For hunters, December is the most wonderful time of year despite the weather, and not because Christmas is coming.
Deer Hunting Season
The season runs through Dec. 14 with both antlered and antlerless deer legal game in local wildlife management units. It is antlered deer season in 12 of the WMUs until Dec. 6, when the season in those units includes antlered and antlerless from Dec. 7-14. Antlered deer must have at least three points on one side, including the main beam. Junior hunters, mentored youth hunters, persons with a disabled permit (to use a vehicle) and active military personnel may shoot a deer with at least two points on one side.
Warm-Weather Venison Care
Improperly field-dressing a deer carcass and warm weather can impact the quality of venison quickly if a harvested deer isn’t handled properly. Learn more from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
If you are planning on getting your deer butchered by a local butcher, please check with them ahead of time. Some butchers won’t take deer that have not been skinned and boned. Some will not take skinned deer for the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program.
Hartman’s Butcher Shop in New Tripoli, for instance, stopped processing deer this year, according to Carol Hartman, because it was getting hard to get the extra help necessary to get the deer butchered, plus other areas of the business were getting busier.
“It’s a good program and they didn’t want to stop doing that,” Hartman said. “We give it to the local food bank, and they really like getting the meat.”