With deer season winding down, plenty of tags remain unfilled

The Piatts are planning – or at least hoping – for a late rally beginning this Saturday when antlerless deer can be taken.

Paula and I are pretty casual when it comes to deer hunting, and this season it’s beginning to show. We rarely, if ever, set out a trail camera, often sit together in a treestand instead of doubling our odds by setting up at separate locations, and in general don’t put nearly the effort into whitetails as we do with spring gobblers.

That said, we’ve been fortunate in recent years, with Paula connecting on several bucks, me doing the same on occasion, and both of us filling at least some but not all of our antlerless tags in New York and Pennsylvania. There’s been plenty of venison for our freezer, as well as for some friends and, in some years, one to donate to the state’s Venison Donation Coalition.

This year, however, has been different. We’re heading into the final days of New York’s Southern Zone season without a deer to show for our efforts, and the same holds true for Pennsylvania, although we’re planning – or at least hoping – for a late rally beginning this Saturday when antlerless deer can be taken.

Right now, we’re glad we have Paula’s moose in our freezer(s) as we’re pretty short on venison.

Looking at the season to this point, we’re beginning to see that we’re getting out of it what we put into it. We rarely take any time off from work to do all-day hunting, aside from the opening days. It’s usually the season openers and an afternoon here and there. I’m a firm believer that while there are no guarantees, you tip the odds in your favor every time out just by being in the whitetail woods and having a chance to see a deer and get a shot.

Paula, to her credit, is often the one giving me the nudge to shut down the computer in the afternoon and get out there. We’ve done that a couple times this week, and although we’ve seen deer, a shot opportunity has yet to present itself. Paula is heading out solo today while I play catch-up here in the office.

The weather hasn’t always cooperated, too. Pennsylvania’s opening day was a wet one, and we departed our stand at noontime having seen nothing. Wind has also been a problem at times – the wrong wind, and plenty of it.

We aren’t hitting the panic button yet, but we plan to ramp up our efforts as the New York season closes and Pennsylvania’s season winds down. Whether it pays off remains to be seen; we know there are no guarantees.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, New York – Steve Piatt, Whitetail Deer

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