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Pennsylvania’s statewide firearms season for antlered deer begins Saturday.

Have you ever heard the old saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’? If not, what this old country proverb means is that people with a common interest or background are more likely to spend time together than people with little in common.

Do I believe in this statement? I certainly do! Place me in a crowd of strangers and odds are those that I spend the most time with will have either similar interests to mine or a similar background. Somehow people of like interests seem to have an uncanny ability to pick each other out of a crowd. For example, I’ve been in a restaurant lobby and ended up talking to a man who introduced himself by saying “you look like a fellow deer hunter.”

I’ve been at a public auction and had another gentleman begin telling me about his years as a hunter and trapper. I’ve been in a grocery store and ended up being asked about nearby fishing opportunities. I was once buying work boots and had a fellow customer ask me how many years I had been involved with the housing industry (most of my life, actually). Somehow, without any introduction, all of these folks knew we had things in common.

With Pennsylvania’s firearms deer season opening on Saturday, is it any wonder why recently I’ve been stopped while out and about and asked such questions by strangers as: what do I think of having a Saturday opener? What are your thoughts on Sunday hunting? Going to camp or hunting locally? Are you concerned about Chronic Wasting Disease? I guess I’m just one of those people who are easy to ready by watching my mannerisms, considering the way I dress and listening to the way I talk. I suppose we outdoor enthusiasts are just plain easy to spot.

Are such encounters a blessing or a curse? Definitely a blessing. Over the years I’ve met some truly wonderful and interesting people this way. So, if you ever find yourself staring at a gray-haired, scruffy-bearded old codger with a camo hat, scratching his head trying to understand all these new modern conveniences such as a self-check-out station, speak up and say hello. Odds are good we’ll end up swapping a story or two. After all, the next best thing to being out enjoying nature is talking about it with another outdoor lover.

And in case we don’t meet, here’s wishing you a safe and enjoyable hunting season. You might not bag a buck, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bag a few good stories to swap at a later date with a fellow outdoor enthusiast.

Larry Hendricks is an avid outdoorsman from Union County.

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