SANATOGA PA — Jonathan Spadt, one of five Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township commissioners, can hardly wait for Dec. 1, and he’s certainly not alone.
Spadt is counting down the days to the arrival of white-tail deer hunting season in Pennsylvania. The two-week firearms hunt is the state’s biggest draw for hunters, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. It officially starts the Monday following Thanksgiving.
During the township Board of Commissioners’ meeting Nov. 10, Spadt said he would be happy to defer some township development business – delayed by unrelated events – to early January from early December. “I’ll be out hunting then, anyway,” he noted with a smile.
So will lots of other people.
When Pennsylvania’s traditional firearms deer season gets under way, observes Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe, “fluorescent orange and camouflage clothing instantly become as common as denim. The crack of firearms being sighted in at rifle ranges can be heard in the distance. Cars are parked on the shoulders of roads (near) most forested areas, as hunters scout for deer sign.”
Besides providing recreation to hundreds of thousands of hunters, the white-tail deer hunt creates an economic surge that local businesses and national chain stores count on annually, Roe says. Hunters buy everything from clothing and equipment to fuel and food. Many of those who take a deer also rely on butchering services for later months’ meals of tasty venison.
Deer season also is an important tool used by the Game Commission to manage Pennsylvania’s whitetail population. Management keeps the state’s deer herd healthy and productive, while it also keeps ecological impacts and human conflicts within acceptable limits, Roe says.
The Game Commission counts on hunters to provide information on the deer they harvest. All hunters who take a deer are reminded that they must fill out their harvest tag and attach it to the deer’s ear before moving the carcass. A harvest report card, supplied with every license sold, also must be mailed to the Commission within 10 days after taking the deer.