Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 50

By Tom TaTum

L

IKE THE SONG SAYS, "It's the
most wonderful time of the year."
And for bowhunters, nothing
beats the first two weeks of November -
a time when even wise old wall-hangers
get caught up in the heat of the moment,
allowing their overwhelming need to
breed to trump their customary wariness.
Even those woodlots where you had
encountered only sparse deer activity
earlier in the season might come alive with
bucks trolling for dates with does.
But there can be a downside to the rut
and your anticipation of it.
It can cause you to shrug off the early
opportunities you have, and there's no
guarantee you'll get something better in
return.

Two in the Bush
Hunting on a hardwood ridge loaded
with acorns one early October afternoon
last year, I came to full draw on a dandy
little 6-pointer as he passed by me without
a care in the world.
At 15 yards, it would have been hard
to miss on such a perfect broadside shot.
As my finger hovered over the trigger
on my mechanical release, my brain
intervened. With no antlerless tags in
my possession, I knew that if I downed
this buck, my season would be over and
I would miss out on hunting that "most
wonderful time of the year."
I decided to let that 6-point walk away.
My trophy room wall, admittedly, is
50

lined with too many racks of year-and-ahalf-old bucks like that one. Most were
taken "back in the day," when Pennsylvania's archery season closed at the end
of October - the same time the rut was
starting up.
Then, in 1993, the fall bowhunting
season was extended from four to six
weeks, and the pot was sweetened with
doe licenses that wouldn't cancel your
buck tag.
More recently, archery-season expansions in Wildlife Management Units 2B,
5C and 5D have provided a whopping 14
weeks to pursue whitetails.
That wasn't the case back in 1973,
when I first picked up a bow and headed
out to the deer woods.
Without significant overlap with the
rut, bowhunters tried to pick off any buck
they could, staking out trails where deer
traveled from feeding to bedding areas
and vice versa.
Any buck that came into range was
good enough back then.

Not in a Rut
I hunted hard in those 20 years prior
to 1993, and crossed paths with a rutting
buck only once. It was the last day of a
season in the late 1980s, a few minutes
before closing time.
I heard a sound I'd never heard before
- pig-like grunting - then caught sight of
a buck headed my way.
He was grunting every few steps.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2016 - Cover4
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