolf Gymnasium court in York. Ward also pulled down eight rebounds and dished off six assists.
Have a great week.