Pennsylvania’s statewide archery deer hunting season gets underway Sat., Oct 1 and continues until Nov. 12, plus, on Sunday Nov. 13 that is the initial Sunday hunts that add Nov. 20 and Nov. 27 to the deer hunting calendar.
A word to hunters who hunt private property on Sundays, the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) said hunters must carry with them written permission from the landowner to be there.
This weekend’s archery deer opener is the first of a four-part season. The season restarts Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, then resumes Dec. 26 to Jan. 16, 2023. Of course, the season opened Sept 17 in WMU’s 2B, 5C and 5D where the deer population is overly abundant says the PGC.
According to the PGC, these seasons give hunters an opportunity to chase deer before, during and after the peak of the rut, the latter is the time when trophy bucks throw caution to the wind as they chase doe to mate.
For the 2021 season, resident archery season license sales reached a second-highest total of 341,885, down slightly from the 2020 season. Nonresident archery licenses sales totaled 19,099 also down a tad from 19,164 in 2020.
Last season, bowhunters harvested an estimated 130,650 deer of which 68,580 were antlered and 62,070 were antlerless. The PGC says that week one of the season was the most productive for antlerless deer, while week five and six were tops for antlered deer that were within the rut period.
The PGC reminds bowhunters of a few regulations in regards to archery equipment. Foremost is that hunters may use illuminated nocks for arrows and bolts as the aid in tracking or locating the arrow or bolt. However, transmitter-tracking arrows are illegal.
There are also questions about the recent controversy regarding using deer scents in the form of deer urine. The urine has come into focus because of CWD cases among some deer. When asked about their use this season, Travis Lau, PGC Information Officer wrote back and said, “It’s still legal to use deer urine outside CWD Disease Management Areas, and illegal inside them. There is a proposal on the PGC Boards weekend agenda that would make deer urine and other secretions unlawful to use statewide.” Shortly after Lau sent this, and over the weekend, the PGC Board of Commissions meeting voted on the subject and in a 4-4 vote, the bill failed to gain majority support meaning it will advance no further toward adoption at this time, but there will be an opportunity to bring it up in the future.
Other reminders are that tree stands and climbing devices that cause damage to trees are unlawful to use or occupy unless the user has written permission from the landowner and are illegal on game lands, state forests and state parks. Tree stands or steps that penetrate a tree’s cambium layer will cause damage. It’s also unlawful to build and occupy tree stands that are screwed or nailed to trees on state property.
Archery deer hunting season is the finest time to be afield as the weather is still tolerable and deer have not been spoked, chased or shot at as they are during the rifle seasons.
While mentioning deer scents and if you’re looking for real fresh scent, not the bottled scent that’s been on Cabela’s and Dicks Sporting Goods store shelves for some time, stop in at Bob’s Wildlife Taxidermy at 4642 Kernsville Road in Orefield. Bob’s gets his Yurine Luck Buck and Doe lure in fresh weekly. It’s available in 1 1/4-oz and 4-ounce bottles. For operating hours call 610-398-7609.
In the last column on the Muhlenberg College's polar bear restoration, I mistakenly identified Dr. Danlel Klem who did the bear project when it was Dr. Peter Saenger of Muhlenberg College. I apologize for this error as I had mixed up the phone numbers for the two professors.
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.