This weekend marks the opening of the archery deer and bear seasons in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D. The season runs from Sept. 19-Nov. 27. For deer (both antlered and antlerless), this will include one of the first Sunday hunts on Nov. 15.
The statewide archery season, which numbers about 400,000 bowhunters according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s archery license sales, kicks off for both buck and doe on Oct. 17 and runs until Nov. 7.
A youth and mentored youth squirrel hunt opened this past Saturday and runs until Sept. 26 when junior and mentored youth hunters can hunt with or without a hunting license. The first part of the regular squirrel season also got underway on Saturday and runs until Nov. 27.
The elk season also got underway Saturday for those lucky enough to draw an elk tag.
But back to deer that seem to be everywhere in suburbia and places you wouldn’t expect them to be.
I friend who lives off Lindbergh Avenue in Salisbury Township and not far from Lehigh Parkway has deer, even some sizable bucks, coming into this back yard that is bordered by other homes. Most recently, and as he was sitting on his patio and sipping a coffee, a 6-point buck sauntered up to within 15 feet of him. The attraction there is sunflowers and emerald arborvitae trees he has. Funny thing is, the deer only eat the center of the trees not the bottoms or tops which is an easy 7-foot stretch if they stand on their hind legs.
Then there was the doe that found its way inside the fence of the Allentown Fairgrounds in February as it seemed to walk around looking for an escape exit, according to the manager of the Sunoco gas station across the street.
There are also deer throughout Lehigh Parkway (even a bear in July), in small woodlots and fencerows around Parkland High School, the farmland across from Whitehall High School, Whitehall Parkway, woodlots off Schantz Road and behind the new Parkland elementary school, patches of woods along the Lehigh River from Whitehall to Laury’s Station, the woods along Huckleberry Road that will shortly be developed, small woodlots off Tilghman Street across from the vo-tech school, and of course the vast holdings of GEM Corporation (formerly Trojan Powder), all in Lehigh County.
The point being, deer were pushed out of from many of their northern woodland haunts because of development of warehouses, homes, apartments and office complexes, but they have adapted and survive.
A word of notice, the woodlot on Lehnert Road down from the tennis courts in Whitehall Township and owned by the County of Lehigh, was opened for bowhunting by former County Executive Don Cunningham. But now its posted for no hunting.
As most bowhunters hunt from a tree stand, every year hunters fall from tree stands because they lack proper safety equipment. According to the Tree Stand Safety Awareness Foundation (TSSA), the number one cause of injuries and deaths when deer hunting are from falling out of a treestand. They list 20 percent fall from home made stands, 31 percent from lock-on stands, 20 percent from ladder stands, 25 percent from climbers and 4 percent from others.
Falls shouldn’t happen with the array of safety harnesses on the market. It’s a small investment to pay for a life or limb.
LOCAL TROUT STOCKING
While the fall trout stocking schedule for Lehigh County is listed for Oct. 15, it was pushed back to Oct. 22 for the Little Lehigh Creek in Allentown.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.