Time spent at camp now vs. then - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Time spent at camp now vs. then

Spent the weekend at my cabin west of Galeton Potter co. and came home to York co. down rt44 what we call the long way home and seeing all the old "land mark" restaurants ,motels, small stores closed like Ox Yoke,Potato city inn,Sylvania restaurant , General store in Gaines looked open but had a for sale sign, Waldheim, store at carter camp ,Mt.top bar by fin fur feather is for sale , I saw McConnells store in Waterville had a sign saying under new ownership. So my question is to the older guys that went to the northern tier during its "hayday" How many days a year did the average camp members go north to be able to support all of these places but can't survive now ? I'm 45 and I remember as a little kid my dad would go to camp for a week of "buck" hunting and then a long weekend of mandatory work weekend and then 1 week of family vacation .I would have thought with the better high ways now cutting travel time down and all of the other outdoor things besides hunting and fishing ,ex. cherry springs star watch,atv trails,,kayaking,leaf watchers . That the modern day outdoors people not necessarily hunters would be spending more time and money there then 30-50yes ago. I know people are going to say lack of deer but could 2 weeks of buck season and 3 days of doe hunting put enough money in these peoples pockets for them to survive ? We have 6 weeks of Archery now How many weeks was it then 2-3? (not sure on that) Early muzzleloader,Jr and senior doe weekend seems like there should be a ton more money flowing up there now then the "old days" with a lot of single income households and the lady folk not invited to camps during hunting seasons.Just wandering if you spent more days at camp then or now.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 10:43 PM
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I believe it is the sign of the times with people being more busier in their lives ,and higher prices for food ,restaurants ,taxes, gas people don't have the time to go up like they use to years ago, which is a shame because a lot of these businesses are landmarks for being around so long. hope it turns around and some are able to rebound and survive
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 10:47 PM
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It's not just camp areas. It's all over. Small businesses anywhere just can't compete with the Amazons and Walmart Supercenters of the world. Even in the heyday of things, people going to their camps helped businesses in those areas, but I don't think they ever carried them to the point where it kept them afloat. Times have just changed in the way that people do things.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 11:23 PM
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Many factors:

Society: Globalization. Urbanization/suburbanization. The changing dynamics of family and community. Changes in interpersonal communication.

Hunting: Boom and bust cycles, largely related to timber management and mismanagement. Trend towards less hunters spending more time afield, and most of that time close to home.

I agree that the "camp culture" of my grandfathers' generation has changed and the above factors are about the best I can boil it down. Comparatively in my estimation, I attribute the decline about 1,000x more to the societal factors than anything that has to do with hunting.

Either way, it's just the facts and circumstances. Businesses in Appalachia that were once marketable, and now aren't...well they can blame the changing times til the cows come home, but it ain't going to put cash under the mattress or in their paypal accounts.. America was founded on free market principles. The economic winners will find a way without any outside assistance.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 12:10 AM
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Many of those businesses never were the gold mines many thought they were. They were businesses that managed to hold on through the year depending on that one big shot in the arm each year at buck season that kept them going. Those two weeks of buck season could make up 20% or more (much more) of their entire yearly income. Take away most of that 20% or more from an income that lets you just barely get by, and it becomes impossible to get by.

Back in the day many parts of PA had low deer numbers, so everybody came up north to deer hunt where the deer were plentiful. That's no longer the case, many places in PA now have more deer than northern PA, so the people stopped coming.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 08:44 AM
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Consider that back in those days, the state was basically a manufacturing economy with a vast majority of its workers working on an unwavering shift (Monday through Friday, wither first, second, or third shift). Everyone had a regimented schedule and took regimented vacation time Now, manufacturing jobs are not common and those that work M-F only even less so. Partly because of this, you wont have the huge migration of hunters swamping the north like it used to be, even if the deer populations were high.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 09:13 AM
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I grew up in DuBois in the 60's. Downtown on a Friday night was the place to be. Two movie theaters and the stores were all open late. I bought my first trap in what I think was Long's hardware and my bike at I think Western Auto. Day after Thanksgiving you had to cross the street at a stop light downtown because of the never ending parade of deer hunters heading north. Two big railroad yards and manufacturing jobs every where. Sad not the same today. A shadow of what the town use to be.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 09:32 AM
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I see the same thing happening and I don't know what all causes this but I can tell you what the owner of a hotel near Marienville and the past owner of a small grocery store in the same area told me. They both told me (conversations took place years apart) that when we had bear season, two weeks of buck, three days of doe, and trout weekends they made a huge part of their income in those seasons. Now we have half the hunters in the area for the buck season, doe season running concurrent with buck season and little in the way of small game hunters. That's what they told me.
What I can ad is I remember what buck and doe season was like in the ANF back in the 70ies, 80ies, and into the 90ies. It was a zoo. Every restaurant and bar packed, every hotel and camp jammed full. It was a beer distributors dream. I can remember waiting in line at a phone booth in Marienville to call my mom. The first day of buck season comes and goes without much notice now.

Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncool View Post
Many of those businesses never were the gold mines many thought they were. They were businesses that managed to hold on through the year depending on that one big shot in the arm each year at buck season that kept them going. Those two weeks of buck season could make up 20% or more (much more) of their entire yearly income. Take away most of that 20% or more from an income that lets you just barely get by, and it becomes impossible to get by.
As the owner of a small business myself, I agree with this. One or two really good weeks can make your year. One or two weeks you were counting on that end up falling flat can break your year.
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Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf.

"When a pine needle falls in the forest, the eagle sees it, the deer hears it, and the bear smells it."
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 10:03 AM
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I remember how heavy the traffic on Rt. 15 N in northern Lycoming and Tioga counties would be the few days after Thanksgiving. All the vehicles packed with orange hat wearing occupants. Every little mom n' pop motel was packed, restaurants and general stores humming. Most of the motels had game poles for the hunters to hang their deer. One time an area motel had several deer stolen overnight. One negative of this era was that I know for a fact there were several area residents that lined their pockets by selling bucks to hunters from down state. This practice was fairly common back in the day and some locals welcomed the opportunity.

The following week you would see every other vehicle going down the road with a buck or two strapped to the back or on the roof. I often wondered how good some of that venison was after hanging for almost a week with the hide on and then being transported a couple of hundred miles being exposed to road grime. A little gamey I bet.
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