Legend Ausk with his first coyote.
A note on a special hunt, and then an update …
= It was a special weekend for one Springdale home.
David Warywoda took his stepson, 12-year-old Legend Ausk, out hunting deer on the Friday of the youth rifle season. At one point, they had a doe standing about 20 yards away, but in some thick brush.
While waiting for it to step out and present a clear shot, another visitor arrived. A coyote came walking by.
“I told him to forget about the deer,” Warywoda said. “He slowly swung his gun to the left and one shot later, we had a 33-pound female (coyote) on the ground. The coolest part is that we were hunting in Springdale, just three minutes from our house.”
The good weekend then continued.
On the following day, Warywoda was hunting with his 6-year-old son, Wyatt. He, too, was looking to get a doe, this time hunting from a tree stand in Butler County.
“Due to his small size, he was hunting with a 20 gauge slug gun with a collapsible stock and a red dot sight,” Warywoda said.
They had been on stand about 30 minutes when Wyatt said he saw movement.
“Sure enough, two does were headed our way. I handed him the rifle and he proceeded to make the most perfect shot that even an adult could make,” Warywoda said.
“So within 24 hours, both of my boys had huge success.”
What a weekend indeed.
Wyatt Warywoda with his first antlerless deer.
= Meanwhile, legislation that would remove the prohibition on hunting with air rifles and semiautomatic rifles is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for this signature.
State Senators approved House Bill 263 on Wednesday by a vote of 40-7. That was originally supposed to be the last day of the legislative session.
Members of the House of Representatives re-convened on Thursday, however, and – by a 160 to 25 vote – approved Bill 263.
The bill still has to be signed by Gov. Wolf before becoming law. Even then, it will be up to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to decide in which seasons both types of guns could be used.
Neither will be permitted before the 2017-18 season.
But passage of the bill opens the door to use of both firearms, something sportsmen and gun organizations have long sought.
Approval of the bill came after a bit of discussion, particularly in regards to the uses of semiautomatic rifles.
Rep. Greg Vitali, a Montgomery County Democrat, had questions.
“Why does one need a semiautomatic weapon when they hunt?” he asked.
Rep. Matt Gabler, the Clearfield County Republican who sponsored the bill, said the bill was meant to give Pennsylvania hunters the same privileges enjoyed by their counterparts in just about every other state in the country. He also said allowing semiautomatics would allow for a “more humane hunt” in that it might lead to less lost, wounded game.
In response to another Vitali question, Gabler said the bill has the support of sportsmen, with no known opposition from any other groups.
He also pointed out that he expected the Game Commission to be conservative in determining in which seasons semiautos – and air rifles – might become legal.
“I would expect the Game Commission to be judicious in what they would permit,” Gabler said.