PA Deer Hunting

Discussion in 'Out Of State Hunting' started by TMK, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. TMK


    I've been to PA deer hunting four times this year.

    We have yet to see one deer.

    We hunt a fairly large tract of public land in Venango County. The few guys that I've talked to while hunting are also not seeing anything.

    We've been putting full days in the woods too. One day we probably walked around 5 miles without even seeing a tail.

    If we don't start seeing something soon, this may be the last year that I hunt PA.
  2. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

    are you stalking (walking 5 miles)

    hunting bedding areas? feeding areas? funnels?

  3. ezbite

    ezbite the Susan Lucci of OGF

    why are you hunting PA? grand river and skeeter are just 30 minutes away. go out after work next year and scout for a bit, find a place to put up a stand. i harvest deer(2 this year) every year up there.
  4. TMK


    EZ - I've hunted Grand River several times for pheasant and deer. I do okay on the pheasant. As far as deer go, there's a ton of sign on the ground, but I've yet to actually see anything there. The places I've been to are super thick with brush, and you can only see about 30-40yds, so I'm sure that deer are there and around me. I've also heard that you need to put on chest waders and get in across the river for the best hunting. That may be my next move there. Mosquito - I've driven through several times, but never tried it yet. Probably should.

    Littleking - This time of year, we set up on a couple of MAJOR funnels and allow the other guys out there stomping around push the deer through. In the past, I've seen as many as 65 deer on the first day of the season. The avereage has been around 35.

    The day we put on about five miles of walking, we sat till around 10:00am in an area full of white oaks and acorns. In the past, I've always seen deer there, but not always in bow range. No prob for youth hunter with a scoped 308.

    After that we did some still hunting through a few bedding areas. The rest of the day we moved along pretty quickly to try and cover a lot of ground and just make physical contact with some deer. This area's not like most of NE Ohio. There's miles and miles of forest with no property lines to worry about.

    I've been hunting there since 1993 and have done pretty well in the past.

    1993 - 1 buck, 1 doe (both with a bow)
    1994 - 1 doe (missed a buck WTF!)
    1995 - 1 buck, 1 doe (buck with bow)
    1996 - 1 buck, 1 doe
    1997 - 1 doe (the year I started to only shoot a buck with a nice rack)
    1998 - 0 (couldn't get a doe tag. passed on two bucks)
    1999 - 1 buck (20" 9pt with a bow. no doe tag)
    2000 - 1 doe
    2001 - 1 doe
    2002 - 1 buck, 1 doe
    2003 - 2 does
    2004 - 1 buck, 1 doe
    2005 - 2 bucks, 2 does (the year my son started)
    2006 - 1 doe (didn't buy a lic. killed by my son)
    2007 - ? still trying
  5. Toxic

    Toxic Defensor Fortis

    TMK, I quit hunting PA since the over harvest a few years back. I used to hunt the WMU in Venango and would see 30-40 deer a day. The last time I hunted it, I seen 1 doe. I use to love hunting over there. Especially the late flintlock season. I will not hunt it until things start looking up over there. And I never liked the antler restrictions either. Never understood the idea of shooting the big bucks out and leaving the little scrappy bucks to breed. There is something definitely wrong in Pa. Pa just wanted to compete with the big buck states. They need to realize that there habitat just will not allow it.

    I also think it suck we as non-residents it is almost next to impossible for us to get doe tags, but a Pa resident can buy them over the counter in Ohio.
  6. TMK


    We hunted PA yesterday and saw 24 deer come through the funnel we were watching betwen 7:30am and 10:00am. Having more guys in the woods made the difference. My son filled both doe tags two deer, two shots from his 270. There was a buck trailing the first doe he shot, but he fired before I could count points. I had plenty of chances to shoot myself but, the area we were in is so far from the road that dragging two was more than enough work.

    I like hunting the big woods and with a rifle, but the hunting isn't what it once was. Next season, I'll be putting in a lot more effort towards finding good places to hunt in NE Ohio.
  7. While atv-ing in Jefferson County last August, I kicked up the biggest buck I've ever seen. It was still in velvet, but as it ran off all I could do was marvel at that huge head gear it had. It was HUGE!
  8. zoar


    I still love going to PA. Miles and miles of public land and the deer are still there
    you just have to work a little harder. We will be up for the last day on Saturday,
    still have a couple doe tags in camp to fill.
  9. The hunting here isn't that bad actually, you just have to know where to look. Hunting in the mountains is always a bad idea by my standards. I live in New Castle, a whole 11 miles away from Youngstown and the PA/OH border. We have good hunting around here most years. Only problem is most land is posted for that reason.

