Anticipation runs high this coming deer season

Steve PiattI'm looking forward to the coming deer season probably as much as I have in several years, even though I know I likely won't fire a shot during the firearms season. That's because Paula has, after years of pursuing turkeys and small game, announced she wants to hunt deer this fall.

That decision triggers a whole series of things, from planning and preparing to attempting to outline my own deer-hunting season, at least on paper. With Paula toting a rifle, it undoubtedly turns my firearms season into a de facto women's hunt, since I'll be alongside her, guiding her to, with any luck at all, her first whitetail. That means she'll get the first crack at a buck or doe when we head into the Tioga County woods she knows so well, having killed several spring gobblers there over the years. I'll simply assist with her decision-making process on shot selection and talk her through the moment of truth. Then, of course, the field dressing and dragging will largely be my responsibility if she connects. Which, if her turkey-hunting track record is any indication, she will.

So I'm excited heading into the season, much like I am when the youth turkey approaches and again over Columbus Day weekend when the youth deer hunt returns for a second showing this fall. The planning has already begun: Paula will be at the range shooting a .243 very soon, becoming accustomed to the rifle, its slight recoil and its capabilities. I choose the .243 over other calibers like the 7mm-08, the 30-30 and a couple others when I learned a hunting buddy had a couple .243s in his gun cabinet and was more than willing to dole one out to Paula for the season. The price was right, and in truth the .243 is a superb caliber for a beginning deer hunter – enough punch to take down any New York whitetail but not enough to cause any flinching if the range time has been adequate.

While I don't expect to fire a shot during the firearms season, Paula's pronouncement has me stepping up my plans for the archery season, which could be my only showtime of the season. I'll probably kick it up a notch this year, perhaps hunting both sides of the Pennsylvania-New York border with stick and string and getting out more often than last year. That, too, is something I'm looking forward to, so much so the targets are already set up in the backyard and I'm heading out there with the Mathews Z7 right after I finish this.

So it could be a memorable deer season this fall. They usually are, but Paula's entrance into the deer-hunting world could make it especially so this year.

Categories: New York – Steve Piatt

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