Some areas of the country are returning to the basics of what hunting is all about.
Every once in awhile my lady and I get into discussions on the sport of hunting and she occasionally gets off on a tear, especially after seeing a picture and reading about someone who has dropped a 6x6 elk or a big deer with a rifle.
Not that she's an anti-gun nut or anything - we keep a pump shotgun loaded in the bedroom, just in case anyone would be foolish enough to try a home-invasion robbery.
Her question regarding shooting game animals is, "What is the sport in that?"
My reply is always, "Babe, have you ever experienced the thrill of putting the cross hairs on a deer that's a half-mile away and then squeezing off a one-shot kill?"
Of course she hasn't, so there isn't much sense in trying to explain what it feels like.
Last month, the Pennsylvania Game Commission unanimously voted to allow hunters in the state to stalk deer with a spear-like weapon known as the atlatl.
The atlatl is throwing stick about 18 inches-long with a groove down the middle where the shaft of the spear sits with the butt resting against the solid end.
The user steadies the spear with one finger over the top of the spear's shaft and the atlatl resting in the palm of the hand.
When hurled, the thrower hangs on to the atlatl after the spear is released.
This is supposed to generate more power and the spear will travel longer distances.
Before atlatls you had to get pretty close to the animal when all you had was a spear, so the atlatl was a "modern invention" of the time.
Hunting with an atlatl sounds like it could be a lot of fun, like the traditional bow season that went into effect a couple of years ago up on Little Canyon Mountain here in Grant County where hunters use only longbows to shoot deer.
Folks, can you imagine what a thrill it would be to drop a deer with a spear!?
Of course there were some governmental objections to the plan, just like nearly everything else these days, and a final vote is set for April.