2012-11-21 / Front Page

Deer Hunters Ready For Monday Opener

Deer decoy to be used as road hunting complaints emerge
Chanin Rotz-Mountz
Sportsmen will be heading to field and forest Monday to catch a glimpse of and hopefully fire off a shot at the elusive whitetail that will be in season for the statewide two-week rifle season.

Sportsmen will be heading to field and forest Monday to catch a glimpse of and hopefully fire off a shot at the elusive whitetail that will be in season for the statewide two-week rifle season.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Kevin Mountz, who covers Fulton County as well as portions of bordering counties, is predicting local hunters should have a successful season as long as they’ve done their homework and are willing to get a head start in the early morning hours.

“All you have to do is travel the roads of Fulton County at nighttime to know there’s no shortage of deer here,” Mountz told the “News.” “Since the start of the rut in early November, bucks have been on the prowl looking for does to breed with. During this time, they’re definitely more noticeable to the public.”

Mountz said he has heard many reports from hunters and community members about large antlered deer sightings. However, the key to having a successful hunt will no doubt hinge upon a hunter’s ability to locate a good source of wildlife food.

“There is an extraordinary acorn crop in the mountains, which should tend to keep a large amount of deer in the woodlands. However, with the recent corn harvest by area farmers, lots of deer will be visiting the corn stubble at nighttime,” he stated.

“The early morning hours will be a good time to see deer movement between cornfields and the woods,” he added.

Hunters should be mindful of several issues when heading out for the November 26 season opener, though. For example, licenses do not need to be prominently displayed but still must be carried on the person. In addition, hunters must always remember to wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest and back at all times.

Mountz said area hunters should also keep a close eye on their movements in the woods and how it relates to the two wildlife management units that divide Fulton County. Hunters in management unit 4A are able to hunt both antlered and antlerless deer throughout the two-week season. Meanwhile, unit 4B, which covers areas east of Route 522 and north of U.S. 30, only offers buck hunting between November 26 and November 30. The remainder of the season that ends December 8 allows hunters to harvest both antlered and antlerless whitetails.

Given that road hunting is the number-one complaint here, Game Commission officials are slated to use their deer decoy at various locations in the county as calls begin to come in regarding the infraction. “There are serious concerns about having a loaded firearm in a vehicle,” said Mountz, who noted the violation can carry a fine of up to $500.

Hunters encountering mistake kills or unfit deer are asked to immediately contact the Game Commission’s Southcentral Regional Office in Huntingdon at 814-643-1831.

General hunting licenses can still be purchased locally at several places including at Dott Village Store, Buchanan Trail Sporters, Keller’s Country Store and the county treasurer’s office.

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