Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Young Pennsylvania hunter ventures to Adirondacks for snowshoe hare hunt

Maddie Baker with her trophy snowshoe hare and her hunting beagles, Poco and Mo. (Photo by Nicole Baker)

Clarion, Pa. — Madilyn Baker, 16, of Lucinda, Pa., recently returned from the rugged Adirondack Mountains of New York state following a successful snowshoe hare hunting adventure.

Nicknamed Maddie, she and her party, including family and friends, were searching for the rare and elusive Adirondack snowshoe hare with her family’s beagles, Mai-Mai, Mo and Poco.

Baker was hunting in unseasonably bitter winter conditions on snow-covered ground in the wilderness of the Adirondack Mountains when her beagles struck a fresh hare track.

The chase continued for more than an hour, with Baker spotting the near-white snowshoe hare several times before a clean shot presented itself.

The pursuit culminated with a single shot from her 12-gauge shotgun.

Unfortunately, Baker could not bring her trophy back to Pennsylvania because of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s ban on trans porting rabbits and hares into Pennsylvania to safeguard the state’s rabbit and hare populations from contracting rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus.

Baker, an accomplished hunter, successfully hunts deer, pheasants, and rabbits in Pennsylvania, ducks and geese in Missouri and Pennsylvania, and, of course, snowshoe hares in New York.

She is also working to earn points to hunt Elk in Colorado and antelope in Wyoming.

Baker has harvested two bucks during past archery seasons and several antlerless deer. She sharpened her skills with the shotgun as an award-winning Keystone Clay Dusters trap team member.

A junior at Clarion Area High School, she plays two sports, lettering in soccer and working for a letter in basketball.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and the treasurer of the Student Council, a former member of the Science Olympiad and Art History Club.

Also involved in Stand Together, a club that helps bring awareness and eliminate stigmas surrounding mental health disorders, Baker is seeking to further her education in the field of biology, studying saltwater biology or forensic science.

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