Early Archery Sept. 15
Inside the Outdoors, September
14, 2012

For archery enthusiasts, tomorrow, Sept. 15, could be an action-packed day if everything goes as planned. That’s because, in certain wildlife management units, fall archery deer season will get under way. This applies only to WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, so states Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. This season will run to Sept 28.

But this is for those holding an antlerless deer license only. All other archery hunters can’t start until fall archery gets underway Sept. 29. The season will last until Nov. 12. The late season will begin Dec. 26 and run to Jan. 12.

There are three different bows one may use, a long, recurve or compound model. The latter is becoming much more popular as is evident on page 9 in the Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest. Each has different bow weights. Long or recurve bows must have a draw weight of at least 35 pounds, crossbows, a minimum of 125 pounds.

According to the PGC, “Broadheads on either an arrow or a bolt must have an outside diameter or width of at least seven-eighths inches with at least two cutting edges on the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface, and shall not exceed three inches in length.”

Scouting is the key to locating animals, suggests the PGC. Once animals are located, then returning to that area on the day of the hunt will be less time consuming.

As always, the PGC reminds hunters to employ safety tips whenever heading afield.

  • Make sure someone knows where you are hunting and when you will return.
  •  Always use a fall-restraint device – preferably a full-body harness when hunting from a tree stand. Wear the device from the moment you leave the ground until you return.
  • Don’t climb dead, wet or icy trees. Stay on the ground on blustery days.
  • Always carry a whistle to signal to a passerby in the event you become immobile.
  • Don’t sleep in a treestand. If you can’t stay away, return to the ground.
  • Practice climbing with your tree stand before dawn on the opening day of the season.
  • Consider placing non-slip material on the deck of the tree stand.

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I happened to browse through the September/October issue of Turkey Country magazine and came across an interesting article titled Fall Turkey Hunting Myths by Steve Hickoff and learned quite a bit about the “bird.” in question.

Pertaining to the myth – “You can’t call fall longbeards,” he said, “Not unless you try.” Good answer.

Myth – “Fall gobblers don’t strut or gobble.” Wrong, according to Hickoff. “Fall turkeys roost gobble, ground gobble and after an intentional flock break as they regroup during your effort to call them back.”

One more. “Fall turkeys are too easy.” The author said, “Autumn turkeys can sometimes be easy once found, but locating flocks isn’t always a sealed deal.”

If you are a turkey hunter, search out this magazine. You’ll be glad you did!

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It wouldn’t be right if I wouldn’t end this column praising Latrobe’s Mark Ludwig for knowing how to and tagging more bass last week at Keystone State Park Lake than other anglers in our proximity. He was the only one catching nice-sized bass. I couldn’t even hook onto a five-inch blue gill using worms for bait. Maybe he is being blessed for taking me fishing. I won’t reveal his secret lure (he told me, though). All I can tell you, it really works!

I got the word that large smallmouth bass are being pulled in at Kingston Dam. One fellow took shiners down at 2 a.m. and said he tied onto a big one that broke his line just as he got it up to him. That means there is one lurking just for your taking. Hint?

Talk to you next week. Call me if you have a “goody” for this column – 724-539 – 8850. I would say look up my name in the phone book, but how many times do I have to tell sportsmen, “Vee” is not my last name and it won’t appear in the white pages. Looking forward to hearing from you.


- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.