Early Pennsylvania archery start proves rewarding – at least for those who brave the ‘elements’
As it has the past few years, archery season opened early here in my sector of southeastern Pennsylvania. Any deer may be harvested, including bucks that have legal antler size, which is three points on a side that measure a minimum of one inch in length, with one of those points, of course, being the main frame.
Personally, I’ve shied away from archery hunting during this early September start, using excuses such as too warm, too buggy and too much vegetation on trees and underbrush, which obscures vision for sighting deer and limits shooting lanes for an arrow to pass through without deflection.
Those pretexts to stay home may simply be attributed to being older and not having the will to bust through lush flora with a zillion swarming insects. These days, I sometimes lack the youthful exuberance I held for a long time. But I’ll just stick with the simple explanation, “It really doesn’t feel like archery season yet, and I’ll wait until the weather changes,” and be satisfied with that reasoning for those who question why I’m not hunting.
On the other hand, I do have a couple of young friends who are close hunting companions, mainly for waterfowl, who couldn’t think of one excuse to keep them from being tree-bound when the season began last Saturday. For those two, the eagerness of youth played well for their trips to the woods, rewarding both with fine bucks.
One took a nice eight-pointer. What’s special about this is the fact that he has always been a fanatical waterfowl hunter, ever since he’s been old enough to hunt, and still is. But as for archery hunting for deer, he is a relative newcomer, with this being his third year. A nice buck this early in a new hunting experience has to hold special meaning.
The other friend, although young, too, has hunted with bow for deer for many years, and has known a bunch of success filling tags, with a real wall-hanger taken when he was an early teenager.
The buck he harvested Saturday evening was a small six-pointer, but as the above photo shows, this buck was still in velvet. Never having had a chance to shoot a legal buck still holding a furry-looking rack, he chose to place his sight pin behind the young buck’s shoulder at close range and release his arrow, which resulted in a quick kill.
Another hunting companion — a waterfowling sidekick — also bagged a nice buck on Saturday, although he doesn’t fall under the category of a youngster. Nonetheless, his buck tag is filled for the year, allowing him the knowledge that he can spend more time in some of our comfortable duck and goose blinds without concern for hunting a racked deer in colder conditions.
Many states now begin their archery seasons in September, and truth be told, it usually offers extended chances to harvest a deer without hurting the resource.
That’s a good thing for both young and older hunters, at least those who don’t have excuses for not hunting.