Pennsylvania’s statewide archery season opens on Saturday, Oct. 5. [If you’re hunting in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, it opened Saturday, Sept. 21.] If you’re planning to hunt with your bow this fall, be sure to take some time to prepare for the season. This will help to ensure a safe and successful outcome.
Pennsylvania Game Commission Shooting Sports Outreach Coordinator Todd Holmes has provided five things all bowhunters should be doing before the upcoming season arrives.
Scout. Spend some time in your hunting areas prior to the season opening and locate food sources, bedding areas and possible stand locations. Glassing fields during the early morning and evening hours and running trail cameras can also give you a census of the deer in your area and their summer habits.
Put hours in on the practice range. Spend time shooting your equipment in the weeks and months leading up to your opener. Practice shooting from a tree stand or out of a ground blind. Wear similar clothes that you plan on wearing while you hunt.
Check your equipment. Go over all your equipment to ensure everything is in good working condition and doesn’t need replaced. This is also the time to check your tree stand cables and straps. Make sure to check the expiration date on any safety harnesses you plan to use, too.
Treat your clothes with tick deterrent. Early season ticks are more prevalent, and one bite can land you in the hospital. Tick prevention is a must in the Pennsylvania woods. Use Permethrin or a similar tick deterrent to protect you from tick-borne diseases while you’re hunting.
Make a plan. Spend some time in the area(s) you plan to hunt and clear brush and sticks from walking paths to and from your spots. This will allow you to more easily slip in and out of the woods quietly and not alert any game that may be nearby. Sometimes getting into a spot undetected is the biggest factor in your success.
We want every Pennsylvania hunter’s experience in the woods to be a positive and safe one. Wearing a harness and taking multiple safety precautions can ensure that every archer come home safely. Remember to hunt safely and wear a harness if you’re hunting from a tree stand. Click here for tree stand safety tips to keep in mind this fall.