The annual Pennsylvania buck season came on Monday, November 28th of this year. That day and the next came, and went, without my presence in the woodlands. A number of variables contributed to my decision to remain home those two days. One reason was the fact that I hadn’t been feeling my best for several days and I was debating whether I should call a doctor or not. The heat was another factor. The temperatures remained around 60 degrees for two days. Since I process my own deer I was concerned with the warm days and nights…not good for keeping deer meat safe.
Another factor is my style of hunting deer. I prefer to “still hunt” for deer. The vast majority of hunters are setting around hoping for someone like me to move the deer. (Still hunting is the method where the hunter walks a little and watches a lot.) And the final factor is that the 4-point to one side law that had been in place and it is difficult hunting with my style and counting 4 points. This had caused me to lose some enthusiasm. For years I used a flintlock for buck and the handicap of the law and flintlock forced me into, primarily, a doe hunter.
This year the law changed once more. Presently, the hunter needs to see only three points on the main branch of antler to be considered legal. This will make identifying a legal buck easier.
This morning originally had plans and potential plans in place. I was not going to hunt. The plans changed for our delivery of a new range to late in the day. The other possible plan was to have breakfast with a friend. Dana Gould had e-mailed me about possibly meeting. We talked Tuesday evening and decided to postpone our event and a hunt was now reality for me.
I began my sneaking around early in the grayness of the morning. Light rain and some snow occurred most of the morning. Eventually, I eased towards a field where my step-father, Bob may be watching. He wasn’t there as I watched two doe feeding. I checked along the road and his truck wasn’t there. He had decided to stay home this morning.
I continued my trek until I hunted slowly along an area that had been timbered out sometime ago.The deer like this place due to the old tree tops and young brush.
Suddenly I noticed deer fur in the brush. A still-hunter always looks for parts of a deer. This might be a leg; an ear; a horizontal brown line; a white color, or maybe a glint of antler. I stepped one more foot and I could see antlers and the torso and the head of a nice buck! I was about 55 yards away and once I noticed three points on one side I shot.The buck was laying in this area and he never moved. The shot was true. Another buck jumped up.
The buck had a near perfect set of antlers with eight nice points. It was 17 inches across. The Remington 760 in the 30:06 caliber did the job.
I called Bob and he came with his truck. I called my cousin Donnie Smail for help once we dragged the buck to the truck. We couldn’t lift the deer onto the tail gate. While standing there a buck crossed the road near us. I believe it was the same buck I had seen earlier.
Bob and I returned to show my mother before taking the deer to my home to hang up, skin and clean some. The cold temperatures will keep the meat fresh until I get to cutting it up for future meals.
As my custom, I give thanks for the deer and respect to the deer.