Archery Season is Upon Us
Inside the Outdoors, October 4
, 2013

For those whom may not be knowledgeable as to where these two WMUs may be located, 2C include Cambria, Westmoreland, Blair, Fayette, Somerset, Bedford Counties and a part of Indiana county, and 2E also encompasses parts of Indiana, Jefferson and Cambria Counties in addition to all of Clearfield County.

As many white-tailed deer as we have in our neck of the woods, I have often written stories of local residents motoring to counties out of our area to get their deer. Indiana County has always been a favorite place where sportsmen have zeroed in on their game.

And as in years past, this year will be no exception; thousands of archers will shoot a deer on the opening day, always the season’s most productive hunting time. Many sportsmen’s adrenalin will be peaking as they enter the woods in anticipation of killing a buck or doe. But it’s been said that only one-third of nearly 300,000 hunters will harvest animals they set out to get.

Even though there will be so many hunters heading into our area woods, pastures and places where deer like to congregate, there will be time ahead to get their trophies, for the first of two statewide archery seasons ends Nov. 16 with the second beginning Dec. 26 to Jan. 11.

According to the PGC’s Wildlife Management Director Calvin W. DuBrock, “Hunting with a bow-and-arrow is challenging and requires a tremendous commitment from a hunter if he or she wants to be successful. Bowhunters must be exceptional woodsmen just to get themselves within 20 yards of a deer. Then they have to make a move on that incredibly perceptive animal that concludes with making the shot. Pulling it off is exhilarating, an exceptional accomplishment,” he said.

The Game Commission expects many hunters to find satisfying hunting opportunities afield this fall, but that doesn’t mean hunters should expect to find deer populations unchanged, or at pre-antler restrictions levels. It stated that deer numbers vary. There are areas with sizeable deer numbers and areas with limited deer numbers. Deer, however, can be found everywhere.

The PGC has a number of precautionary recommendations some of which I’ll list below. .

  • Always use a full-body harness when hunting from a tree-stand.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are hunting and when you expect to return home. Leave a note or topographic map with your family or a friend. Pack a cell phone for emergencies.
  • Get in good physical condition before the season starts. Fatigue can impact judgment, coordination, and reaction time as well as accuracy.
  • Always carry a whistle to signal passersby in the event you become immobile. An extra flashlight bulb also can be helpful.
  • Use a hoist rope to bow and backpack to your tree-stand.
  • Don’t sleep in a tree-stand. If you tire, return to the ground before napping.
  • Always carry broadhead-tipped arrows in a protective quiver.
  • Don’t climb dead, wet or icy trees.
  • Practice climbing with your tree-stand before dawn on opening day of the season.
  • Place non-slip material on the deck of the tree-stand if it’s not already there.

Send a detailed report of success stories to Looking forward to hearing from you!.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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