By: Lydia Larson
As the days start to get colder and shorter, most people are not thrilled about the changes in weather, but, for deer hunters, the fun is just getting started. Rifle season this year started on November 27 and finished on December 11. Normally, for the first week of the season, you can only harvest a deer with antlers but, this year, however, you were able to harvest an antlerless deer. Rifle season around Eisenhower is very popular, so The Squire interviewed Jake Venman, a senior at EHS, to get his insight on this year’s season.
Before the season begins, many hunters will put up trail cameras and set up stands to prepare. We asked Venman what he does to prepare, and he shared that he also sets out trail cameras and hangs ladder stands in trees, as well as running food plots. Different food plots you may be successful with are corn, clover, beets, radishes, and oats. Many hunters take different approaches when it comes to how they hunt in the field. Venman told The Squire that he, “Normally starts out sitting and waiting in a tree stand but if nothing is moving then we perform a deer drive.” A deer drive is a strategy in which some hunters are posted along the boundaries of a specified piece of land, where it is legal to move through the section, pushing deer ahead and to the sides to more hunters. Whatever approach you take should reflect on the area you are in and how the deer are moving around.
People get into hunting for many different reasons. Most start hunting because it is in their family and that was the case with Venman. He shared with The Squire that his dad and older brothers always hunted, so he just naturally followed in their footsteps. Venman was successful this season; he harvested a doe during archery and an 8-point buck on the opening day in rifle. The rule for harvesting bucks varies in different parts of Pennsylvania. For adult and senior licenses, there must be “three-up” on one side, not counting a brow tine, for the western Wildlife Management Units of 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, and 2D, and three points on one side in all other WMUs.
Rifle hunting requires many different tools and equipment. Typically, you will need camo clothing, an orange hat and vest, grunt calls, a doe bleat, and whatever else you feel is necessary. We asked Venman what he usually brings with him, and he explained, “For rifle I take whatever calls I think may work, extra gloves and hand warmers, food, my rifle, and any tools I may need (knife etc.).” If you are looking for any hunting equipment, some places to shop are Dunhams, Tall Tales, Penn Wild Outdoors, Walmart, and Runnings.
Whether you are new to hunting or have been hunting for many years, you can always gain more knowledge and advice. Venman gives the advice to, “Go hunting with people who are die hard hunters and are normally successful. You can learn so much just by watching someone else hunt.” The Squire wishes the best of luck to all hunters!