Pennsylvania's firearms deer season will open in less than a week. It has been an incredible season photographing the whitetail rut both in Pennsylvania and SNP Virginia but, as with all good things it must end and here in Pa with the season opener my buck photography will end literally with a bang.
With that I feel it proper to share some thoughts on whitetail hunting. Up until a number of years ago a legal buck in Pa was a deer with at least a 3" spike or a branched antler on one side. In more recent years the state has been divided between areas requiring a minimum of 3 points at least 1 inch long on one side with others requiring a minimum of 4 points. This year the regulations in the 4 point zones has changed to requiring 3 up, or said another way there must be three points on top, brow tines do not count. Antler requirements remain the same in the 3 point zones. If you are planning on hunting Pa whitetails you should study the digest to insure that you are following the rules and regulations that apply to the zone you are hunting as changes have been made this year.
If you don't have binoculars, go out right now and buy them; a rifle scope is an aiming device, not an optical device to be used to identify things. Can you imagine the feeling of seeing a rifle pointed at you while someone peers through scope? I know, its happened to me, and it always scared the H.... out of me!
Remember that once a shot is fired it cannot be recalled and telling a dead man "I'm sorry", doesn't work. Don't shoot at what you think is a legal deer, shoot only at what you KNOW is a legal deer. If you KNOW that your target is a deer you will never have to pace the ground trying to explain to the officers how you shot another person in mistake for game and then face that person's family later in court.
Safety First, it's the only thing that Really Matters!