Preparing for the Hunt

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TAMAQUA -- Monday is the start of deer season.

Hunters across our area will head into the woods before daybreak.

Sunday was a busy day for outdoorsmen throughout our area, and in the Pottsville Area plenty of hunters were making sure all the details were in place.

Hunters took a few last minute practice shots at a shooting range just outside of Mahanoy City in Schuylkill County. With the opening day of rifle deer season, comes some much needed time away from the daily grind for many local outdoorsmen.

“Depends on work, I go out the first two days and the last two days, and if I can get out in between there then I will,” said Josh Drey of Cressona.

At Ed's Sports Shop in downtown Tamaqua, there was a steady flow of customers coming through the doors.  The store, which is normally closed on Sunday, opened its doors for extended hours, all in preparation for the opening day of buck season.

“Watch your shot, see what is behind your shot, not just look at the deer. That is the biggest thing. I really feel Pennsylvania is probably one of the safest states out there,” said Ed Kennedy of Ed’s Sports Shop.

Kennedy also said that gun sales have nearly doubled compared to this time last year, which means hunters can expect a good turnout for opening day.

“It's in the blood of the people around here. They treat guns and fire arms here almost like a tool rather than just to say 'I have guns.' They hunt with them, they use them, they collect them,” said Kennedy.

This year is a special one for Edward Zukovich and his father Richard from Hometown.  The father-son team will enjoy their very first year of hunting together starting on opening day.

“We've set up a hunting stand for me to sit in, and we have been looking around the area. We found some deer tracks and a deer rub,” said Edward.

Richard said, he's happy to see his son carry on a family tradition.

“I think it's great that they are letting the kids today start this early, not only just for safety purposes, but it keeps them busy!” said Richard.

Rifle deer season runs for about two weeks in Pennsylvania.