Poachers in broad daylight

Now that the two-week rifle deer season has ended, it would be
easy for me to write my first blog about how many deer I did, or
didn’t, see. It’s something everyone talks about at the end of the
deer season. Instead, I’m going to tell you about something I saw
more of this season. A facet of deer hunting that seems to increase
each year, at least in the areas where I hunt. Road hunters.
They’re very easy to spot. Park along a remote dirt road on the
first day of deer season and pay close attention to the vehicles
that drive by.

The ones going ridiculously slow, and with their windows down,
are obvious road hunters. I chuckle every time I see one, but in
reality it’s a serious problem. Road hunters are basically
poachers, except they don’t wait for the cover of darkness to break
the law. They do it in broad daylight, during the season. There are
two types of road hunters: those who are simply too lazy to get out
and walk; and those who believe possessing a disabled permit allows
them to ride around with a loaded gun.

The former are particularly brazen at times. I’ve seen pickup
trucks with a bed full of road hunters slowly driving along a dirt
road, scanning the woods hoping for an easy shot. I’ve even had
road hunters pull over to let me pass, which I do after I write
down their license plate number to later pass it along to the local
wildlife conservation officer. The latter type of road hunter –
those with disabled permits – are either lazy, naive or both. A
disabled permit – which allows certain hunters to use their vehicle
as a blind – isn’t intended to encourage road hunting. But in some
cases it does.

Sure, a disabled permit allows a hunter to sit with a loaded
firearm inside his or her vehicle and watch for deer. But that
vehicle must be parked and turned off. It doesn’t allow the permit
holder to drive around all day, with their window down and loaded
gun within arm’s reach. I don’t know why so many people choose to
road hunt. Sure, it’s easy enough to drive around and shoot a deer
from the comfort of your own car, but that’s not the point of
hunting. If you can walk, get out and do it. If you can’t, park the
car and shut the engine off. If you don’t, you are nothing but a
poacher in broad daylight.


Categories: Pennsylvania – Tom Venesky

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