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Thread: Some Advice?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Some Advice?

    Dear Fellow Hunters,

    I'd appreciate some advice. I'm located in the far western Philly suburbs (Chester County: think Exton-Downingtown-West Chester) and have chased small game in PA for the past 15 years. My son is 17 and has recently expressed an interest in deer hunting. I have zero interest in deer hunting in our special regulations area, mostly because I have a strong preference to get away from the crowds of hunters, especially with my son along. So I've been thinking about taking him to one of the State Game Lands that run between Hamburg to Denver to north of Harrisburg for a day or two of hunting during the youth season. Truth be told, seeing some deer would be icing on the cake, as spending a couple days with my son hitting the wilds of PA would be borderline sublime. But I'd like to be smart and create the best opportunity to see some deer and maybe get him a shot. But being a complete neophyte at deer hunting, I don't have any idea of whether this plan has any merit. So what would you do if you were in my shoes? Would you recommend another location? A particular hunting method? Any recommendations are most welcome and appreciated.

    Thanks for your time and words of wisdom, folks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    SEPA, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    You should have started doing your research before now as most WMUs are sold out of doe tags. At this point, you will only be hunting for bucks.

    Scouting is a must since you want to go away from Chester Co. IMO, being in 5C/5D is great because the season is longer, so you get more opportunities to locate game.

    You should consider doing archery just because the weather is better and there aren't nearly as many hunters during the archery season.

  3. #3
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    Somerset, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    I think you'll find the smaller game lands in Lancaster get a fair amount of hunting pressure. At least that was my impression when I hunted them during rifle season. But there is a big one just north of Harrisburg that runs the mountain top (#211?), a buddy said he always saw deer there but he had to get back in a ways. Don't overlook state forest land and state parks. I hunted French Creek state park during the week, it wasn't overrun with hunters but that's been several years ago.

    I don't think you can find a spot in Pa. where there aren't deer, spend time in the woods and you'll see some.

    Dale

  4. #4
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    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by prof7654 View Post
    Dear Fellow Hunters,

    I'd appreciate some advice. I'm located in the far western Philly suburbs (Chester County: think Exton-Downingtown-West Chester) and have chased small game in PA for the past 15 years.
    I grew up in CC (West Goshen Township) and recall in the 60s/70s when ringneck pheasant were a-plenty throughout the county. Miss those days.

    Sorry, no advice for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    next to my neighbor, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAKIII View Post
    I grew up in CC (West Goshen Township) and recall in the 60s/70s when ringneck pheasant were a-plenty throughout the county. Miss those days.

    Sorry, no advice for you.
    I remember them in my back yard in broomall. Long gone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Enon Valley, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    Go on vacation. Take your son to the Central or North West, PA.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Bridgeville, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    prof,

    The archery season starts in my area on this upcoming Sat.
    At this point, if you are just getting thoughts together to try for this season, I would suggest planning everything you want to do, where you want to go, what firearms you will use, a detailed list of what you will carry in, reviewing maps of the ares you will try to hunt, etc etc etc.

    As previously suggested, if you do a gamelands hunt, figure to go back further in than most hunters do if of course you and your son are physically fit enough to do so.
    I started walking 4 miles about 4 or 5 times a week with a backpack and 20 lbs in it.

    Get maps of the gamelands, travel there maybe on a sunday to walk the terrain. I carry a personal locator beacon now because I'm an old guy and sometime hunt by myself.

    That's for my trip up north about 2 hours away.

    Usually, I'm in this treestand below my tomato patch. It's sixty feet away from my deck in the suburbs.
    2018-09-13_10-17-51 by poofy27, on Flickr

    This is a picture I took about 2 hours ago.
    2018-09-13_10-23-29 by poofy27, on Flickr

    Suburban deer are ok and taste good.
    2017-12-06_10-13-21 by poofy27, on Flickr


    What I'm getting at is perhaps you don't have to drive very far to see deer and be successful.
    Do drive around away from suburbia, stop at some farms and ask the owners if they would allow you to hunt. maybe offer up some venison if you would score. You will get turned down a lot but patience may pay off to get someones property to hunt on.

    If things don't go well planning for this year, start now to plan for next year.
    Get in shape, find a place to go, walk the terrain understanding that going in before light is a whole different experience, become proficient with whatever firearm you will use ( maybe not yourself but for your son). I would walk in a mile and be familiar with the area.
    I personally take a change of base layers and change out of the wet stuff to dry stuff.
    Prepare for different weather conditions.

    I could go on and on and this is info you have to preplan for.
    I make lists for everything I do from hunting to camping to fishing. A checkoff list usually works to where I don't forget something.

    Good luck. Pre plan. Be safe. Know the hunting laws and rules.
    The pipe never wins. I always win.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Delco, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    Where have you seen deer during your 15 years of small game hunting? Might want to try there as you already know the area.
    Sticks and stones will break my bones but hollow points expand on impact.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    POCONO MOUNTAINS, PENNSYLVANIA, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    Try any hunting area thats legal near a developement,Some big deer and plenty of anterless abound going into these developements and out to gamelands everyday !
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Some Advice?

    Thanks for all the replies, folks! They were helpful. Much appreciated!

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