Reports from the field show that there are large numbers of deer. The reports are that many of the deer are small and have a large number of spike horns. Of course this is still early and the big bucks haven't started on the prowl for doe. These are reports from bow hunters.
The early muzzleloader season is open for buck or doe Oct. 20-22. It will continue Oct. 24-29 for doe only.
Hunting with black powder guns has increased since the addition of in-line guns has become popular. These guns are easier to load and easier to clean but shoot no straighter or longer distances than the side-lock guns. I have taken deer with flintlock, percussion and in-line – all do the job nicely.
Very few deer drop in their tracks after being hit and some do not bleed right away. Make sure you check the direction the deer runs. Wait about a half hour and begin to track. Tracking can be a slow process if at first you do not find blood. Start making circles until blood is found. Sometimes this may be only a small spot but as you progress the blood should become more plentiful.
Many new hunters give up when not finding blood right away. Several years ago I shot a big doe with a 45 caliber flintlock rifle. I traveled a good 50 yards before I found the first blood. The deer continued another 30 to 40 yards with the top of the heart blown off. This is a good reminder not to give up on your deer too soon.
I visited the Susquehanna this past week. The water is very dirty and fast with a lot of trash floating downstream. This is not my idea of good fishing conditions. The smaller streams, though still off color, are a much better choice for some good fall fishing.