Now is the time to be bowhunting in Pennsylvania

If you look at the accompanying photo closely, you are able to see a small creek winding through sparse woods not more than 30 yards wide on either side of the flowing water, which is usually much less in breadth and seldom wider for many miles of this creek’s flow.

It is typical farm country here in the southeastern portion of the state, and the herd of cows grazing on the left side of the photo confirms that fact.

What may seem strange, and easily not noticed by an unfamiliar eye, is the undeniable truth that this simple mix of small woods, pastures, grain fields and a curving waterway is also excellent deer habitat.

With archery season open since mid-September in this part of Pennsylvania, it took until news of a big buck — a 10-point with long tines and substantial spread — being harvested last Thursday reaching my ears to shift my thinking and feel that archery deer hunting is now, and not some future event to be carried out down the road.

This buck was shot about a quarter-mile downstream from where I took this photo. It was a conspicuous narrow spot with only a few trees that bordered the creek, and up one of these trees sat a bow hunter waiting for a deer to pass.

Last Thursday was windy as a front pushing cooler temperatures was finally moving into the area, pushing away the stagnant heated air that had hovered over most of the eastern United States for about two weeks. It was not what many considered to be ideal deer hunting conditions, nor was the terrain for that matter, but this hunter went anyway.

Of course, the decision to go to that unassuming spot paid off well when he placed his tag inside the big buck’s ear.

Recently, on the statewide opening day, the evening air still moved with strong breezes as a friend took his father hunting at my friend’s hillside home and property. This place is more traditional in terms of “deer country” as it is part of big woods within a hilly setting.

The friend placed his father up a stand at the bottom edge of his property, which saw a lessened effect of wind. The son moved to a different stand on his own land, which ends his property’s reach on a hilltop where the winds were stronger.

The setups apparently favored the father as he saw three bucks and five does that evening and was able to harvest one of those bucks, a heavy-bodied five-pointer with three points to one side and two to the other, with the Y’s of the rack large and fairly heavy.

Knowing that deer are being taken already in early season has lifted my desires to get out hunting soon.

As I’ve also known for a long time now, hunting spots that seem as if they’d be void of deer are good places to hunt, and if you’re looking for a big fellow, getting after them right at season’s start increases your odds of success because deer have yet to fully realize people are out there after them once again, and the full array of their keen senses have not been completely turned on.

All that’s required is merely to go hunting, as I’m telling myself right now.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Pennsylvania – Ron Steffe, Whitetail Deer

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