55 years and what iv'e seen . - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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55 years and what iv'e seen .

I have seen lots of deer,when i started to hunt,in 1958. It more or less stayed that way for a long time.Iv'e seen the PGC say the deer herd was not big enough to have a doe season and a few times there were no doe license issued,in a lot of counties?
I saw the PGC hire on a Biologist to fix our deer hearad ? He says we have too many deer we must thin them out? We believe him and they put out a massive amount of doe tags!
Well,me included,get as many tags as could be had! I think i had 2 then,but my sons and the men that hunted with us, maybe 10 more. I guess it was greed,we didn't need the meat. It was fun but we stopped at 4 deer,for my family.It got costly have them processed!
From then on,i seen less and less deer and it still isn't, nor ever will be, as it was when i started to hunt and the many years before we had a guy in the PGC say we had too many?It was said,if we thin them out they will be a lot healthier????
And now,we have a smaller heard and they are sick with CWD, and ,in my humble opinion,not worth the risk of shooting! It must not be, or the regulations on getting rid of the brains.hide and spine,would not be so hard to get rid of?
I have seen the number of hunters,even before the doe slaughter,drop a vast amount from 20 or 30 years ago, or less? IMHO,this CWD will cause more to give up?
I recall when Bears were rare.
Turkeys were hard to find but rabbits and squirrels,grouse and Ring necks were easy to find !
I remember going to SEARS and getting a new shot gun on my credit card ?
Trying to find a parking spot,for the first day of any season,be it rabbit or deer!
Never having a problem trying to get some one to go hunting.
Having to decide which farm to go to hunt on,as 99% of the farmers left you their land.
My Beagle being so tired,from running rabbits and Ring necks,i had to put her in the truck!
Running out of shotgun shells from missing so many birds and rabbits from jump shooting!
My new father-in-law,shooting his first buck,in 30 years of hunting. He was shaking he was so over joyed!
Iv'e stood beside my youngest son,when he was 12 and watched him shoot his first deer! Wow,that was 26 years ago!
My oldest son,getting a Buck,with a stick bow,35 years ago.
Hills i hunted now being like mountains to get up,from being a little older than when they were just hills?
My sons being close by,now i live 150 miles from them.
My oldest son and hunting buddy,going to the service. Lost him for 4 years!
Well,i guess that's enough for now? Don't want to bore you people with my thoughts.



WILLY P
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 10:44 AM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

Time marches on! Things change not always for the better and things that we have held dear to us fade away. I think we have definitely have seen the best years of Pa hunting go by the wayside. We have also seen the best years of this country that will never return.
Best thing you can do is go out and enjoy what is left. Get together with your family and do what you can with them. Hunting used to be much more fun, that is why we keep losing hunters from the ranks.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 11:32 AM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

Hunting is what you make of it, things change so need to adapt.I have been hunting as long as you and it has never been better for deer/bear. Small game another story. Habitat changes species populations change. Around here we never drank the cool aid,doe tags went up,posters went up and by that time most of us had lost interest in shooting doe.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 12:39 PM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

I too started hunting in 1958, but not until 1960 for deer (dad's rule).

Different deal there on deer though, as there were almost no deer at all where I started hunting them in 1960. We went miles down the valley to see just a few deer. I still hunt closer to where there were few deer in 1960. Our camp land (since 1970) was part of an uncle's dairy farm and that's where I have seen deer numbers grow.

Deer numbers increased there and by 1972, killed my first one, not far from where camp is now. By 2000, deer were far too numerous there (and many other places).

PGC didn't "hire" a biologist to deal with increasing deer numbers, they just handed that task to Dr. Alt, who had been responsible for increasing our bear population, from the mid 70s when we had no bear seasons, to plenty of bears. Too many now, in my opinion.

Yep, things have changed. What were once good pheasant habitats, became shopping malls and housing developments. Farming practices today, no longer support pheasants and rabbits, like they did fifty years ago.

The generations that mentored us in our youth and got us into hunting - WWII and Korean War age folks - are gone now. My generation is now in their 60s and early 70s, so many of us are dropping out of the hunting ranks.

