Harold "Daubber" Daub
Hometown: Halifax, Pa.
Family: Harold and his wife, Marie, have been married for 28 years. They have one daughter, Megan, age 20, and two dogs: a beagle, Cooper, and a black lab, Katie. Harold also has four brothers: Barry, Brad, Dan and Rusty. Harold's father, Ron, introduced all of the boys to hunting.
Home NWTF Chapter: Lykens Valley Longbeards — Lykens, Pa.
Harold, long have you been an NWTF member, and how long have you been a turkey hunter?
Harold Daubber: I've turkey hunted for 28 years and I've been a member of the NWTF for 10 years. I went on my first turkey hunt in November of 1981 in Potter County, Pa., with my late friend, Jack Eshenour, and I joined the NWTF in 1999 when our local chapter was formed.
NWTF: How did your spring turkey season go this year?
HD: I had a very enjoyable spring season. The turkeys in the local area I was hunting were tough to hunt. They are very pressured, as the area is heavily hunted.
Our season started with our "Youth Day" on April 18th. For the third season in a row, I was blessed to be able to enjoy this day with my niece, Madeline Daub. We had gone out Friday evening and "roosted" a couple of gobblers. I was very excited as I watched Maddie harvest her first longbeard the next morning! The "icing on the cake" was the fact it was sporting a band from the just-concluded Pennsylvania Game Commission/NWTF gobbler survey.
Later in the season, I had the pleasure of watching my father bag his first spring turkey. The spring turkey season is my favorite time of year, and this season did not disappoint! I was able to harvest a 21-pound longbeard in Pennsylvania and I tagged out with two longbeards in New York as well.
NWTF: It sounds like an exciting past few months for you, Harold. So what's your favorite thing about turkey hunting?
HD: I enjoy turkey hunting due to the nature of interacting with the game. I enjoy bow hunting for deer, and testing my woodsmanship skills against a rutting whitetail is very challenging, but nothing compares to hearing a turkey gobble and calling that strutting bird into shooting range!
In addition to that thrill, the general activity of a spring morning is so great to experience as I watch everything come "back to life" after winter. One of my favorite memories from this past season is a morning I spent sitting near a plowed field in New York. The variety of songbirds I was able to watch as they "strutted their stuff" was incredible. Springtime provides so many thrills in so many ways.
I also want to add that I attended my very first NWTF National Convention this past February in Nashville. What a great time! I would urge all NWTF members to be sure to make plans to attend a National Convention, to truly experience what the NWTF is, and what kind of great people are on Team NWTF.
NWTF: We hear that you take the time to help young hunters get started in the sport. What's your favorite part of doing that?
HD: I feel it's very important to pass along our hunting traditions. I volunteer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission as the local coordinator for our hunter education program in northern Dauphin County. My favorite part is seeing the kids' faces light up when they hear that first gobble, or see that approaching whitetail, and the joy of watching a first-time hunter retrieve their first squirrel...all of those things create memories for me that I'll never forget.
In the past year, I shared very exciting hunts with my friend Sean, my nephew Morgan and my niece Maddie - I watched all of them not only harvest a game animal in Pennsylvania, but more importantly, I hope they all returned from the woods with some knowledge from our shared experiences.
I feel that passing on our hunting heritage is the most important thing a sportsman or sportswoman can do today. You'll never feel more appreciated than when you give your time to educate the a budding hunter of any age — it's a great feeling to know you've helped to pass on our hunting heritage!
NWTF: Helping with habitat projects is also something that you're active in, correct?
HD: That's right. Our "Lukes Trail Project" was one such example. The project was a team effort undertaken by the Lykens Valley Chapter in 2006.
In 2005, we lost our chapter's founder and NWTF Regional Director, Jerry Zimmerman. We all very much miss Jerry, and we wanted to do something in remembrance of a person we all view as the best conservationist we've ever known. Dean Zimmerman (no relation to Jerry), the Lykens Valley JAKES coordinator, along with several other chapter members who are employees of TYCO Electronics, presented us with an opportunity to apply for a grant from TYCO's "Dollars for Doers" program.
Dean completed and submitted the grant application to TYCO, and we were blessed with being rewarded the maximum amount, $5,000, for our project!
Working with Pennsylvania DCNR as well as the local Pennsylvania Game Commission Food & Cover team, we were able to have an approximate two-acre opening created in the middle of a very remote section of Weiser State Forest, which was limed, fertilized, and seeded in the spring of 2007.
This phase of the project was completed in June of 2007, and currently disabled hunters from all over the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have enjoyed hunting from the two wheelchair-accessible shooting/spotting platforms which were erected by local builders and NWTF members Reynold Feger and Dennis Paul. To date, we are aware of at least three deer harvested from these locations last year by hunters with disabilities.
NWTF: It's got to be pretty satisfying to see things come to fruition like that.
HD: I take great satisfaction from any project the NWTF is involved in that improves or adds beneficial habitat to our public lands.
Our local chapter also maintains over 50 acres of food plots. That habitat helps not only wild turkeys, but also deer, bear, game birds like grouse, as well as all sorts of non-game species. When I visit the Lukes Trail plot and can observe deer or turkeys utilizing an opening which was not there until 2 years ago, I get a great sense of pride and satisfaction in knowing our volunteers made that happen.
NWTF: Harold, What drives you to donate so much of your time to helping the NWTF?
HD: I'm motivated by the great volunteers who are involved with the Lykens Valley Chapter and the NWTF. Our recent local banquet was supported by a Banquet Committee of over 40 volunteers, ranging from 14 to 74 years of age. We all came together for the common interest we have in the wild turkey. I think that's a pretty amazing story. Each of us has our own skills that we bring to the table, and through that, we are very effective at getting things accomplished.
Seeing wildlife benefiting from a project that our group created and accomplished provides for a real jolt of inspiration and motivation. Also, the buy-in we see from our local community; we had about 150 businesses donate cash or inventory to our Hunting Heritage Banquet, and we had 332 guests in attendance! Our area is very rural and to be able to see that kind of support, especially this year with the bad news we are all bombarded with daily regarding the economy, really pumps up the motivation factor.
NWTF: Why should someone join the NWTF? What's in it for them?
HD: I recommend NWTF memberships for a few reasons — most importantly, an active volunteer will find themselves enjoying the company of others who share the same common interests related to turkeys, the outdoors, etc. They'll also be able to be a part of an organization that is well-respected by everyone associated with conservation.
Through that respect, the opportunity to really make a difference with not only local habitat projects, but also local community service activities like scholarships to local students, providing store-bought frozen turkeys to local needy families, JAKES, Wheelin' Sportsmen and Women in the Outdoors outreach programs — all of these things will provide them with very rewarding experiences.
Finally, there are also political benefits to joining the NWTF. Even if you do not want to become an active volunteer, just being counted among the group reminds our legislators that our voices matter.
Examples of this political clout in Pennsylvania include having ineffective fluorescent orange regulations changed and restrictive turkey dog laws removed. The NWTF (with much credit going to Ron Fretts) also worked to successfully see the creation of the first "Families Afield" legislation.
The voices of sportsmen and women must be heard. A single voice only carries so far - by joining the NWTF, our collective voices are more effectively heard by those who are creating the laws and regulations. So if you are reading this and you are not a current member of the NWTF — join today!