FLINTlock season hunting log

ToddP

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Well it's that time of the year here in PA again where the die hards wonder out into the woods for the late archery and flintlock season.  Yes, I said FLINTlock.  PA does not allow percusion rifles during it's muzzleloader season.  Ignition must be from flint and steel.  It's a REAL muzzleloader season.

Last Wednesday, Dec. 26, was opening day.  I headed out to my treestand where I archery hunted in October.  After sitting all day in high 20 degree weather I had three deer make their way towards me as some neighboring hunters were setting up for a drive of some woods near me.  The first two were yearlings and I elected to pass them up.  The third was momma and she was a shooter.  I pulled my flintlock up, sights bearing down on her waiting for a shot to present itself.  She ran right down towards me then turned and that's when I saw them... two little spikes sticking up from HIS head.  I had already taken a 6pt during archery season and I am only allowed on buck so I put the gun down and let him pass.  As I though about it the following days I probably should have shot him.  Legally, in PA, he didn't fall under the legal definition of an antlered buck.  An antlered buck here has atleast one horn three inches long or one antler with two or more points.  This spike was maybe two inches long so I could have legally tagged him with an anterless tag.  The other thing too is that he was not this year's deer and if this is all he's growing, might as well take him out.  Anyhow,  I would have to see him again for this to happen.  Hind sight is 20 20.

Three deer was all I saw the opening day.

Saturday Dec. 29 was the next day flintlock hunting for me.  It was another all day affair in high 20degree weather.  Gore-tex is a wonderful thing!!!

The day started with two yearlings passing by about 30 yards out.  I watched them go buy hoping momma would be around.  Out in the property owners backyard, I'm about 100 yards into the woods, I see a three doe run towards the woods I am in.  I am watching and waiting but no deer come in the woods.  After a couple minutes I see two doe on their hind legs swinging at each other with their front hoofs.  The are in the yard at the edge of the woods.  These  deer ended up running back across the yard the direction they came from, never giving me a chance for a shot.

There's neighboring property which the local residents that flintlock hunt get together and drive.  This is good for me because the get deer moving and occassionally the deer come my way.  I have gotten to know the drivers over the years and we talk back and forth over our radios so I know where they are driving.  This afternoon they drove a section of woods fairly close to me.  One guy took a shot at four doe when he was about 400 yards away from me.  I saw the four doe break out of the woods and across an open field, they turned racing across the backyard and into the woods above me.  Once they hit the woods they slowed down.  At first they all looked like yearlings and they made their way down to me.  Walking straight towards me, I look them over and decide that two of them are fairly large and decide to take a shot if I get a chance.  Getting a chance didn't happen.  While the deer were close to me atleast one was always watching me.  I didn't move and none of the deer spooked but I always had a set of eyes on me until they turned and walked away from me.  I didn't have a broadside shot until they were out of my comfortable range.  

The drivers pushed more deer but none my way.  For all the more deer they push they would only shoot one this day and miss a bunch.  One hunter missed a 4pt too and another found an 8pt with a 22inch spread that appears to have been shot during the archery season.  It wasn't me,  I never saw that deer.

Oh well, hope you enjoy the read.  Tomorrow, New Year's day is another hunting day for me.

Happy New Years!

ToddP
 

Ponscm

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Thanks for the stories Todd!

Both sides of my family are back in PA so your tales sound very familiar.  In fact, we still receive PA Game News each month and it is a fight where the magazine ends up each month...his house or mine.

Hopefully, we will be back there and out of CA within the next five years with a property purchase, and at the very least a non-resident hunt next season.

Keep those hunting logs coming!
 

gizz

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At it again Todd?
Careful with those radios - I think they're illegal to use in PA for Deer Hunting. The law on this is vague but....

My log so far, 3 days of hunting - LOT's of Deer but no MR BIG yet! I'm holding out waiting for one of the trailcam pic bucks to show up. Hope they're still out there.
OK, I did shoot at a big fat doe on Saturday but I missed. Not making excuses but open sights and flintlock are not very freindly to me. I will say this, i've seen more deer in the last 3 days than I've seen the ENTIRE season. I'm in a good area in the deep woods with lots of acorns. Maybe tomorrow - if i get up in time.

