SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY — Tuesday was the first day of rifle deer season in Pennsylvania. Hundreds of thousands of hunters invaded the woods across the state.
In many areas, this day is a big part of the culture, one that families look forward to all year.
The photos are taken and another fresh round of deer stories has begun. Whether it’s a first deer, a tough shot, or just a successful day in the woods, the first day of rifle deer season means a lot of memories, even if the big one got away.
“Had an easy shot at a nice eight-point and hit it low and tracked it for an hour and ran it out to someone else and they shot one,” said Dave Rockwell of Susquehanna.
Rockwell didn’t get that eight-point beauty, but did get a great day in the woods with his daughter.
“It’s wonderful, beautiful, nice warm weather, snow. You can see far through the woods so it’s an enjoyable day for hunting.”
In many parts of Susquehanna County, there was snow still on the ground, making it easier for hunters to look for the deer.
Parking lots near game lands were full. Drive along any rural road and you could spot that bright orange in the woods.
We spent a lot of the day in state game lands near Hallstead. We didn’t see a deer but we did see a lot of hunters. They didn’t see many deer, they didn’t hear a lot of shots, but they did tell us they sure are glad to be out.
“It’s just nice being out of the city, away from work. I even took a nap this morning before it got light. It was nice,” said Rich Hardy of Delaware County.
Hardy and his son John are up from the Philadelphia area.
“Usually the first day we got out it’s freezing cold so it’s a good change of pace, actually,” said John Hardy.
“Oh, it was a blast. It’s always a good time with the little guy,” said Bob Rinaldi of Clifford.
But Bob Rinaldi and his boy didn’t see a deer, Rinaldi got a bear. Bear season now overlaps the start of deer in some areas.
But this 7 year old had one thing on his mind in the woods.
“He just wanted to go eat. He just looked at me and said ‘is it time to go eat now?’”
Just one of many groups of hunters heading to eat and share some great stories.