Deer hunting in Pennsylvania is a cherished tradition
To many, the first day of firearms deer season is sacred. In fact, the Monday after Thanksgiving is probably responsible for more scheduled vacation days than any other calendar date beyond official holidays.
Schools close, knowing students would “call in sick” regardless, and motorists need not drive far to observe one of the estimated 740,000 orange-clad figures dotting the landscape. In short, deer hunting is a Pennsylvania tradition.
It is certainly a time of excitement and anticipation. Trying to sleep the night before the season is similar to how a kid feels on Christmas Eve – impatient yet overjoyed to discover what gifts the following morning might bestow. As we grow older, sleep comes easier, but that magical little twinkle of hope still permeates.
Deer season is truly a special time of year to be outside, embracing the elements and enjoying autumn's slow transition toward winter. Beyond just the deer hunting, spending the day afield provides a new and exciting experience each and every hour.
From gray squirrels busily stowing their cache of nuts, to geese embarking upon their southern journeys, to all the inevitable chance encounters with Pennsylvania's vast array of wildlife species, each leaves a lasting impression on a day's hunt.
Warm coffee sipped from a thermos while the first snow flurries of the season gently tumble down sets the stage for the scurry of whitetail activity yet to come, invoking a sense of solitude and reflection as the quiet hours pass.
Those who’ve done their homework place themselves in prime positions to fill their tags, but luck, opportunity and Mother Nature always reserve the final say. Nevertheless, deer will be observed, bumped, missed and harvested. It’s all a matter of chance, emboldened only by skill and perseverance.
At the end of the day, successful or not, each hunter collects a handful of fond memories to be shared with friends and loved ones when all is said and done. These unique experiences characterize the truest essence of the outdoor endeavor.
As you venture afield this season, take a moment to enjoy every aspect of the hunt. From the preparations, the restless sleep, and stand selection to the hunt, the harvest, and hard work to follow, deer season is nearly here. Make the most of this beloved Pennsylvania tradition, as you forge memories to last a lifetime!