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Just a simple question? Does harvesting or not harvesting a deer define your season as a hunter?? Are your Fall seasons consumed by chasing whitetails?

My seasons success used to be defined by how many or how big of a buck I took. Not anymore. Sure I love venison and usually I'm able to fill the freezer but as a whole it doesn't make or break my season. As I grow older, perspective changes. I get more enjoyment out of mentoring my kids and seeing them harvest game than I do myself. one on one time is priceless!!

On top of that we have so many additional opportunities that deer season is becoming just another phase of the year round hunting. Predator hunting, for anyone who hasn't tried, has given me a new found addiction. the first time I had a pair of yotes barreling up a logging road made my knees shake as much as any buck ever has!! Spring turkey comes in a close second in adrenaline rushes!!

I guess what I'm getting at is this, deer hunting is changing in this state, we all see that. But with so many other outdoor activities to pursue, no longer does my success hinge upon deer season. Go back to the basics for a bit. Take an afternoon and hunt squirrels, or chase bunnies, its amazing what is can do to brighten a season.
 

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Great post BONZy!! I am a hunter. I hunt whatever is in season and enjoy the heck out if it. I love to hunt bear and deer but small game is my thing, maybe I am more satisfied with current deer hunting because when I started the deer herd was closer to what is today than in the 90's and we didn't see deer everywhere. maybe it is because I have spent 20 years bear hunting and seen 2 in season? As for getting youngsters interested, there is nothing like a pack of beagles putting it to mr bunny to get a group of kids fired up. I think kids overall would be better served to start hunting squirrels rabbits and birds before deer, like we did when I was coming up. You wouldn't take a first timer to fly fish for native trout on a small mountain stream we take them for sunnies and catfish at the pond...We have such great opportunities in this state besides deer that it breaks my heart when I see all the complaining all the time.
 

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It always will be deer in PA

-Deer are plentiful and visible year round.
-ANYBODY can hunt deer in PA the first two days or first Saturday. It is not hard. It takes little skill, investment, or practice.
-You get lots of meat off a deer. Yeah, I get a fall turkey most years. How many meals do I get from the turkey?
-Rabbit hunting certainly is more fun than deer hunting, if you have dogs. How many people can own a pack of beagles? I get to hunt rabbits over dogs maybe once every two yrs. If I could swing it, I would get my own dogs. Not realistic with my life situation.
-Bears yeah, its fun too. I have seen two bears running full speed for two seconds in 13 yrs of bear hunting.

It always will be deer for the general masses. The other stuff is too hard, or takes time/$$$ invested.
 

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My year revolves around deer. I enjoy hunting all game but everything else is just filler for me.
 

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No. I look at the big picture, turkey, grouse, etc. As I get older I'm just glad to be able to be out there hunting as often as I can. I will admit when I get my game it is a "better" season.
 

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Davy Crockett said:
No. I look at the big picture, turkey, grouse, etc. As I get older I'm just glad to be able to be out there hunting as often as I can. I will admit when I get my game it is a "better" season.
Totally agree, hunting when i was 12 and now at 66, as we get older we tend to look at aspects of life differently. As davy said harvesting what your hunting for is good, but doesn't make a successful hunt or day afield.
There have been many hunts, where i didn't kill anything, but what i saw or expeienced made the day.
 

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Not necessarily if i see some and have any decent shot or chance to kill them then that is fine. But deer makes the season so much better to look forward to.
 

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Even though I'm still pretty young, I think I'm slowly starting to get more enjoyment out of my friends/family getting big deer than myself. When my brothers come down to hunt with me in 2A, I can't help but feel super anxious for them to get a good deer. This year we were 1 for 2 on getting a buck, but late season is just around the corner!
 

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I have hunted for 50+ years and filling my tag has been on the bottom of the list for a long long time.

I guess it is just part of the curve, I have looked back at my early days hunting, the gotta get the limit days, then the gotta get the big one LOL then I got into muzzy hunting. I had a ball.

