12.02.2008

Hunting season with the Hines!!

Hunting - A real sport.

For those of you who are not familiar with the tradition of hunting, more specifically whitetail deer hunting, this post might be very interesting or possibly disturbing to you.

I come from the state of Pennsylvania where there are around 1,000,000 (one million) registered hunters (that number is a the best estimate, next survey is in 2010). And there were plenty of reports of the numbers going up this year because of it being a relatively cheap way to fill the freezer with meat for the winter during these tough economic times.

According to that number, if all of the PA hunters were to assemble in an organized "military" unit, versus the active personnel numbers on Wikipedia, it would be the 4th or 5th largest military in the world. Intense.

So needless to say, its a strong tradition for suburban to rural families in the state of PA. Including mine!

The hunting (whitetail deer) season starts on the Monday after Thanksgiving every year and lasts for two weeks. That day is basically a state holiday, kids off school, and lots of people off work.

This year dad, brother, and sister went out on my uncle's farm, about 300 acres, in Susquehanna county (Northeast PA or NEPA).

Kevin got a spike (allowed on a junior license) at around 6:45 AM. He said it looked like a tree at first, granted it was still semi-dark at the time. He was using a 30-30 with a mounted scope, I think. (Ignore the date on the picture, and let that be a reminder to never buy a Kodak digital camera, they're terrible)

Dad got his sometime mid-morning with his .270 I assume, the same gun I shot my first deer with. It's a very nice 9-pointer (would have been a 10 but one was broken off), he said it had ~19-20 inch spread. Of course this one is getting mounted on the living room wall next to his other "big one." That's how we do it in PA. (Pardon the goofy expression....haha)

Hopefully Meg can get one when she goes out again on Friday like she plans. Dad and Kevin can each tag a doe too since they all got doe tags this year. Essentially my family can harvest 6 deer this year. I wish I could contribute to that but some people feel grad school is more important to attend....pshh. Its been 5 years since I went out in the woods to hunt....I'm going through some serious withdrawal. I can't wait to go home for winter break to some deer meat!!

Since this blog tends to lean towards the controversial side let this post be an opening to some hunting/anti-hunting discussion. Fair warning, if you defend PETA in anyway you automatically lose.

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5 comments:

David Allen Acker said...

Kevin and I were talking about hunting last week when we went to my parents house to watch the Packers play while we ate way too much food and drank a bit.

We decided that neither of us would ever go hunting. I killed a squirrel with a pellet gun once and felt like an ass.

Then again we didn't cook it up and use the meat, I just shot it to death and left it in the woods... what a waste.

We also thought that it was neat to see how hunting has remained a human activity since our existence.

The activity might seem archaic at first glance, but the weaponry and advanced technology is pretty cool to think about.

Although it does give the animal being hunted a huge disadvantage... but whoever said life had to be fair?

BANG BANG! errr... cough

David Allen Acker said...

moral of the story... I'm a pussy

Swordfish said...

From hunter to hunter on this one:

While I enjoy your family's tradition, and come from a family who participates, much the same... I couldn't help but notice the timing of Kevin's "kill."

Each year, hunting hours begin 30 minutes before sunrise, and end 30 minutes after sunrise. In the PA State Game Commission book of rules and regulations that every hunter receives upon purchase of his/her hunting license, these hours and why the are important are discussed.

This year, on Monday December 1, 2008; sunrise was officially at 7:11am. While your brother "officially" squeaks by legally, with his "kill" perhaps he should revisit the PA Rules & Regulations book.

The reason hunters are given 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset to be out, isn't so you have a time cushion to kill deer while it is still dark. It is provided so that hunters can manage themselves appropriately and be set up in tree stands or prepared with space limits and safety precautions if hunting in a group. More importantly the 30 minutes after sunset is used as more of a leniency for hunters who are still tracking a deer, or for hunters who have a significant distance from where they are hunting to get to their cars while still carrying a loaded weapon.

While I hope that this time discrepancy is merely a typo on your end, Kevin (if he is still a junior hunter) should be enlightened of these rules. Not only is it unsafe to shoot while it is not fully lit, but it is illegal.

On a friendly note, congratulations on keeping the PA tradition alive and well. And make sure you pass on a pat on the back for that 8-point your dad shot. That's some good work.


Your Fellow PA Hunter.

CRH said...

This was an estimate told to me via phone call, I'm not sure what the actual time was or what time was written on the tag.

I respect the Rules and Regulations but as you said he did fall into the 30 minute cushion you explained.

He came across it as he was walking to his stand in the morning. Which from my experience is about a 10 minute walk into the woods from where we park the truck.

I don't think you can call this an illegal kill because it violates the "intention" of the 30 minute cushion. When in fact he was on his way to his stand. You expect a 15 year old kid to stand there and wait 15 min with a deer in his sights because there is gray area on the "intention" of a rule, let's not get too picky here.

You and I both know there are a lot worse things going on in the woods than a kill that is borderline "early."

One year we had walkie-talkies in my uncle's house and we picked up a transmission of a hunter saying to another "there are two deer that just went down the hill towards the apples we threw down yesterday." That's like a violation of like 5 rules at once.

This all assuming it was shot at 6:45. I could ask him if you really want exact details down to the minute.

David Allen Acker said...

ooooh this is getting intense!

;)

But seriously, I know nothing about hunting rules and regulations.