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This Website is under construction. We are off hunting but will return to produce more content soon. In the meantime, please feel free to read our initial discussion of Deer Seasons in Pennsylvania.

Archers--Think Before You Shoot That Buck In Rut.

In a recent article Dave Thompson, writing for The News-Sun of New Bloomfield, PA., alluded to the feeling that deer hunters who aren’t archers resent the fact that archers get first crack at antlered deer well before hunters with firearms. While a certain resentment seems natural enough, I submit that there’s a more compelling reason to oppose the early harvest of bucks. Archery season opens before and runs through the whitetail deer’s rut, also known as the mating season. There are reams of articles extolling the virtues of hunting the largest bucks during the rut, not to mention countless advertisements hawking the latest and greatest new products designed to assure success is this endeavor. What doesn’t seem to be discussed is the effect that the targeting and removal of the biggest and strongest bucks before and during the rut has on the genetic viability of the deer herd when nature is thwarted in the reproduction of the fittest deer. A farmer certainly wouldn’t raise the best bulls he could and then kill them before they had a chance to breed his best cows, so why do we hunters do so in the deer herd? Years ago when archers really did use primitive weapons this was less of a problem. However, the latest information from the Game Commission indicates that upwards of 38% of the bucks harvested are killed by archers in the regular season. The great improvement in archery equipment, along with the addition of crossbows to the archers’ weaponry, has no doubt led to this increased kill. It might not be so devastating to the deer herd if archers targeted all bucks equally, but when was the last time you heard of an archer not seeking the biggest bucks in the woods?

As the archery season now stands archers could help the deer herd by only harvesting does during the regular season. Truth be told however, archers and gun hunters alike should harvest does prior to the rut. In that fashion the remaining does that are bred by the fittest bucks would have a higher likelihood of producing offspring. The bucks would not be wasting effort breeding does that would only be killed later in the season. The time to harvest those big bucks is after the rut, not before or during. The Game Commission could still permit a week long bucks-only archery season after the rut prior to gun season if the archers feel too disadvantaged to hunt with archery equipment when gun hunters are in the woods. For additional information and/or discussion of this topic, please access HuntersAfield.com on the world wide web.

Uncle Bob Hunter

Coming soon--a survey of your preferences for Deer Seasons in PA and maybe even a petition! In the meantime, send email to: scout@huntersafield.com