    Fidn a good place that looks suitable to hunt, online topo maps are great for this, and drive there. If it's posted, find out who owns it and ask permission to hunt there. Offer to do some chores around the farm. I've gained access to some great hunting by shuffling hay in a loft... lol

  10. Hunting in Pa is getting worse and worse. For every hunter you find that says its ok you'll have 10 saying it stinks. Our current deer management plan has gone awry and our game commission is a joke. the current managment plan is simple. Lower the herd as much as possible. Our quantity is greatly lowered and the quality isnt much either. :S I hunt Ohio and Wv as well as Pa and both offer far better hunting right now, particularly Ohio in my opinion. If I lived closer Id hunt there exclusively.
  11. PumpUpTheBass

    PumpUpTheBass JonBoatWannabe

    chazman have you ever been out to the mahoning sportsmans association?? I hunt with my uncle out there nad its a great group of people and sweet hunting and fishing.
  12. I think there is still a decent population of deer in the lower farming counties, but up near Kane I see nothing since the new point system and longer doe season went into effect. I have seen one doe and no bucks in two years. When we scouted for spring turkey we jumped no deer and we used to see deer all over the place any time we walked in the woods. Can't get a non-resident antlerless tag, but it doesn't matter as I see no deer of either sex.

    There ued to be a lot of Ohio hunters in the area we hunt, but saw none now for 2 years. This is my last year to buy a PA license.
  13. I just bought my Hunting License for PA. 130 dollars. Yes, I bought a bow tag and am going to hunt crossbow this year.

  14. For what it's worth; the guys I have talked to from PA (several have hunting leases around our property), PA has been "shot out" for several years due to over harvesting/lack of good judgment (at least in their areas).
    Said "for years people shot everything they saw, no deer management thoughts at all. Now they (PA) are paying the price". That is why there are many of them leasing ground in SE Ohio. (Not sure as I don;t hunt PA).
    I do know as for the Oh counties S of SR30 and E of Wooster, if you are in the woods and not seeing Deer, YOU are doing something wrong. Good luck on the PA hunt. Hunt Safe!
  15. I have family who live in PA. They give us permission to hunt their land. However, in the last couple of years I have seen only a handful of deer as before I would see more than that in a single day. I will probably just stick with the areas here in wayne county as I see deer nearly every day in my travels. If I have a day that I see no deer it is unusual.
  16. traphunter

    traphunter Guest

    With the current deer eradication plan of the ODNR, Ohio will be like PA before too long.
  17. I grew up in Kane. It used to be hunter mecca many years ago. Now, no one comes up for deer season. Heck, I started hunting in the early 90s and I'd still see 20 - 30 deer a season. Not anymore. With the new plan, the deer numbers are absolutely horrible. The big woods feel desolate. I used to drive up Rt 66 at night and see deer all over the place on the side of the road. Now, 4 out of 5 times, not a single glowing eye. Everyone up there talks about this. Yes, the bucks that are there ARE bigger. But you're going to sit a long time in order to see one.

    To me, the real issue is how this system is effecting the next generation of hunters. I don't take my daughter to fish for big musky right off the bat. I take her to a bluegill pond so she can actually catch some fish and not get bored. Boredom is why kids get turned off of the fishing/hunter sports. I talk to grown adults all the time who said they fished as a kid but never caught anything. Now, there will be a generation of adults in PA who'll say the same about hunting. It seems like a very shortsighted plan. We're already competing with video games and computers. You think a kid is going to want to sit in the snow for 5 hours and not see a single tail? Good luck getting them to come out with you again. And if the sport doesn't stick with them as they grow older, deer hunting will be in heap of trouble that all the special management regs in the world won't be able to solve.
  18. I bought my license again just to hunt with an old friend, but I don't expect to take a shot, and maybe not even see a deer. We went up a week ago so he could cut the grass and i took a walk around the meadow. I saw no deer sign of any kind even though the camp is surrounded by the National Forest. I need to hunt Ohio archery season hard so I have venison.

    I also noted that the antlerless permits were gone long befor a non-resident could apply. That's probably good, but maybe they need to stop all doe hunting fo a few years for both residents & non-residents.

    The last 2 hunting seasons I saw no out-of-state hunters near Kane and there used to be several groups each year. If my friend stops hunting up there, i will never buy another PA license.
  19. Please, Ohio will never be like PA. I hunt them both and the Ohio DNR manages wildlife 1000 times better than the Pennsylvania Wildlife Commission ever has and ever will
  20. First deer I shot was in PA at age 14. This was 13 years ago at my uncles cabin, Hermit Springs area, hunting the NF. For the next 10 years, I went from seeing "herds" of deer coming over the ridges (10-20 deer) to praying that I atleast see a doe, even though I can't shoot her. Some of my best deer hunting memories are in PA, the gun raffles, the guys at the range, it just breaks my heart. I haven't hunted up there in 3 years and I miss it tremendously. Hopefully someday the Game Commission will get their act together....