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Q:
My buddies and I got doe tags for 2A. We keep seeing how there's lots of deer over there in Washington and Greene counties and how we should go there and hunt and stop complaining that there's no deer left here in the big woods. I hate to have to drive 3 hours when I used to have the best deer hunting in the world out my back door but my kid wants to quit hunting because he's hunted 3 years now, seen four deer total, and not gotten a shot. So, there's 5 of us, 3 guys and 2 kids. We scouted Game Lands 223 and Hillman and Raccoon Creek state parks this summer. Are we headed to the right places? Are there going to be a million guys there next Saturday? Think we can at least get the kids some shots if we hunt hard, stand hunt and do some silent drives for them?

Question by geneo205. Uploaded on November 23, 2012

Answers (9)

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from jay wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

What state are you hunting in?

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from geneo205 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Sorry. I'm hunting in Pennsylvania. I'm looking at going to Western PA next Saturday when anterless opens there. We've had a major deer kill off here with the doe tag system and it really hurts to see my boy want to quit hunting but there's not much to hunt.

We keep hearing that the deer numbers are great in Western PA. There's an unlimited number of doe tags there. We scouted some places and saw some sign but wonder if they'll be too many hunters there that close to Pittsburg.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I take it you live in 2G? 2A does have a lot of deer, but if you expect to find those deer on public land then prepare to be thoroughly disappointed. Public land deer are a different animal. They are over-pressured, over-hunted, and generally very difficult to kill.

If you want to get your boy hooked on hunting, forget about deer because deer are a terrible "starter species." Small game is where it's at! They're abundant and easy to hunt. Squirrels, rabbits, grouse, etc. It might not be as big of a thrill for you, but for your boy it'll be a blast! Success is the key to getting kids hooked on hunting, and it doesn't matter if that success is on big game or small game.

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from geneo205 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Well first, it's funny. I was a forum held by the PA GameCommission and the bureaucrat that ran it said the same thing to Us. If we actually wanted to bag game we should stick to squirrels. Deer hunting in PA wasn't about getting deer anymore. Those days were over and there were lots of squirrels to hunt.

So yes, we hunt squirrels. We shoot stocked Pheasants and its like killing chickens in a barn. Very few rabbits around even with my buddies dog. Thing is, when I was a kid, we could deer hunt and get a deer. Getting squirrels isn't the same.

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from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

gene, i killed a few bucks a few years ago on state game lands in green county (havent been back in awhile because i live in MI and am a college student), if i can remember correctly, i think it was the jackson state game lands? i dont recall what number they were. but every year ive hunted game lands in 2A ive seen deer. yea theres a few people but you just gotta know how to put yourself in the right spot.

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from steve182 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I hunt mostly public land in 2g. while i admit deer numbers are down, i see enough deer every year to keep me coming back. We definetly kill better bucks than in the past, maybe fewer, but but bigger. I know this has little to do with your trip to Pittsburgh, but I have always heard they have great deer numbers there and good bucks. Get in the woods early, stay longer, let others move deer to you. Go a little further from the road than everybody else. I have found most public land hunters only go 100-200 yds from the road. Sometimes the deer pile up about a half-mile in or just across the valley, up the other side. I've killed a few decent PA public-land bucks this way. Best of Luck.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Geneo205 - Smart bureaucrat. What forum was this might I ask?

Good to hear you're getting the kids involved in some small game hunting. The thrill might not be there for you, but I bet the kids enjoy being successful and spending time with their father. I know I still enjoy small game hunting with my dad. Squirrels got me hooked on hunting...not deer.

I grew up in the ADKs of NY. If you saw 3 deer a week you were doing good, and if you were lucky enough to see a buck, you shot it because that might be the only buck you saw all season long (and the rifle season goes from mid Oct through early Dec)! Personally, I think a lot of PA hunters have their expectations set way too high. When you go into the deer woods, ALWAYS go in with the mindset that you're not going to see anything. That's how I grew up hunting, and I saw deer it was that much sweeter.

If you want an easy kill for your kids in PA, I recommend you join up with a local Quality Deer Management Association(QDMA) branch. They run youth hunts and the branch members are usually more than willing to take a youth hunter out on their private properties to kill their first deer. Here's the branch directory (www.qdma.com/directory). Also, consider taking advantage of that youth rifle season in Oct. Good luck this weekend!

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from geneo205 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Smart bureaucrat? Puffed up idiot maybe. Deer hunting without deer. This is the Adirondacks. There deer number are small naturally. Here they are because the game commission wants it. The hunt squirrels advice was made at a meeting in Coudersport PA in 2010.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

geneo205 - Lol, so which "puffed up idiot" was it? I know a good number of 'em. There are 1.3+ million deer in PA. They are not equally distributed, nor are the hunters equally distributed. You're not wrong, the north central portion of the state has very similar habitat to the Adirondacks, and it's poor deer habitat. About the worst habitat in the state, yet that's where about 10-15% of all the hunters in the PA go to deer hunt. That's somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 hunters hunting in 2 WMUs (3A and 2G). Personally, it baffles me that people still go to the big woods to hunt because there's much better deer hunting in just about every other part of the state. I wish you luck in 2A!

