Tomorrow is the first day of deer hunting season for regular firearms. Bow and arrow season began on September 17 and continues to January 17. Specialty firearms and flintlocks each have their own season also. If you are a hunter, Pennsylvania is a paradise for you during those seasons, with all the public lands, camps in the woods, and so on. It is an old and continuing tradition to go hunting the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Here’s a hunting tale told by Joan Foster Mink Fiesler. She was widowed by her first husband Russell Mink but kept in close touch with his son Ken and family. (By the way, she was the genealogist for the Historical Society for many years. In fact, she received a great deal of recognition for her fine work in genealogy.)
So, here in Joan’s words is THE DEER HUNT.
Saturday morning, November 4th, 2006, Joan and Dave headed for Ken’s house to take care of the boys while Ken and Madeline went to a church meeting. When they puled into the driveway Madeline came out of the house excited about a deer that was in the field along the edge of their property, about 150 yards from the back of the house. She had gone out to burn papers, feed the chickens and saw it n the field. Ken was out archery hunting in the woods behind the house. He worked his way back to the house along the tree line and walked past the deer that was lying down in the field. The deer never moved. Ken walked out to the road and came back to the house, unaware of the deer. He went downstairs and changed his clothes so that he could go to the meeting.
When he came upstairs, we all told hi excitedly about the buck, we could see that it had a big rack, it was resting, and we could see that it was relaxed. Ken put his gear back on and went out to the road and down the tree line. Two of the neighbors ‘Labradors came out barking at him and followed him to the back of their property. Two snowmobilers came by and stopped to talk to him. The buck never moved, he seemed unaware of them. For the next hour we were in the kitchen with binoculars watching Ken inch his way down the tree line. Finally he got close enough, wasn’t sure if he was 20 or 40 yards away from the buck. He could not see it from where he was. We could see everything!
Ken moved closer, the buck and a doe stood up. Ken pulled back on the bow and shot. The buck moved about 50 feet away, stood and then went down. The doe ran off. He went to the deer and gave us the victory sign. We all ran into the garage and put boots on and went to the field to where the buck was down. It was a beautiful 10 point. Ken said it was the largest rack he has ever brought down in Pennsylvania.
Needless to say, they missed their meeting at church. It as an exciting hunt for everyone to watch.
(Note from the Historical Society: Not every hunt goes like this. Some hunters come home without their bucks. Sometimes, all that really matters is the excitement of the hunt, or the camaraderie of the hunters as they gather at their camps and share stories of past hunts.)