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Deer Hunting Season

Posted 12/5/2011 8:17am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

Deer hunting season in Shade Valley, like other rural areas of Pennsylvania, is a two week aberration from normalcy. Suddenly the quiet roads are busy and gun shots rumble and echo down the valley.   I used to dread hunting season. When we  first moved to this farm, new to the community, and without fences delineating our pastures from surrounding cropland, we had several confrontations with hunters taking wild shots from the road that divides it.  It felt like a dangerous time to live in the middle of deer country; and I grew up in a hunting family, married a hunter, and had started hunting myself. 

We have since gotten to know many of the local hunters, made it clear that our land is open for hunting as long as the laws and common hunting courtesies are obeyed, (such as asking for permission and not shooting from your beer-can strewn pick-up truck!)  We swap hunting stories with our neighbors who we otherwise rarely talk to and find that our connections to them and the community are strengthened.  I've found that other activities that place us in close proximity to the undomesticated world do not create the same sort of story-swapping culture; at least not among the folks we rub elbows with on a regular basis. A morning of cross-country skiing through the woods is fun, but no one seems interested in what I experienced out there, unless of course I was run down by a 12-point buck.  

This coming Saturday regular deer hunting season will close and for several weeks we will still have stories to swap with neightbors we meet in passing, but soon after the normal, quiet routines of winter resume and we'll hunker down in our individual homes and wait for the snowstorms to bring us out and give us new experiences to share.