Hunting in the heavily drilled areas of southwestern and north central Pennsylvania presents some benefits, but also some drawbacks. The gas drilling boom may have altered these traditional hunting spots over the past year. The good news for hunters? Clear cuts for new pipelines and drill pads mean deer may be easier to spot. But industry workers may be at those sites along with the deer. So the Marcellus Shale Coalition wants to make sure hunters know that using a stationary drill rig or storage tank as a hunting blind may not be a good idea.
For a non-hunter, some of these tips seem like good advice for anyone carrying a weapon, especially a concealed weapon on the streets of Philadelphia. My favorite is “Do Not Shoot at Random.” Not only is it unsafe, cautions MSC, it’s also illegal. Tell that to the thousands of New Year’s Eve revelers who, each year, find pleasure in shooting randomly within the densely populated areas of West Philadelphia.
My second favorite is “Always identify your target and what is beyond it.” One of the most bizarre stories I covered last year before I joined the State Impact team to focus on energy, was the shooting death of a hunter in Bucks County by a lawyer on the first day of deer season. David Manilla, a felon who was not even allowed to own a rifle, originally told police that he mistook the hunter for a deer. Manilla got 10 to 25 years in prison for killing Barry Groh, of Quakertown. MSC says drilling companies will limit the number of workers they have out in the forest during opening days. But those who are may not be wearing orange vests. For the full list of tips, click here. Have a happy, and safe, Thanksgiving.