Archery Season To Begin
Inside the Outdoors, October 01, 2010

The start of school, the cooler air and the month of September are all signs of things to come – namely the beginning of archery season for 2010.

Statewide, one will be able to hunt for antlered or antlerless deer beginning tomorrow, Oct. 2, which will extend to Nov. 13. The late statewide archery deer season will run from Dec. 27 to Jan 15.

The weapons of choice to be used for killing these popular big game animals will be the long, recurve or compound bow, or the popular crossbow.

As one Latrobe hunter told me, “One can have so much fun when using crossbows to hunt.” According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, “Bows must have a draw weight of at 35 pounds; crossbows must have a minimum draw weight of at least 125 pounds. Broadheads on either an arrow or a bolt must have an outside diameter or width at least seven-eighths inches with at least 125 pounds. Broadhead 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 very important prior to the season’s beginnings, the PGC recommends. If one is to hunt for deer, then sources should be located where food is found in abundance.

Also of equal importance is to figure out which food sources these animals prefer and target those areas. As PGC Executive Director Carl G. Roe summed it up, “These adjustments really can make a difference.

The PGC has several suggestions to which should be adhered.

  • Take only responsible shots at deer to ensure a clean, quick kill;
  • Take a shot 20 yards or less at a deer broadside;
  • Keep in mind, transmitter-tracking arrow are illegal;
  • Also unlawful are tree-stand and climbing devices that cause damage to trees to use or occupy unless the user has written permission from the landowner.

The PGC offers other suggestions before heading afield:

  • Make sure someone knows where you are hunting;
  • Pack a cell phone for emergencies;
  • Always use a fall-restraint device – preferably a full-body harness when hunting from a tree stand;
  • Always carry a whistle to signal passers-by in the event you becomes immobile. A compass, matches or lighter and tinder also are essential survivor gear. An extra flashlight bulb can be essential;
  • Use your hoist rope to lift your bow and backpack to your treestand;
  • Don’t sleep in a treestand;
  • Always carry broadtipped arrows in a protective quiver;
  • If you use a mechanical release, always keep your index finger away from the trigger when drawing.
  • And, practice climbing with your treestand prior to opening day.

    These are just a few of the many pointers the PGC reminds hunters to practice. It is very important that hunters pay close attention to these recommendations.

One of my favorite subjects in discussing deer season whether it is archery or rifle is what is called “Sharing the Harvest.” I have been acquainted with this program for a number of years and really promote it as being a wonderful cause.

Through a coordination of volunteers and meat processors, hunting are encouraged by the PGC to donate their venison to local food banks, soup kitchens and needy families.

Highly recommend, I, too, recommend hunters to consider sharing their kill with people who are less fortunate than they.

For a list of participating meat processors, visit the website You’ll get a good feeling you did a great thing!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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