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Enjoying Penns Woods Traditions

Well, it’s great to see the month of March just on the horizon. Before you know it everybody will be migrating back outside. The baseball, softball, and soccer fields will come to life. Everybody will resume those warm weather activities we love in the West Branch Valley. We’re only a few days away from the start of trout stocking. With the snow melted, it’s great to see so many folks using the walking and biking paths.

The winter sports seasons are wrapping up, which means you can catch some of the best action of the year. Get out and support your local high school athletes as they’re trying to bring home District gold. Great action can be found on the basketball court and also the wrestling mat. I think there are some wrestlers that are going to leave their mark when the season comes to an end in Hershey.

Closing the curtain on a few events from within the pages of the Webb Weekly. I spoke with Mr. Barry Sones about his Annual Big Game Banquet and Auction that supports the Pennsylvania Wounded Warrior Foundation. This year was another great success raising over $11,000 and pushing his total for the event north of $60,000. Barry wanted me to thank everyone for their help in putting on the event and their donations, and all those that attended in support of those who protect our freedom. All proceeds stay right at home with our Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors. Outstanding job, Barry, as always!

The other event is our Webb Weekly Monster Buck Contest. It is hard for me to believe, but this was our 8th annual. It has been my pleasure getting to view these trophy bucks over the years and talking with so many great folks.

This year we have our first lady hunter taking the top prize. Abby Heatley, a senior at Liberty High School, harvested a 15-point tank with a 20 6/8-inch spread. Its SCI score was a whopping 173 7/8. Way to go Abby!

I got to speak with Abby and her father Brian about her trophy buck, what a great story in regards to the family tradition of hunting in Penns Woods. Brian has enjoyed hunting and passed the experience down to all four of his children. Brother Dalton and Dad were at hunting camp with Abby the day after her 18th birthday when she got the winning buck. Brother Ryan and sister Chelsea love to hunt but weren’t there that day. Coincidentally the buck had 18 stickers — some just not long enough to qualify for points. Another neat fact Abby filled me in on was her, and her father had seen the buck during bear season almost at the exact same spot it showed up on that fateful day.

Dad has done a great job in teaching his children about the outdoors and hunting. This was Abby’s sixth buck. She has harvested three with a bow and three with a rifle. I think it’s safe to say she’s good with both weapons. Brian was proud to tell me that Abby just loves to hunt and especially enjoyed an antelope hunt they were on together. This is also true for the entire family; they love spending time together in the outdoors. I almost forgot to mention Mom also loves to hunt. Unfortunately, she has been inflicted with Lyme disease, which is truly a growing problem in our area. The good news is Brandy did manage to get out once this past season and harvested a beautiful 8-point buck. Tip of the fluorescent orange hunting cap to her also!

First prize for Abby’s efforts is a shoulder mount courtesy of Poust Taxidermy. Dana has been providing his great work since we began the contest and I thank him. Second place was another monster, Ben Meckbach’s 15-point, 18 5/8 spread, which scored 163 SCI. Third place went to Jason Brandis, 13-point, 17 6/8 spread, scoring 148 6/8, a trophy buck by anybody scoring. Rounding out the field was Ian Yoder, 10-point, 21-inch spread, scoring 147 2/8. I’d be happy to hang any of them on the wall. These finalists receive a $100 gift card courtesy of Country Store Venison Processing. Tommy Springman has also been with us since we began the competition and I thank him. You just can’t beat his great Country Store venison products.

That leaves us only our random drawing to finish up with, available to anybody that registers their buck in the contest. Tim Bair from Cogan Station won a Remington rifle and all the trimmings courtesy of Sauers Trading. Tip of the cap to John and Donnie the father-son duo are top shelf for all your firearm needs or just a good conversation. Again, congratulations to all our winners! I must also thank Ron Mingle for overseeing the contest each year; it is no easy task.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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