Archery Season Underway
Inside the Outdoors, October 13,

It’s true. A large number of whitetail deer recently died in the greater Pittsburgh area as a result of a viral disease, but the rumor that seems to be circulating at the present is that the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) is going to do away with hunting season is False!

It so happens that I was shopping in one of the leading grocery chains a week or two ago when one of my readers approached me and stated, “I heard the PGC is doing away with hunting season since deer are now getting some type of virus.” That rumor has to be nipped in the bud at this very moment. There are no plans to curtailing hunting in the state of Pennsylvania.

It’s unfortunate, but epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) caused by the bites of small flies not only can effect the demise of deer, but livestock as well. So far, a three-county area, Allegheny, Butler and Lawrence, has been affected.

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, from an article titled, Hundreds of deer in the Pittsburgh region dying from viral disease, Sept 22, 2017, John Hayes stated, “Since August, as many as one-thousand white-tailed deer may have died from a viral disease in the greater Pittsburgh area.”

This is a second disease that has attacked deer. Chronic wasting disease has been in the news most recently as its numbers are growing throughout the state. There is no relationship between the two diseases. “In 2012,” Hayes said, “a large outbreak spread across Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, Westmoreland, Cambria and Crawford counties, as well as the ground of a state prison in Montgomery County.” In 2007, fifteen hundred to two thousand deer were attacked by these flies and met their demise. Allegheny County was one of the effected counties.

PGC biologist Samara Trusso said that hunters taking part in the current statewide archery season, which started Sept. 30, “may find temporary pockets within the counties effected by EHD.”

Meanwhile, as mentioned above, archery season will run from said date to Nov. 11 and then from Dec. 26 to Jan. 13. But this isn’t the first time archers have had the opportunity to fall a deer this season. At the time of the statewide opener, archery hunters in three urbanized areas of the state had a two-week head start to their seasons. One could use these weapons as early as Sept. 16 in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 2B, 5C and 5D. The date for hunting these areas is Nov. 25.

Properly licensed bowhunters in WMUs in 2B, 5C and 5D also may take antlered deer and antlerless deer during an extended late archery season that runs from Dec. 26 to Jan 28.

The PGC recommends for all hunters to acquaint themselves with the rules and regulations of this sport.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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