Then my kids came along, we were blessed to have my Dad be there for all of us. I watched him put the kids first, He was in his glory when one of his Grandkids scored. I guess the nut doesn't fall far from the tree because I'm following in his footsteps.

Am I still sleepless the night before deer season, Yep, but it is worrying about giving my Son and my Granddaughter the best opportunity to fill their tags.

I spend a lot of time teaching Hunter Safety, it is my way of paying back all those who took the time to teach me about the great outdoors, especially my Dad.

So a successful season to me is a dozen or so class rooms full of kids eager to learn about the outdoors and a Son and Granddaughter with smiles on their faces after a long days hunt.
 

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Yes, the older one gets the more one's perspective changes, no doubt about it.

Deer is all I hunt now, but I do enough of it that I no longer miss hunting other game.

I'd love to try predator hunting though. I've read hundreds of posts on it and it sure sounds like it would be a rush.
 

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Deer hunting is #1 for me, but it doesn't define my season. I enjoy small game along with turkey. I don't do as much small game as I use to, but that's because I don't have a good hunting dog any more, we have one dog and that's enough.
I will say that whenever I'm hunting or whatever I'm hunting I'm always looking for deer signs.
 

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I love it all. Yesterday spent the day running rabbits with a couple beagles and my son, brother and nephew. Gorgeous day lots of laughs and memories. There is just something in my DNA that I want to be outside hunting. The older I get the more it is about getting out, clearing my head and enjoying nature and family and friends. I've been doing it for more than 40 yrs but I still get that rush when that deer or turkey is approaching. I really enjoyed squirrel hunting with the .22s this year. You tend to forget how much fun that is. Bow deer and spring gobbler are hard to beat but it is definitely a lot more than just deer.
 

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My season is not dependent on deer hunting. I enjoy being in the woods and sport more than bagging game. Small game, turkey, bear, deer, waterfowl, it really doesn't matter. A successful season is one where I can get out and hunt a bunch of different game.
 

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BONZy said:
But with so many other outdoor activities to pursue, no longer does my success hinge upon deer season. Go back to the basics for a bit. Take an afternoon and hunt squirrels, or chase bunnies, its amazing what is can do to brighten a season.
Great Post Bonzy!!! I agree that deer hunting doesn't define my season. I enjoy hunting alot of different species. It is funny that you mention squirrel hunting. Even though I small game hunted alot, I hadn't squirrel hunted in years until my son started hunting. I forgot how much fun that squirrel hunting can be.
 

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simply put yes it does I have to get at least one deer it consumes me and I am not afraid to say it...... as my son is now hunting I am consumed helping him to fill his tag so now I get twice the fun!!!!
 

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I'm going to say no, that it doesn't define me as a hunter, with maybe the exception of hunting during the last three weeks of archery. I just love it and enjoy it more than any other type of hunting I do. I used to hunt the big woods for grouse more when I was younger and I'm hoping to start that back up again.

It's funny though, at this point in my life I'm just as content to be in the woods with a camera as I am with a gun or bow.
 

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Deer hunting does not define my season. Probably because I cannot remember the last year I didn't get at least one if not several. My favorite season of all is fall turkey and that defines my season more thananything followed closely by bear season. I also do some small game hunting so I enjoy all of it. The older I get the more I enjoy just spending time with family and friends.
 

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I just love being in the mountains of Pa and WV, walking hunting, enjoying friendships, could be just as happy if I didnt even purchase a license....but I still buy one since 1969.....
 

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I understand being consumed by deer hunting. Right now for me it is my #1 thing to do also. I do try to take some time-outs from it to do other things especially the 2nd season of small game. You guys and girls may want to look in the book because squirrel and rabbit stay in until late Feb sometime. That is long after deer seasons are done. Some of my excursions in these late seasons are also scouting/shed hunting trips for deer as well.
 

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I love being in the woods. I love hiking, scouting, and hunting. When I am in the woods, I am always thinking about deer. I don't take a hike on a Sunday and think "boy this will make a great squirrel ambush spot." Deer are on my mind every waking hour of the day. That being said, I might take the .22 for a hike for squirrels with some buddies, but we still are wishing it was deer season.
 
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