This time of year is perhaps my favorite. It is not uncommon to wake up to frost on the grass and temperatures in the 20’s especially if there has been a clear night. The temperature may climb only into the 30’s or it can go into the high 50’s if there is a deep blue sky and sunshine for most of the day. I don’t know what I would do without the seasons.
Not the four seasons…the hunting seasons. Most people divide their year into Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. I have the Pennsylvania Game Commission “Seasons and Bag Limits” bookmarked on my computer. We just finished up six weeks of archery season for deer and a season for fall turkey hunting. Before the upcoming rifle season for deer there is a nice time for hunting rabbits and pheasant. I actually “harvested” (politically correct language for shot and killed) a pheasant on Thursday and a rabbit on Friday. There is also a short four day season for black bear. I have never killed a bear. They are a majestic animal when viewed in nature. I guess they deserve shooting just as much as the lowly squirrel. That’s what the season and bag limits appear to imply.
The first day of rifled deer season is something of a holiday. Schools close because well, kids wouldn’t be there anyway. They are out in the woods looking to “harvest” a whitetail deer with their fathers proudly standing by to shoot the deer if their son or daughter misses. My kids are better than average shots. I can only recall having to invoke eminent domain on three occasions.
Following the rifled deer season is the flintlock muzzleloader season. It is quite nice to have all these different seasons so that you can collect a deer with a bow/arrow, a shotgun, a rifle, a muzzleloader and a crossbow if you fancy that. I always thought using a crossbow was cheating. You’d think with all these opportunities for deer hunting that Pennsylvania would have a sparse population. You’d be wrong. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is hunting who?
When the deep snows of January and February come on there is still late season archery and predator hunting/trapping. Followed by Spring turkey, almost year round groundhog hunting, waterfowl, dove and crows to name a few more. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the Elk hunt. If this all makes you wonder if anything is off limits…well yes. You can’t kill a chipmunk. They are protected. You can’t make this stuff up folks.