It's almost deer season time for hunters in New York State and Pennsylvania. New York State regular deer hunting season is from November 20 through December 12 in the Southern Zone which covers the Southern Tier and in Pennsylvania, it's November 27 through December 11 for regular firearms.

In case you haven't heard, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is alerting hunters of the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease affecting deer in some areas of New York State. So far, none have been reported in Southern Tier counties.

According to The NYSDEC, this disease is commonly found in the southern states of the U.S. but has been found in deer in the northeast as well. The disease affects white-tailed deer transmitted by biting midges. If you do come across any deer sick or dead and you think was affected by this disease, you can submit a report through the online EHD reporting form. 

In my mid to late teens, I use to hunt deer with my dad and some of my uncles. It was fun during the drives with my uncles during the weekend afternoons. I felt like a grown-up and it was a great bonding time with my family.

Weekend hunting would always begin at sunrise with just my dad. He would tell me to stand by a tree while he walked around the heavily wooded area we were hunting in, hopefully, send deer my way. I was too fidgety to just stay still for hours, and nothing ever came of those early morning hunts, and after a few years of standing and freezing in snowstorms, I gave up hunting.

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Funny story about my youngest brother. He was born on the opening day of deer hunting season in 1969, and I'm sure that presented quite a predicament for my dad since I don't think he ever missed an opening day. But my dad did the right thing, heading to the hospital with my mom. There would be other days to hunt for deer. Fast forward 16 years later, on the first day of hunting season and the first time ever hunting deer, my youngest brother shot a buck. We were proud of him and at the same time jealous of his luck.

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[via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation]