Mike Sajna is the outdoors writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and has contributed numerous articles to regional and national magazines including Pennsylvania Angler and Boater, Pennsylvania Game News and Fly Rod and Reel. He is the author of Pennsylvania Trout and Salmon Fishing Guide; Buck Fever: The Deer Hunting Tradition in Pennsylvania; and The Allegheny River.
Every fall close to one million hunters enter Pennsylvania’s forests and mountains in quest of the white-tailed deer. Some are seeking sport and companionship; others are stocking their larders for winter; many are conservationists who regard hunting as the most humane way of reducing overpopulated deer herds. They all face the increasing activism of animal rights advocates who are opposed to hunting in principle and who frequently picket and harass hunters. This controversial subject is explored in depth by Mike Sajna, the outdoors columnist for Pittsburgh Magazine and a twenty-year veteran of Pennsylvania’s “pumpkin army,” the orange-clad throng that invades the woods every season. To explain the ethos and traditions of hunting he takes the reader to a typical deer camp in Warren County, in the rugged terrain of the Allegheny High Plateau. Starting with the trek north from their homes around Pittsburgh, he captures the sights and sounds, thoughts and feelings of three generations of hunters. With humor, affection, and insight he recounts the hunting lore, the camaraderie, the physical testing that make deer camp a unique experience.