We hope to be flingin’ sticks two weeks from today, on the first day of the archery season for deer in Pennsylvania.

The 2021-22 statewide archery season runs Oct. 2 to Nov. 13, continues on Sunday, Nov. 14, then goes Nov. 15-19. It comes back in Dec. 27 and goes through Jan. 17.

Here are a few bowhunting tidbits to mark the new season.

—Pennsylvania held its first statewide archery season in 1951; this year’s hunt is the 71st in a row.

—The state’s first archery season drew a little more than 5,500 participants. In 2020, a record 373,700 archery licenses were sold.

—The National Deer Association calculates that from 2017-2019, archers in the 13-state Northeast region took one-third of the deer harvested.

—Bowhunters may use illuminated nocks for arrows and bolts, but transmitter-tracking arrows are illegal.

—Each hunter has a unique Sportsman’s Equipment ID number. Hunters can find their number in their HuntFishPA online profile or on their printed license.

—The PGC’s free online course shows tree stand safety, and safe and ethical shot placement. Find it at www.pgc.pa.gov under “Pennsylvania Archery Safety Course.”


Pennsylvania hunters can now download and carry digital versions of their licenses, in place of paper ones.

Paper harvest tags must still be carried and used at the appropriate time.

Hunters and trappers who already purchased 2021-22 licenses can download PDF copies by logging in to their profiles on HuntFishPA and accessing their purchase history. I now have mine on my smartphone.

Those who buy licenses in the future will be emailed PDF versions of their licenses. This applies if they buy licenses online or at issuing agents. Harvest tags will not be emailed.

“Downloading your digital licenses and permits to your mobile device guarantees you’ll never leave them at home,” said Deana Vance, director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s (PGC) Bureau of Automated Technology Services.



This is the 28th year that the Times and Bucher Meats in McKnightstown are teaming-up during the deer seasons, to collect venison for the less fortunate through the “Hunters Feed the Hungry” program.

Since the program began, hunters have donated about 24,500 pounds of game meat to feed the hungry in this area.

Hunters take their deer to Bucher’s on the Tillietown Road, pay for processing, and then leave a portion of it at the butcher, as a donation.

Bucher’s donates the cost of processing whole deer donated by hunters.

Call Bucher’s at (717) 334-3575 and check on hours of operation before going to Tillietown Road.



Get some exercise and learn more about the South Mountain region, when the South Mountain Partnership hosts Walk & Talk Speakers Programs this month and next.

Andre Weltman, chairman of the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park will talk about ironmaking and other historical uses of the iron works, on Sept. 24 from 4-6 p.m. The group will follow the South Mountain Railroad’s path from the blast furnace, past Fuller Lake, to the area of an iron company amusement park and later Girl Scout camp, about two miles of easy walking.

On Oct. 8, from 4-6 p.m., the Friends of Michaux will take a hike to learn about the Native American archaeology resources of Michaux and their storied past. Rendezvous and carpool from the Caledonia Furnace Stack.

To find out more about the Friends of South Mountain Partnership or sign-up, visit www.southmountainpartnership.org.


• September is Library Card Sign Up Month. What is your favorite adventure novel?

• If you spend time in Pennsylvania’s elk country, keep a few key tips in mind. Give the elk space – stay clear by 100 yards or more. Don’t feed the elk and don’t name elk.

• The Steelers and Raiders have met 29 times. Raiders lead regular season 13-10 and postseason is 3-3.


“Happy Birthday Woodsy Owl! Woodsy is 50 years old today! (Wednesday)” — Forest Service NW

Send your wild thoughts and photos to bjsmall@comcast.net.

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