Employers and schools that are not off Nov. 29 for the extended Thanksgiving Day holiday, can expect some absenteeism since it’s the start of the firearms deer hunting season in Pennsylvania.
The PA Game Commission says over 750,000 hunters will take to Penn’s Woods in hopes of bringing down a trophy buck, and or buck and doe if hunting in local WMU 5C.
I mention the above since not all parts of the state may take an antlerless deer the first week of the season. WMU’s 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D&E may only take an antlered deer during the initial five days of the season that runs Nov. 29-Dec. 3. It’s then followed in these WMUs by seven days of concurrent antlered and antlered deer hunting. The remainder of the state follows the two-week, concurrent antlered/antlerless season wherein both species may be taken from the opener to Dec. 11, a ruling that has been in place since 2001.
As for where the deer are, they’re almost everywhere in the Lehigh Valley region. At mid-day two weeks ago, I was driving south on Mauch Chunk Road in Whitehall and a short distance from Lazarus Market when I spotted a huge bodied, multi-tined buck whose rack appeared to have an inside spread of about 30 inches. It slowly walked from the highway edge of the cornfield there and onto a residents’ lawn and towards the woods that makes up the former Trojan Powder Company property. It was a huge, gorgeous buck. The property owner missed a good chance at an archery buck as he evidently is a hunter for I saw blaze orange clothing airing-out on his backyard wash line. Of course this is private posted land whereupon an archery club has exclusive rights to hunt there.
But there are other places, some seem so miniscule that you wouldn’t think deer are living there. Brush lines, small woodlot patches, tree lines, all can hold deer and shouldn’t be overlooked by still-hunters. But you’d better be ready for a quick, possible running shot.
If you’re fortunate to get a deer, the PGC says the mandatory reporting can be done online. Merely visit the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on “Quick Clicks” and check “Harvest Reporting.” Then hit “Start Here,” followed by selecting the method of validating license info, then click on the checkbox for the tag being reported. After filling out ALL the required information, click on the “Submit” button, otherwise your report won’t be completed. Hunters may report one or more harvests in the single session. If not, you must do it the old-fashioned way of mailing-in your report card.
And for hunters who would like to donate their venison, the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program would certainly appreciate the meat. To find a participating butcher and donation point, check www.sharedeer.com or call 896-474-2141 for the HSH Hotline.
Every deer opener someone falls from a treestand. Some hunters are severely injured while one may die. In retrospect, all situations could have been avoided if proper precautions were taken.
To prevent treestand trouble, don’t trust hunting from a home made wooden stand that has been in place for several years. The wood could be rotted, nails could have come loose or the entire structure could be unstable and unsafe.
Foremost when climbing any stand, use a safety harness and in the least, a safety belt.
A study by the University of Alabama noted that young hunters between 15-34 are more likely to suffer serious injuries in treestand-related accidents than older hunters.
The study showed that hunters aged between 15-24 has injury rates of 55.7 per 100,000 and those aged 25-34 averaged 61 injuries per 100,000 hunters. Hunters over 65 had injury rates of only 22.4 per 100,000. The latter’s lower rate could be attributed to fewer days afield, or, their possible physical inability to climb a stand.
The university’s study indicated that the most common injuries were fractures, most likely to occur in the hip or lower extremities, followed by injuries to the trunk, shoulder and upper extremities. Head and spinal cord injuries were less common, but significant and sometimes fatal.
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