Deer Hunters Enjoy Warm Opening Day
Having taken up the sport of hunting three years ago, Cale Harman has had the opportunity to hunt a variety of wildlife indigenous to the commonwealth. From turkeys and squirrels to whitetailed deer, hunting has allowed the 12-year-old McConnellsburg boy to enjoy not only the great outdoors but some quality time alone with his dad.
“This was my first year to hunt for squirrel. I got four,” said Cale, who attends the sixth grade at McConnellsburg Middle School. “I enjoy hunting squirrel the most because you see them a lot more than deer.”
However on Monday”s opener of the concurrent antlered and antlerless rifle season, Cale had the perfect opportunity to not only see some elusive white-tailed deer at the Narrows Gun Club in Knobsville but also to take down his very first deer at 8 a.m. “Pretty excited” at harvesting a six-point, Cale was hunting along side his father, Craig Harman, who quickly posted a photo of the lucky, young hunter on the social-networking Web site Facebook to share the moment with other family members and friends.
Cale went on to note his dad and his Pap, Denny Henry, weren”t as lucky as he was on the opening day, but Henry did spot a bobcat in his travels. Having learned just about everything he knows about hunting from his dad, Cale hopes his dad”s luck improves as the season progresses.
Taking shelter in her dad”s tree stand, 16-year-old Corri Parsons, of Waterfall, also had a successful morning of hunting. Corri, a junior at Forbes Road High School, harvested an eight-point deer at 11 a.m. in the Dublin Mills area.
“At first, I didn”t realize I killed it, then I heard it fall,” she said. Having hunted for the last five years, Corri was proud of her first deer but stated more importantly she and her dad enjoy the time they spend together in their tree stand. She is the daughter of Troy and Sharon Parsons of 4771 North Hess Road.
The family plans on mounting the buck head for display.
Meanwhile, while hunting off Bark Road on Sideling Hill Mountain, Hustontown resident Sierra Miller was also presented with the perfect opportunity to harvest her very first white-tailed deer. Joined by family friend Jamie Wingert, the 14-year-old managed to endure the morning”s wait to take down a six-point buck on state property at around 1:30 p.m.
“This is not only my first buck but my first deer as well,” the daughter of Troy Miller and Mitzi Miller reported. “At the time I thought, “Oh my gosh! I killed my first deer!””
“I shot it right through the heart. I guess my Dad was right. I”m a heartbreaker,” she joked.
Shaine and Kean Goshorn, brothers from Blairs Mills, Pa., had the good fortune of spending the opening day hunting with family in Fulton County. Both young hunters wasted little time harvesting their bucks.
Twelve-year-old Shaine was joined by his uncle Devin Horne, of Hustontown, and shot a sevenpoint around 11:30 a.m. with a 30- 30, that was a gift from his grandfather. The deer was Shaine”s second buck and was harvested in Dublin Township.
Younger brother Kean, 9, took to the woods with his grandfather, Fred Horne, also of Hustontown. After having a slight mishap with a bee, Kean observed a total of four bucks as well as a large black bear on the season opener. His first time deer hunting. Kean harvested a three-point with a 223 in Dublin Township at about 2 p.m.
Shaine and Kean are the sons of Andy and Tasha Goshorn.
Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Kevin Mountz said the stories shared by local youths were not unusual with what he and deputies from Fulton County observed and heard on November 28.
“The majority of hunters we talked to today saw a good number of deer. We checked some really nice bucks ranging from a three-point from a youth hunter to an eight-point,” said Mountz.
The wildlife conservation officer noted the weather was rather warm for the first day, and typically the warmer weather means the less hunters and deer move. Even though no one particular region saw more deer taken than others, Mountz stated the key to hunter success is nothing more than patience and perseverance.
“Ideally most hunters love a good tracking snow, but they”re certainly not going to get it this year looking at the forecast,” he said.
In addition to seeing some nice bucks being pulled out of field and forest, the Game Commission officials also witnessed a variety of infractions, including the typical hunting in a baited area, not wearing the proper amount of fluorescent orange and loaded firearms in a vehicle. Perhaps the most memorable incident Monday for the officers was a nonresident without a license or orange, who was hunting with an AR-15 military assault rifle in the Big Cove Tannery area.
Mountz went on to remind hunters they should be mindful of the Enhanced Penalty Act that was enacted by the state legislature in September 2010. The penalty states the first deer taken over and above the legal limit could result in a fine of between $1,000 and $1,500 and up to 90 days incarceration. Additional deer would be logged as a more strict criminal offense and deemed a misdemeanor or felony.