Tomorrow the 26th of Nov. starts rifle deer season in Pa. with nearly a million hunters going to hunt. There has been a lot of preparation done for the first day of the season, like buy a new rife, scope, tree stand, fall protection, game camera, and maybe a new hunting knife. Make sure to stay safe, wear 250 sq. inches of blaze orange minimum hat and vest, prefer blaze orange all over. If you hunt out of a tree stand be safe and wear fall protection, every year people fall out of there tree sand and get KILLED of SERIOUSLY INJURED, it has already happened in bow season this year. Have a successful year hunting deer and if you have a youth son or daughter introduce them to the great sport of hunting.
In 1965 when I was 12 years old the first year I could legally hunt, my 2 uncles and my dad and cousin hunted for small game on a farm, my dad rented the house on the farm this was in York Springs about 15 miles north of Gettysburg Pa.. Back then it was huge corn fields, fence rows, brush and hay fields. The corn roes were full of weeds lots of cover for the wild pheasants [ cock birds, ring-necks, rosters male, hen birds female ] they were everywhere, lots of rabbits to. Now there is no weeds in the corn fields due to Round Up ready corn, that can be sprayed to kill the weeds, there are no fence roes, brush patches, the cover for the game has been eliminated to plant more crops. The last wild ring neck I shot was in 1979, I have shot a few ( chicken coupe bird the PA. Game Commission has put out for pheasants ) they are nowhere near what a wild pheasant is or was, I don”t see pheasants any more, the last one was 2 years ago when I was looking for a deer I shot with my crossbow. There are a lot more turkey today than when I stared hunting, I’ve never seen a wild turkey while hunting. It has been in the last 15 yr. or so that I’ve seen turkey, this yr. I’ve seen a flock of 15 seven with beards while deer hunting in Dauphin County.
For big game deer and bear, I remember seeing herds of deer when I was 12-20 years old on public land, now I can hunt all day and not see a deer. When I was 12 only one deer per year was allowed, now with doe permits hunters can shoot up to four deer including a buck. Now a buck has to have three or four point to one side 1″ and longer depending on the WMU you hunt, before a spike buck with one horn 3″ and longer was legal, I have seen more rack bucks now then before, gives them a chance to grow into a rack buck, I know it is a pain to have to look and pass up a buck, but I think it is for the better. Another thing that is different is that there are fewer hunting accidents thanks to the blaze orange that is worn while hunting today. There is more high tech equipment that is used today that was not available when I started hunting such as range finders, ladder tree stands, portable climbers, fall protection such as Hunter Safety Vest, cell phones, and GPS so one don’t get lost. This year was the second largest bear kill in history, there are far more bear now then when I started hunting, back then you went to Potter or Tioga county to the big woods to hunt, now they can kill bear in the lower counties [Cumberland unheard of] Dauphin, Perry to name a few.
Today there are the youth mentored hunting under 12 yr. old with a person 21 and over, the youth can’t carry the rifle of bow till he or she gets to the stand to hunt, the mentor will then give the rifle or bow to the youth, must be within arms length of youth. Today the youth can kill a doe and the tag of the mentor will be used to tag the deer. Youth must be licensed to hunt, permit cost is $ 2.70 per youth. I am happy to see children being introduced to hunting with an adult to supervise.
On November 28, 2011 rifle season starts and it ends on December 10,2011 here in Pennsylvania. It is exciting to get out and hunt with the rifle for deer. For the thousands of hunters that will be hunting during this time be safe wear plenty of florescent orange, either a hat and vest or a full suit of florescent orange to be visible to other hunters around you. Make sure there is a safe back stop when shooting at a deer. When hunting from a tree stand or a portable climber make sure you use a full body harness such as Hunter Safety System, each year I read about people that have fallen out of a tree stand or tree and were killed or severely injured due to no fall protection. Hunting with a crossbow is more challenging during rifle season due to the limited distance one can shoot, its not a rifle with a high powered scope.
Saturday Oct. 1 starts the first day of archery season in PA.. Due to the very wet weather and heavy rains many streams are not wadeable and fields and low areas are are extremely wet, will need water proof boots to get to your favorite hunting spot.
This is the third year for crossbow hunting, it has become very popular with children that can not pull back a compound bow or with people with a disability. With a crossbow sited in a person can shoot about 40 yd. effectively with a vital double lung shot the deer will go less than a hundred yards.
I have been using a crossbow for about 10 yrs. I have shot many deer with my crossbow, and most of my double lung shots dropped within 50 yds. or less. I have been using Rocket Steel
Head 100 grain but have started to use Trophy Ridge Rocket Sidewinder 1.5 inch cutting diameter 100 grain, was able to get a nice 8 pt. last year last day of season, first time I had a buck mounted.
Archery will begin in PA. Oct. 1, 2011, there are a few WMU that still have doe tags available in PA. It is time to practice, practice, practice, with your bow so you can shoot straight and get the dream deer when the opportunity comes. It is time to check out your hunting spots and get the shooting lanes open so your scent is not present and the deer get uses to the changes of the shooting lanes. this is the third year crossbow is legal in PA. they are the perfect thing for a beginning youth or someone who can’t draw a compound bow due to age or injury. If you are buying a new bow or crossbow and equipment, do it now so you will have it set up and get use to it before opening day of archery.