Nearly 50 entries have already been made in our 32nd Annual Contest

HONESDALE — Mother Nature finally lent her full cooperation, so Week One of the Big Buck Contest has been one for the books.

As of press time Friday, we've had nearly 50 hunters visit our offices at 220 8th Street in Honesdale to enter their trophies.

After a weekend hiatus to cover other winter sports, we'll be right back at it on Monday morning. Anyone who bags a buck this weekend and wishes to enter the contest may do so by stopping by The Wayne Independent anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

This is the 32nd year of our annual outdoors extravaganza and we'll be handing out nearly $5,000 in prizes when all is said and done.

Contest is open to PA hunters with a valid license who bag their deer in either Wayne or Pike county. All entries must be tagged and brought in for measurement within 48 hours of harvest.

For further information, please contact Group Sports Editor Kevin Edwards at 570-253-3055.

By the Numbers

Officials at the PA Game Commission estimate that nearly 750,000 hunters will try their luck this year during the 2-week season.

Last fall, 336,200 deer were harvested, which represented an increase of six percent from 316,240 the previous season.

In the 2011-'12, hunters took 127,540 antlered deer, an increase of four percent from year's harvest of 122,930, and 208,660 antlerless deer, an increase of eight percent from the 193,310 antlerless deer taken in 2010-11.

The 2012 season began Monday morning at dawn and will conclude Saturday, Dec. 8 at dusk.

Local Trophies

Almost without exception, the bucks we've seen this week have been remarkable.

Whether you fall on the "yay" or "nay" side of the argument, it's hard to dispute the fact that antler restrictions implemented in the past few years are having a positive impact.

Kevin W. Rizner of Union Dale is a perfect example.

A veteran of 39 years of hunting, Kevin headed out into the woods of Orson on Tuesday in search of that elusive trophy buck. As it turns out, he only had to wait a couple of hours before it appeared in his sights.

Kevin spied a massive 10-pointer from about 80 yards away and proceeded to bring him down with a pinpoint shot from his trusty 30.06 Remington.

This buck sports beams of 23 and 24 inches and a span that measures just over 20 inches.

According to Kevin, it's the biggest buck he's ever harvested in his career … and that seems to be a common refrain among hunters in Wayne and Pike County this fall.