Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make! ~Bram Stoker
Let me explain my reasoning for using this quote, which was selected more for my own personal humor. It’s a famous quote, basically showing the correlation between Dracula and wild animals. Bram Stoker was referring to the werewolves. Plus, let’s not forget there’s the underlying theme of Dracula being a hunter. (I think I’m going to add this book to my list of reads.) Everyone knows who, not what, Dracula hunted, although perhaps he too hunted deer in his off time.
Out of shear curiosity, I looked up hunting in Transylvania, and they actually have red, fallow and roebuck deer! A little fun fact. One day, I’d like to take dad to hunt there. I bet it’d be fun.
Anyway, focusing on good old white tail deer, during rifle season in Western Pennsylvania, a few weeks ago, the hunting season began. I wish I had stories to tell from fall turkey, but alas I was really busy with Thrill of the Hunt and prepping to take time off for deer season that I wasn’t able to go. Perhaps, I’ll be able to participate in small game and spring gobbler for the remainder of my 2015 – 2016 hunting license. We’ll see.
Looking back on this entire season, it started off the same with the Hunting Adventures – The Goose Hunt and ended much the same with Pennsylvania deer. How so? Let me explain.
Dad and I went to Cortland, New York, as we do every year for the first day of rifle for deer, which began on Saturday, November 21st, a little over a week before Pennsylvania’s season began. This year, we hunted in a different area, one that clearly showed signs of populated deer. Promising right? You bet! Dad was positioned one side of the woods, while I was on the other end. Prior to hunting on Saturday, a good friend of dad’s who we stayed with, showed us our new hunting spots the day prior. Good to go!
Dad and I each had a buck and a doe tag. How many deer did we get total? Zero. How many deer did we see between the two of us? Nada. Seriously? Yes! By Saturday night, everyone in our group got a buck, but no one saw a single doe. It was the strangest thing, usually the opposite happens. Then, for me and dad to not see a single deer, no one could believe it. Well, it happens.
From what I was told, that area of New York, off the finger lakes, had a really rough winter last year ,and it killed off a bunch of deer. Oh well, I was happy to see everyone else harvested at least one deer. Keep in mind, that was just opening day. Dad and I were going to continue hunting until we filled our tags, or Thanksgiving came first, forcing us home.
Sunday came, and yes you’re allowed to hunt on Sunday’s in New York, but another nothing. No deer sightings at all. Monday. Zip. Tuesday. Zilch. Wednesday. Nada. How many deer did we see? Total between the two of us? That’s a big fat zero. We even moved to different locations throughout the week to increase our chances, but alas no deer. I told Dad and Larry, I suspected the deer intercepted their phone conversations and had us bugged to avoid us. Honestly, I had a great season last year so I can’t complain. It’s a bit disappointing and anticlimactic, but it’s apart of the hunting experience. Sometimes you see deer, sometimes you don’t, sometimes you see a trophy buck, sometimes you don’t even see a buck. We left Wednesday to head home, after trying our luck in the woods again, but to no avail.
On a side note, Larry gave us his doe he shot later in the week. That wasn’t necessary, but very kind of him. Larry felt bad for our lack of adventure, but I don’t think he realized we had fun regardless. Hanging with Dad in the woods is always a nice time. I told Dad, that the deer he gave us to take home felt like a consolation prize. Dad laughed and agreed with me, but was also very appreciative over the gesture.
I’m glad we made it back by Wednesday night, to spend some time with Kyle. I was also able to help mom cook and prep for Thanksgiving dinner, which Kyle joined us.
After a short hiatus, the first day of buck in Pennsylvania began on Monday, November 30th. Dad and I were both really excited, thinking our luck was going to change. Unlike New York, we were only allowed to shoot buck on Monday, three points or better. The night before, I was joking with Dad saying, I forgot what a deer looks like in the woods. Dad began to tease me and tell friends and family that I was the reason we didn’t see any deer. We were both giggling over our New York experience, and we were ready to bring home some deer meat.
By eight or nine in the morning, I saw a few doe. To be honest, it was nice just seeing the deer, however no horns. At the end of the day when dad pulled the quad up to my stand to pick me up, neither of us had anything to drag out. Dad didn’t see anything! He was happy to hear I saw about thirteen doe, although I’m not sure if they were all different, or the same group running around. Still, good sign.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hunt on the first day of doe, that Saturday, but dad did. He went into my tree stand and harvested a doe in the morning. Yeah! Finally something for our efforts.
I hunted sporadically with dad the rest of the season, again at different locations. Can you believe we never saw a single deer? Not one deer after Dad got his doe! On the last day of deer season, Saturday, December 12th, which happened to be my birthday, and Mom and Dad’s 64th wedding anniversary, we never saw a deer. This time we were hunting in Stahlstown. We even had guys pushing for us, but nothing, not even an almost sighting, or a waving tail.
I didn’t realize our goose hunt started a trend we couldn’t shake the entire deer season, from New York to Pennsylvania. The season might have been a bust with respect to harvesting deer meat, but to be honest, I had a great time with Dad. It’s funny, when we came home on Saturday, Dad made the exact same comment about having fun even though no one took a single shot. Like me, Dad loves being in the woods, walking around, and being removed from the hustle and bustle of life. Sure, it’s always nice to accomplish your goal of filling the deer tags, but it’s also about the experience and spending time together.
I’m sure in years to come, we’ll talk about this adventure. I hope so, for it’s a great memory! The only thing missing was Kyle.