As we slip into the second week of deer camp, many hunters have been
experiencing success. Most hunters keep the game on the up and up,
preferring the camaraderie of the hunt over the actual kill.
Some people, however, and I hesitate to call them hunters, take the
need to kill a deer beyond reasonable limits. No deer should be so
important that hunters end up in a physical battle over it. Such was the
case in archery season when two men fought with broadhead tipped arrows
over a deer, with both ending up in the hospital.
More recently, during the first week of the firearms season, a man
threatened another with a loaded rifle in order to take possession of a
deer that had been killed. These sort of happenings reflect poorly on
those of us who consider ourselves "sportsmen" and "hunters."
Others are taking steps to ensure that they get to kill a deer (or
bear), stopping at nothing to make that happen. Take for instance, the
increased number of calls coming into the regional offices of the Game
Commission concerning bating. It is against the law in Pennsylvania to
use bait of any kind when hunting deer or black bear, and one cannot
even use attracting scents when hunting black bears.
Yet some are so desperate to get that deer or bear that they resort
to using bait in order to lure game to their location for the kill. To
me, that is a crime against all other hunters, as the bait pile lures
game away from those who are not using it, choosing rather to follow the
Next we have the snipers. These are not hunters out in the woods
freezing their fingers and toes off waiting for a deer, but rather gun
toting poachers who choose to ride around the back roads in their
sniping deer from the warmth of their vehicle, which is, of course,
A hunter must be at least 25 yards from the traveled portion of a
road to be in compliance, and this does not take into account
trespassing. Other snipers are taking deer from the windows and doors of
their homes and cabins as the deer visit the bread pile out back. This
is not "hunting" and I fear the general public does not see the
difference. This is poaching and stealing; it is a crime.
Lastly, we have the safety zone violators. A safety zone is defined
as an area within 150 yards of any occupied residence, camp, commercial
or industrial building, farm house or building or school or playground.
One cannot hunt in a safety zone without the owner's permission. Even
walking through a safety zone with a loaded firearm is against the law.
Having permission to sit on a tiny piece of property while attempting to
shoot deer on an adjoining property is not legal and certainly not
There is a difference between a "hunter" and a game hog.
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