A while ago I asked my roommate Eric if I could bring my Dad down to his family’s farm in Pennsylvania during deer season. My Dad hunted with a neighbor for deer in NH but was always unsuccessful. Usually Eric and his family have very good luck and hoped my Dad’s luck would change if I brought him down. After a couple of years of trying to get schedules to match up this was the year.
My Dad came down on Thursday after Thanksgiving from New Hampshire. After a little bit of a late start because of some post office package problems I had we finally got on the road towards north central PA. My Dad doesn’t get out of New England much so just the drive was a bit of a novelty. After a couple stops for food and a hunting license we arrived at the Parsons Farm.
Dusk was just falling so Eric’s father was already back at the house from a day out. We acquainted ourselves and went to the shed to check out Eric’s 8 point buck he got on opening day (Monday). Since then no one had seen a deer unfortunately. By this time a friend of Eric’s family, Hank, wondered out from his spot with a similar story–no deer, lots of squirrels around though.
The next morning we got up at 5am. Well before the sun rose around 6:30am. We ate some breakfast and everyone headed out. Eric brought me and my Dad out to a spot on their property which had a small stand set up. I wasn’t hunting since I didn’t get a hunter safety card prior to the trip. On our walk in I noticed the sunrise looked like it would be good so I got my camera and took advantage of being up before sunrise. While getting some of those shots I found some really interesting hoar frost on a barbed wire fence.
Both hunting days, Friday and Saturday–no hunting allowed on Sundays in PA, started basically like this. The rest of the day Eric and I sat around and read or ground up some of the meat from his deer. Around midday deer tend to settle down and that makes it less likely to see them. To help the guys out hunting we donned our hunter orange gear and headed out onto the property. Most of the land is forested of various types of trees, and some is fields; everyone was in the woods as that is the best place for the deer. Eric and what is called driving the deer. Bascially we walked to a particular area and got about 100 yards apart then started walking through the woods. Just us walking is enough commosion to get the deer to move, the intent moving towards where we had people sitting. We drove around the entire property, taking care to stay well away from the hunters, for a few hours. Friday we didn’t even see a deer during this effort. Saturday we did have a little luck with at least seeing some. I saw 3-4 does but they slipped through our line. It didn’t really matter much anyway since there are more restrictions for the does. Eric ended up coming 30 or so feet from a doe who stared him down for a minute or so before running off.
The hunters again had no luck on Saturday. From the descriptions the locals gave this was a rare year to only get one. They suspected the many changes in the regulations over the last few years had something to do with it. Perhaps next year will be better.