Pennsylvania’s two-week deer season ends this Saturday, Dec.8. It was preceded by archery and muzzleloader seasons, and will be followed by several more “seasons” for deer hunting scheduled later in December. The “deer debate” will once again heat up as hunters review what happened or better yet what didn’t happen during the last two weeks.
I started hunting deer in Pennsylvania in 1961 and only missed one season while in South Vietnam in 1970. During those 45 seasons I have witnessed the transition from the “good old days” to the present “Wildlife Management Area” days.
Each hunter has an opinion about the current status of Pennsylvania deer management program, but there are several facts on which we can all agree. First, there are less deer to be hunted and fewer acres of private land open to hunting. Second, deer now are bigger – both antlers and body weight. Finally, we expect that all “hunting sports” will continue to undergo change.
My good hunting seasons and poor seasons are scattered across many decades of experience. To have a good season, all I need is an opportunity to fill my tag. Poor hunting technique, missing a shot or just picking a poor location to hunt has kept my tag unfilled many times. I still count some of those seasons as good.
Because I started hunting at a time when seeing 100 deer in a day was possible, hunting now and not seeing one deer during a hunt can be quite a shock. I don’t like it, but I am adjusting my expectations.
For me, the last five years have been good. This past season was great.
I hope you had a good deer season. If you want to hear about mine, then please read my story posted on my blog page at http://www.storytrax.com/node/1108