Pennsylvania archery hunting significantly gaining in popularity
If you have any doubt about the growing number of archery hunters who now visit Pennsylvania woodlands and field edges in pursuit of white-tailed deer, just compare the total harvest numbers for the 2019-2020 archery season to the 2018-2019 season.
During the varied seasons for archery hunting in the 2018-2019 seasonal, the reported harvest was 54,350 antlered deer and 56,369 antlerless. During the 2019-2020 seasons, the reported harvest jumped to 74,190 antlered and 71,718 antlerless. A boost in the harvest of almost 33,000 deer is a considerable jump.
In the past, archery hunting has always enticed many because it provided a chance at an early season score for a whitetail. Getting into the deer woods in early fall, and the overall experience of quietly waiting for a quarry passing by of its own accord while sitting in beautiful, still woods has always had an added pull for those who hunt with bow and arrow.
But for varied reasons, some of which include longer seasons, advancement of archery equipment and the addition of crossbows now being legal for archery seasons, archery hunter numbers have experienced a steep climb.
There is no debating the beauty that becomes Pennsylvania’s deer woods during October, which often runs into early November as well. Many days are filled with clear blue skies and a pleasant warmth, provided by the same sun that is also shinning on colorful leaves scattered in every direction.
As the days shorten over the length of fall, there is another pleasurable, and remarkable feature to witness for those taking the time to be in the woods during archery season. For those who have never experienced it, this is the time of year bucks become much more active in preparation for the rut and their yearly attempt to pass on their genes. They are making lots of scraps, rubbing trees actively and generally on the move day and night. They are searching for receptive females, and staying hidden becomes less of a concern for them.
This bustle and commotion only adds to the thrill and delight of the early archery season. And adding the chance to put some fresh venison in the freezer is certainly a healthy plus.
There are, indeed, plenty of positives to archery hunting, and anyone can take part if they so desire.
Statewide archery seasons for the 2020-2021 seasons are as follows; Oct. 3 to Nov. 14, plus Sunday Nov. 15 to November 20. (This adds an extra statewide week for early archery that hasn’t been available in the past). The late archery season for statewide hunting is Dec. 26 through Jan. 18, 2021. For wildlife management units 2B, 5C and 5D, the early season runs from Sept. 19 through Nov. 27, and includes Nov.15. The late season runs from Dec.16 through Jan. 26, 2021.