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from geneo205 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Well first, it's funny. I was a forum held by the PA GameCommission and the bureaucrat that ran it said the same thing to Us. If we actually wanted to bag game we should stick to squirrels. Deer hunting in PA wasn't about getting deer anymore. Those days were over and there were lots of squirrels to hunt.

So yes, we hunt squirrels. We shoot stocked Pheasants and its like killing chickens in a barn. Very few rabbits around even with my buddies dog. Thing is, when I was a kid, we could deer hunt and get a deer. Getting squirrels isn't the same.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

What state are you hunting in?

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from geneo205 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Sorry. I'm hunting in Pennsylvania. I'm looking at going to Western PA next Saturday when anterless opens there. We've had a major deer kill off here with the doe tag system and it really hurts to see my boy want to quit hunting but there's not much to hunt.

We keep hearing that the deer numbers are great in Western PA. There's an unlimited number of doe tags there. We scouted some places and saw some sign but wonder if they'll be too many hunters there that close to Pittsburg.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I take it you live in 2G? 2A does have a lot of deer, but if you expect to find those deer on public land then prepare to be thoroughly disappointed. Public land deer are a different animal. They are over-pressured, over-hunted, and generally very difficult to kill.

If you want to get your boy hooked on hunting, forget about deer because deer are a terrible "starter species." Small game is where it's at! They're abundant and easy to hunt. Squirrels, rabbits, grouse, etc. It might not be as big of a thrill for you, but for your boy it'll be a blast! Success is the key to getting kids hooked on hunting, and it doesn't matter if that success is on big game or small game.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scratchgolf72 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

gene, i killed a few bucks a few years ago on state game lands in green county (havent been back in awhile because i live in MI and am a college student), if i can remember correctly, i think it was the jackson state game lands? i dont recall what number they were. but every year ive hunted game lands in 2A ive seen deer. yea theres a few people but you just gotta know how to put yourself in the right spot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I hunt mostly public land in 2g. while i admit deer numbers are down, i see enough deer every year to keep me coming back. We definetly kill better bucks than in the past, maybe fewer, but but bigger. I know this has little to do with your trip to Pittsburgh, but I have always heard they have great deer numbers there and good bucks. Get in the woods early, stay longer, let others move deer to you. Go a little further from the road than everybody else. I have found most public land hunters only go 100-200 yds from the road. Sometimes the deer pile up about a half-mile in or just across the valley, up the other side. I've killed a few decent PA public-land bucks this way. Best of Luck.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Geneo205 - Smart bureaucrat. What forum was this might I ask?

Good to hear you're getting the kids involved in some small game hunting. The thrill might not be there for you, but I bet the kids enjoy being successful and spending time with their father. I know I still enjoy small game hunting with my dad. Squirrels got me hooked on hunting...not deer.

I grew up in the ADKs of NY. If you saw 3 deer a week you were doing good, and if you were lucky enough to see a buck, you shot it because that might be the only buck you saw all season long (and the rifle season goes from mid Oct through early Dec)! Personally, I think a lot of PA hunters have their expectations set way too high. When you go into the deer woods, ALWAYS go in with the mindset that you're not going to see anything. That's how I grew up hunting, and I saw deer it was that much sweeter.

If you want an easy kill for your kids in PA, I recommend you join up with a local Quality Deer Management Association(QDMA) branch. They run youth hunts and the branch members are usually more than willing to take a youth hunter out on their private properties to kill their first deer. Here's the branch directory (www.qdma.com/directory). Also, consider taking advantage of that youth rifle season in Oct. Good luck this weekend!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from geneo205 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Smart bureaucrat? Puffed up idiot maybe. Deer hunting without deer. This is the Adirondacks. There deer number are small naturally. Here they are because the game commission wants it. The hunt squirrels advice was made at a meeting in Coudersport PA in 2010.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

geneo205 - Lol, so which "puffed up idiot" was it? I know a good number of 'em. There are 1.3+ million deer in PA. They are not equally distributed, nor are the hunters equally distributed. You're not wrong, the north central portion of the state has very similar habitat to the Adirondacks, and it's poor deer habitat. About the worst habitat in the state, yet that's where about 10-15% of all the hunters in the PA go to deer hunt. That's somewhere between 70,000 and 100,000 hunters hunting in 2 WMUs (3A and 2G). Personally, it baffles me that people still go to the big woods to hunt because there's much better deer hunting in just about every other part of the state. I wish you luck in 2A!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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