The state joins 34 others to allow children of any age to operate a firearm. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
Chris Radney, of Canton, Pennsylvania, shot this giant 20-point buck with a crossbow Nov. 10 in Franklin Township, Bradford County.(Photo: PROVIDED PHOTO)
I've heard from a lot of deer hunters this fall that whitetails seem to be scarce.
Chris Radney doesn't seem to have that problem.
Several members of Radney's family, including his father, son and daughter, have tagged deer this year — but Radney himself topped them all.
Radney, who lives in the Bradford County community of Canton, shot a monster buck with a crossbow during Pennsylvania's archery season, and the brute has been turning heads ever since.
Radney, a truck driver by profession, didn't even want to go hunting Nov. 10 because it was unseasonably cold, but his 13-year-old son pestered him to go out until he finally relented.
Radney and his son hunted from a ground blind on a friend's farm in Franklin Township, just southeast of Towanda, and he actually had his eye on another nice buck that was hanging around some does, when the giant stepped out.
"When he came in the field he dominated everything. It was something like I’d never seen before," Radney said. "We had no trouble seeing horns, even at 200 yards with my bare eye. The smaller one was messing with us all night. We were all jacked up about that one and then this one came across the lane. I don’t know if it was the cold or buck fever, but we were shaking pretty bad."
Radney maintained his composure long enough to make a solid shot at about 50 yards. He got nervous again when the blood trail started to peter out, but he was eventually able to locate his prize.
The buck sported 20 antler points and was green scored at a whopping 188 inches.
Now that he has shot the biggest buck of his life by far, Radney admits it will be hard to top it.
"Everybody tells me I need to quit hunting now but I don’t think that’s going to happen," he said. "From now on, it will have to be a pretty big buck for me to consider shooting."Pa. bear harvest down
Preliminary results show a significant drop in Pennsylvania's statewide black bear season harvest compared to 2016.
Hunters tagged 1,796 bruins during this year's bear season, about a 30 percent decline from the 2,579 bears that were taken last year, according to the state Game Commission.
Wildlife managers point to extensive rain on opening day Nov. 18 as the primary reason for the decline. The numbers also don't include archery and other early bear season harvest data.
The largest bear was an enormous 700-pound male shot Nov. 18 in Oil Creek Township, Venango County.
Several giants also fell to hunter's rifles in the Northern Tier. Among the biggest was a 595-pound brute shot by Zachery Martin of Wellsboro in Charleston Township, Tioga County.
Hunters tagged 127 bears in Tioga County, 118 in Potter County and 28 in Bradford County this fall, the Game Commission reported.Pistol permit reminder
New York state residents who possess pistol permits that were issued prior to Jan. 15, 2013 are being reminded that under the state's SAFE Act, they must recertify their permits before Jan. 31, 2018.
Permit holders who obtained their permits after Jan. 15, 2013 must recertify within five years of the date they acquired their permits. All permit holders must recertify every five years after.
Last January, the New York State Police mailed approximately 350,000 letters statewide to remind handgun owners of the new recertification requirements. Only about 175,000 people have responded so far.
Residents who do not recertify in a timely manner can have their pistol permits revoked.
For more information and to recertify, visit the state police website at troopers.ny.gov/Firearms/pistol_revolver_license_recertification.php.
Reach Jeff Murray at 271-8251 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff online at stargazette.com/outdoornotebook, and on Twitter @SGJeffMurray.