HUNTERS THIS week get the chance to tackle what is perhaps the biggest challenge on Pennsylvania's sporting scene: Taking an antler-wearing buck with a flintlock.

If history holds, about 125,000 people will take part in the three-week, post-Christmas flintlock deer-hunting season. Combined, they'll spend about 450,000 days in the woods. And, if all goes well, only a little more than 1 percent will kill a deer sporting antlers.

Last year, hunters managed to kill an estimated 127,540 bucks over the course of all the hunting seasons. Just 1,440 of them were with a flintlock.

In unit 2A, for example, Pennsylvania Game Commission estimates show archers took 1,950 bucks last year, rifle hunters 5,100. Flintlock hunters, by comparison, took 50.

The pool of bucks is smaller in flintlock season.

Chris Rosenberry, chief deer biologist for the Game Commission, said just 60 percent of the bucks that were roaming the landscape at the start of fall still remain.