George Block

Column George Block

George Block is a sports columnist who loves the outdoors.

Many support reduced restrictions for Senior hunters

Many support reduced restrictions for seniors

December 22, 2012

Last week, I touched on the subject of antler restrictions as it relates to senior hunters. Since it can be a controversial subject and also one that can affect me, I was quite interested in the response of readers. I did not want to be patronized, and when the subject came up insisted that the party I was talking to be honest and forthright with me.

Every person agreed with me that seniors should be exempt from the present antler restrictions and abide by the rules for junior hunters.

There was, however, one person who said the one argument against allowing senior to shoot the smaller bucks pertained to free time to hunt. Seniors, the person explained, have more time to go hunting. I thought, “Do they?”

For one thing, many seniors still work. Just because you are over 65 does not mean you are retired. I worked until I was in my 70s.

Also, I wonder what percentage of those under the age of 65 take off all week to go deer hunting? I worked in a steel mill and, after the age of 25, never worked the first week of deer season.

Come to think of it, neither did my hunting partner. Most contractors don’t work during deer season, and most of those working in some form of construction take off for deer season. Add in younger hunters, who don’t work during the season, and I would bet the number would equal, if not surpass, the number of seniors in the woods.

For physical reasons, I bet not many seniors hunt every day.

• Look for another attack on gun shows in the near future. Despite the fact rifles and shotguns combined to kill fewer people than cutting instruments (knives, etc.,), it is the military-style rifle that takes the brunt of the blame for acts by deranged people.

The majority of those who attend gun shows spend most of their time socializing with like-thinking people.

As I write this, I am thinking about an upcoming gun show at Arden Jan. 13 and 14. I should be there and will be found swapping not guns, but tall stories with Keith, Ed, Rich, Fred and Jack.

The gun shows bring us together and I never feel safer than when I am around a large group of men who all own guns.

Much the same can be said about being in the rural area of the country. I feel safer when walking down the streets of Coudersport than Philadelphia. I bet there are more firearms in Coudersport than Philly.

• As for the just-ended deer season, I must ask the question: Wasn’t antler restrictions supposed to increase the size of the deer antlers?

During the course of the season, I spotted no fewer than nine spikes and six 4-pointers. Since a spike is an abnormality, are we sure this rule is working?

Of the 28 bucks I saw, only a handful were legal. As I watched three spikes and a 4-pointer on the last Saturday, I asked myself: “Where’s Gary Alt? I have something to say to him.”

• I read recently that Bob Mitchell was retiring from his position as editor of the Pennsylvania Game News. I don’t know if readers are aware of the fact Mitchell is one of many local people who have done well with the Game Commission.

Mitchell has done an excellent job as he carried on the tradition of excellence that was associated with his predecessor, Bob Bell. Bell’s shoes had to be difficult to fill. While Mitchell didn’t try to fill them, his work stands for itself. Congratulations, Mitchell, on a job well done.

• Like other firearm owners, I worried about where the Newtown, Conn., shootings will lead us. Instead of blaming guns and legal gun owners, perhaps we should be looking at the entertainment industry, which glorifies violence.

A favorite movie of mine is “Shooter,” starring Mark Wahlberg. At the end, he shoots the bad guys, one of whom is begging for his life.

Aren’t such movies telling the young our problems can be solved by shooting the perceived bad guys? Video games and a large number of movies are violent.

The young watch this stuff. Is it any wonder that it affects the psyche of some?

George H. Block writes a Sunday Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.



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