(Edited by gizz at 7:26 pm on Dec. 31, 2001)
 

russ

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  Hey Todd,
  I'm originally from Pa,born in Indiana,Pa and lived in Beaver,Pa.Moved down here to Tennesse in 84 when all the Steelmills shut down.Huntings fair here but nothing like Pa.I Flintlock hunted alot back then.Is it still round ball and iron sights only?
  GOOD LUCK HOPE YOU FILL THAT TAG!
 

ToddP

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Russ,

Last year they was the first year they allowed us to use conicals and sabots.  I used a conical last year and shot a big doe.  She dropped in her tracks.  I'm using sabots this year.

Also,  we're allowed to use fiber optics on our sights too.  Still has to be open sights though.

Gizz,
I know about the radio issues here in PA.  Basically all I do is listen so I know where they are at.  The only we time we really talk over the radio is if they are coming through my area and they give me a heads up so I can watch for their people walking through.  

I recently got one of the Motorolas that scans the channels.  Listening to it Saturday everybody I heard was telling their buddies that deer were heading their way.  A no no here in PA.  

Me.. I hunt alone.  I talk to myself :smile-big-blue:

Todd

(Edited by ToddP at 11:15 am on Jan. 2, 2002)
 

gizz

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Figured you already knew about the radio thing Todd, was just bustin ya a bit.:smile-yellow:

While hunting a little yesterday I found what looked to be a fox or bobcat den. We had a little snow and there were tracks everywhere around some large rock cliff/caves on our hunting club property. I did some investigating and found a lot of kitty tracks and what looked to be small canine tracks as well. The caves were neat so I decided to find out what was in there and after realizing that I'm not going in there head first I head back to the truck for my "spare" trailcam - it's always there in a pinch. I set it up overlooking the most active looking opening and left. This oughta be good cause when I left I noticed what appeared to be some porcupine tracks....Hmmm, seems like i might of stumbled upon a wildlife orgy of sorts :wow-eyes:

Only time will tell now. I know i was supposed to be huntin but this stuff is in my blood now. Alway looking for a good "setup".

Later,
gizz
 

ToddP

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Head first into a porcupine den... that would be interesting.  Local paper had a pic of a couple dogs that decided to play with a porcupine.  The found out the porcupine didn't want to play.

I'll be waiting to see what "develops" from your setup.

Later,
Todd
 

h2obobh2o

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Hey Todd,

I haven't talked to you for awhile, I have been out with the  smokepole as well, trying to help Mr. Alt with the doe population, I haven't had any good shots yet either. About the radio thing, I was over a Dick's, and one of the guys that works over their told me that their whole bear hunting camp (25 guys) were busted for illegal use of radio's, they were fined 100.00 a piece, and they threatened to take a bear that they had shot that day off of a drive, but they ended up not taking it (they got six bear out of that camp). He said they had been using radio's for years like that, and was quite shocked when the WCO's showed up in the woods to arrest them. You can use the radios for general conversation, but cannot alert each other to the presence of game. I guess with the increasing popularity of the Motorola talkabouts, the game commission is monitoring it more closely. Those dummy's were all using first names while talking on the radio's...saying "hey Todd, here comes a bear headed right for you". I am like you, I hunt alone, but when I use the radio, it's just to let my buddy know when I am heading back to camp/car, or if I get one and need help dragging/tracking. It's all over Saturday, looking forward to Spring Gobbler season. Take it easy, good luck with the smokepole!
 

ToddP

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Thanks Bob and everyone else.

Last Saturday was something else.  Hunted all morning and did not see anything.  Then in the afternoon I had over twenty deer come in about 100 yards out all at once.  The deer are definately herded up.  They were close to the road and did eventually cross the road to a different property.  No shooting but boy was that exciting!!!  

Saturday is the last day of any deer season here in PA.  I shot my last deer last year on the last day around 4:30pm.  Can't stretch my hunting season any longer than that!!!

ToddP


(Edited by ToddP at 10:00 am on Jan. 9, 2002)
 

KIDKY

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hey Todd, thanks for the hunting logs - i just love reading these.  got a couple more weeks of archery season left here, gonna get out some this weekend on a buddy of mine's place.  sure hope its not gonna be tag soup AGAIN this year....
 

russ

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    Hey Todd, Russ here again.I hope you fill that tag.Sure miss that PA hunting,like I said before I was born and raised in PA.I work here in Tennessee for Carlisle Tire and Wheel there main office is in Carisle PA.Next time I'm up that way I'll drop you a line.
 

ToddP

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Go ahead and do that russ.  I live just outside of Carlisle.

ToddP
 

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