Keeping it in the family
WEST SUNBURY — The Keefer family opened this year’s deer gun season in style Monday.
Within hours of being in the woods in Crawford County, 80-year-old Jim Keefer, his two sons, a grandson and a family friend had each bagged a doe.
Each kill occurred approximately an hour apart, with the exception of one.
“I’ve never seen anything like that and I’ve been hunting for 68 years,” Keefer said.
Deer hunting together has been a tradition of this West Sunbury family for generations. David Keefer, Keefer’s youngest son, recalled hunting with his grandfather.
“This family has spent a lot of time in the woods together,” he said.
The quintet began the hunt at 6:30 a.m. Monday. Mike Keefer, the elder son, bagged his doe at 7 a.m.
Rich Holt, a family friend, got his doe at 8 a.m. Jay, 14, Keefer’s grandson, got his at 9 a.m. while in a shack with his grandfather.
“We’ve hunted this area for years and built a shack we could hunt from,” Jim Keefer said. “I don’t get around much in the woods anymore, so I stayed up here with Jay and we shot our deer from here.”
Keefer bagged his doe at 11 a.m. — the only two-hour interval — before David got his at noon.
“David was probably a mile away from Jay and myself when he shot one,” Keefer said. “Michael was 500 yards away when he got his.
“We all had cell phones and whenever someone got a deer, he calls everyone else for help in getting it out of there.”
David Keefer said Monday marked the first time three generations of his family bagged a deer during the same hunt.
“I know it’s a day I’ll never forget,” he said. “My only regret is we didn’t get a picture taken with all of us and those deer.”
Saying he’s bagged “at least 30 or so” deer during his lifetime, Jim Keefer recalls tagging along as a 6-year-old with his father when the latter went hunting.
“I had a gun in my hands when I was 12,” he said. “My boys were the same way.”
The biggest buck he’s ever gotten was a 9-point “and my grandson matched that last year,” Keefer said.
His sons have bagged 11-point bucks.
They all hope to get bucks before this year’s deer season ends.
“I saw 31 deer running around this past Monday alone,” Keefer said. “I haven’t seen that many in years. This looks like a good season.”