And for various reasons, we didn't bring our kids and grandkids into the hunting ranks at a great enough rate to keep things heading in the right direction.

More nice bucks around now, than at any time in the 55+ years I have been hunting them. Deer have come back in some places after HR, not so good in other places.

Considering that deer were never equally distributed around the state, so be it. Now we have more deer here in the southern counties than we did 30 years ago and fewer deer in some of the northern counties, where people once went to hunt them - because that's where the deer were back then.

Yep, things have changed since I started hunting. Only complaint I have, is that my feets and knees no longer permit me to range far and wide these days. Can't blame that on anyone, I just got old somehow?


Some folks' learnin' curves just look like circles...3A Camp/also hunt 4B
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 02:08 PM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

I've only seen 35 years of change but I like what I see for the most part.I grew up in a rural area that had a huge hunting heritage and historically good hunting.The rabbit and grouse hunting was good and we had plenty of deer.However,getting a doe tag wasn't always a guarantee and once you killed a deer,you were done.We had lots of easy targets running around but the chance of seeing something really nice was rare.In 1987 my older brother killed a nice even 18" 8 point.Word spread and we had people stopping by all night to check it out.Today we have less deer but the hunting is far better than I ever remember it.The chance of killing a decent buck has never been better.I'm not a trophy hunter but I still rountinely pass on bucks that I would have mounted 30 years ago.I see habitat that's starting to recover nicely and I see bigger healthier deer as a result.My kid has killed more deer and turkeys at 10 years old than I did by the time I was in my mid to late 20's.I do miss the allure of how important hunting season was and how easy it was to get permission to hunt private property.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 02:33 PM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

I started hunting in 1981. There were definitely too many deer back then. And very few nice bucks. If you got a spike, you were in the local paper.

I think HR went too far in some places. But, where we are in 3B, there seems to be a healthy balance between the deer numbers and the habitat. I often wish I saw more deer, but do like seeing a healthier deer herd and forest.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 03:02 PM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

Not to mention,most of us were stump sitters back then.Find a decent place where you can see and the crowds of people would eventually push something past.Those days are long gone in this part of the state.Today it takes a little more knowledge of deer and the habitat and little bit different set of skills.I would like to go back and experience the excitement of opening day with my Father and Brother once again but the quality of the actual hunt is far better today than it used to be.Not to mention,the turkey hunting is world class.I think I was 25 before I killed my first spring gobbler and that was the first one I ever called in.This past year I called 36 into shotgun range and never ran into another turkey hunter.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 03:26 PM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

I started hunting at a club my dad belonged to. There were cabins with clubs all over the place there. So, there would be people everywhere, putting on drives. The deer got bunched up and run from one property to the next.

I remember seeing groups of 50 deer in buck season. But, in spring turkey, we might see one a day. So a lot of seeing all those deer had to do with them being bunch up and run around all day.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-01-2016, 04:26 PM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

15-20 years ago we still has some serious driving going on in the area around camp. Usually a few drives on the first day or two, then again on the first Saturday. These were deals with maybe a dozen or more guys driving and lots of watchers.

Now it's a notable thing if more than a few small drives take place in firearms season. Some ground that was always driven, changed hands and is now posted. Several of the "ol' boys" that once participated, are too old to hunt, or have passed away.

Many of the kids that once took part back then, have gotten married and moved away for work. Some come back for deer seasons, most don't. For all of those reasons, little driving is done now.

However, on the last day of the 2014 season, with snow cover and a bit more participation than usual, some drives happened and there were deer running around everywhere again. More than one of the local folks commented that they wondered "where all the deer came from".

Well, those deer were there all along, just needed some encouragement to run around again.



Side note: There are some incredible bucks this year in "my" part of 3A and lots of 'em. I'll likely just see a few four pointers, as usual?


Some folks' learnin' curves just look like circles...3A Camp/also hunt 4B
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2016, 11:20 AM
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Re: 55 years and what iv'e seen .

The only thing constant in life is change. One must learn and adapt to the changes........

An archer shoots his targets as far as he can. A bowhunter shoots his target as close as possible.

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