If I had one change to make it would be allowing flintlock season hunters the opportunity to ignore antler restrictions provided they still had a valid buck tag. I say that because it is usually pretty hard to look the deer over with binoculars, needed by those of us older hunters with fading eye sight, then still end up with a shot opportunity.
Many times I have failed to get a shot at both legal bucks and legal does during flintlock season because I had used up all of my shot opportunities looking at them through binoculars trying figure out if they had enough points or if they were perhaps a small buck instead of an antlerless deer.
The number of protected class bucks that would be harvested by eliminating the antler restrictions during the flintlock season would be rather minimal in the first place. In the second place a fair number of bucks are already being killed in the flintlock season as shed antler bucks. Both my youngest son and I have killed shed antler bucks in the flintlock season. The number of shed antler bucks harvested will increase this season due to the longer running and later into winter season this year.
Now as for those claiming crossbow should only be for the disabled or old hunters, how about all the youth and female hunters who simply didn't have the physical ability to participate in archery hunting before the legalization of the crossbow? What about the thousands of hunters who didn't have the opportunity to practice daily or even weekly due to work schedules and/or no logical place to practice? Should those people have been forced to drop out of archery or never get involved in archery or perhaps any hunting simply because a few people don't approve of crossbows?
The fact is before crossbows were legal it was easy enough for basically any unscrupulous person to go to pretty much any Doctor and get the Doctor to sign a form that stated the person was not physically able to draw a bow. At that point the Game Commission was then required, by law, to issue them the permit to use a crossbow, even if they lied to get the permit. It was a run away program with the Game Commission having basically no ability to slow the trend of dishonest people from getting the permit and hunting with a crossbow anyway. Why not just make it legal and open the door for more people who were not physically able to handle a regular bow but too honest to cheat for that opportunity?
Crossbows have helped to get both more young people and more physically limited people of both genders into archery hunting, and perhaps into any hunting, with very little impact on the resource. That sounds like wise management of both hunters and wildlife management from my perspective.
I can agree with these thoughts on flintlock. The only thing that I will add is that flintlock hunters should also be allowed to harvest a bear if they have the appropriate tag. The harvest would be minuscule, and I doubt people would be digging under every dead fall looking for denned bears to kill with their flintlocks
I just donít think I could be comfortable letting my dog run during rifle season. Even with orange on and I do hate the two week wait to get back to bird hunting. Maybe some day the use of hounds will come to pa like the do down south thatís something on my bucket list.