Friday, August 1, 2014

Pennsylvania Wildlife: Whitetail Deer

Spotlighting? Yes, that is what we call it. After everyone piles into the car, we drive around country roads or through fields, and look for whitetail deer.

As a child, my family owned a 200 plus acre farm. In the evening our favorite line from my father would be, “Do you want to go spotlighting?” Three of the major fields of our farm had forests surrounding them. We would drive up a dirt road which branched off into each of the three fields. There my father would position our car just right so that the headlights would shine to show any deer grazing there at night. Sometimes, we would see whole herds. Other times, just a single would pop her head up. The prize ones had a huge rack on their heads. I learned to count deer. The more we saw, the better the night. Later, we got a handheld spotlight and could examine more of the field. I don’t remember that we saw any more than with the headlights of our car.

My husband and I also go spotlighting. We use a handheld spotlight with the most powerful light available. Our car has to stay on paved roads since we don’t own a farm. The most memorable night for me was on the Lewistown Narrows many years ago. We had heard that there was a white deer showing up there. Traffic was at a minimum back then on that road. As we approached the mentioned sight, my husband shone the light up the bank, and there she was! Not all white, she had a saddle of brown, but what a thrill that was!

The other fun we have these days is seeing trail cam pictures from cameras placed at strategic spots in the woods. They are movement sensitive to take a picture whenever something walks by. A friend of ours has gotten some really unique pictures this way. I've been given permission to share these to show you some of Pennsylvania’s white tail deer. Even though the last one looks like a white deer, it is not. 

The Flying Banana and Other Pennsylvania Transportation came out in paperback last night. Check it out.

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