Outsiders are often surprised by the popularity of deer hunting in the rural areas of Pennsylvania. Here in Fulton County the first day of deer season is a local holiday with schools and factories, and many stores closing.
A mature whitetail buck lip curls in the faint light of early morning
An old wounded veteran feeds while standing on three legs. The injury is probably the result of a poorly placed gunshot. This is the third year I have photographed him since his injury.
It is with mixed emotion that I greet yet another first day of deer season. While I do look forward to stocking the freezer with some fresh venison, I hate to see them die. I well understand that without top level predators to keep the deer numbers in check that hunting is a necessary management tool. What bothers me most are the hunters who take the poor shots and leave wounded animals to suffer needlessly as well as the poachers who disregard the rules.
Deer season for me in years past would begin with the first day of rifle season and last until my tag/tags was filled or the season closed. Now that first day of rifle signals the end, the end of my whitetail buck photographic season. While in the past I have pursued whitetails with modern rifles, muzzle-loaders, flintlock, archery and handguns and have been successful with all; I have found that no consumptive deer hunting can begin to compare to the enjoyment I experience hunting Pennsylvania's whitetails with photography gear.
For those of you my readers who will be afield tomorrow; first and foremost, hunt safely, make sure of both your target and backstop, and shoot accurately.