Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    100
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    29810

    Default Want to start deer hunting

    Now that deer season has just passed, I'm looking to get prepared for next year. I'm 35, never been hunting before (but grew up on the range). What is a good place to start learning?
    - I live in PGH, where should I look to hunt?
    - What guns are ok to use in Allegheny county?
    - Any other words of wisdom for a new hunter?

    I have two young sons and would like to get a few seasons in before I start taking them and pass on knowledge. My dad used to hunt but hasn't in 30 years with no interest in starting again.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SW. Pa., Pennsylvania
    (Westmoreland County)
    Posts
    673
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    1296763

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    Can't help you on places to go in Allegheny Co or what gun is ok , bestguess would be muzzleloader , bow/crossbow and shotgun with slugs . Best thing to do is start spending some time out in the woods as much as you can , just go out and start walking around looking for sign like tree rubs and trails , take note of terrain features these trails follow and where they come from and go like from thickets and follow the curve of a bench or hill where are they feeding , ect. After enough time looking around you'll start seen patterns of where their moving to and from . The shooting part of hunting is just a small part of it all . Gotta put in the time knowing when and where the deer are and aren't at certain times of the day and night .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Tier, Pennsylvania
    (McKean County)
    Age
    50
    Posts
    7,250
    Rep Power
    21474855

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    Start with signing up for a HSC. Download the summary from the PGC website, and start reading. That will answer most of your basic questions.

    Start scouting potential hunting locations as soon as possible. Do everything you can to take advantage of the early seasons. There will be less hunters and the deer are more predictable. Try to hunt 3 consecutive days whenever/if possible.

    There are other threads like this one in this forum. Read up. Lots of good newbie information in them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    N.E., Pennsylvania
    (Susquehanna County)
    Posts
    905
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    21474842

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    Ask around your network of friends for someone who is an effective hunter. There is actually a mentored adult hunt allowed one season per adult.. so you can go with and learn and take a deer.
    You will also need to complete the Game Commission Hunter Safety Course.. get on it early because late in the Summer they are usually overfilled

    Don't worry about getting some shoulder cannon.. a simple .243 is more than enough.. get a good quality scope .. if you buy new most gun stores will mount and scope in your rifle for free or small fee.. worth it!

    and don't skimp on hunting ammo you should only need ONE box to shoot a few after the scope is set up.. after that maybe 3-4 rounds a year.. so get good hunting ammo.. .. for practice ammo (plinking) about most anything at the chain stores will work.

    Don't be afraid to approach rural land owners and ask if you can hunt on any of their land. I usually offer to give them venison from any deer harvested off their land and make good on my promise
    Always a good idea, and now required if you meet a PAGC warden You need written permission to hunt on private land that is not yours.. there are blank examples on the PAGC website to print.

    But you will usually learn more in one year from a good hunter than you can learn in several years by yourself.

    Also check out local ranges and sportsman clubs until you find one you like
    Retired US Army
    NRA Life Member, GOA, USCCA
    "Artificial intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Glockin, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
    Posts
    2,198
    Rep Power
    16809479

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    PGC Hunting Digest to read up on:

    https://www.pgc.pa.gov/HuntTrap/Law/...g%20Digest.pdf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh-South Hills, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Posts
    176
    Rep Power
    5756406

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    There aren't really any places to hunt in Allegheny County except for private land. But so long as you have permission, you can hunt within the other PGC rules.

    You can hunt state parks, state forests, and state game lands - but read up on safety zones. You can hunt some County parks, but I don't know if there are any Allegheny County parks that are huntable.

    Allegheny County is shotgun/muzzleloader/archery only, so don't go buying a centerfire rifle if you are set on hunting in the County - but don't be surprised if you need to drive about an hour to find someplace.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    up out back, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
    Posts
    346
    Rep Power
    6306224

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    Post #4 is good advice. Go out squirrel hunting. Still time for late season and good practice for deer. Sitting still, dressing appropriately, and gutting are almost identical to deer hunting. Just sitting in a squirrel area without a gun is good experience (park, etc.). They are harder to fool than deer. Other than that, study all you can on deer hunting basics, take a Hunter Safety Coarse (HSC, not Home Shoppers Channel), be aware of your backstop, be safe, and enjoy the outdoors. It's about the entire experience, not just the kill. Good Luck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Palmerton, Pennsylvania
    (Carbon County)
    Posts
    59
    Rep Power
    283128

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    Try to get on private land. Public land is like hunting on the moon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    OUT TO LUNCH
    Posts
    3,916
    Rep Power
    14176419

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    Land with access to hunt is tougher to find than it was just a few years ago. What side of town do you live on?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
    Posts
    504
    Rep Power
    11072549

    Default Re: Want to start deer hunting

    Quote Originally Posted by blau iii View Post
    Now that deer season has just passed, I'm looking to get prepared for next year. I'm 35, never been hunting before (but grew up on the range). What is a good place to start learning?
    - I live in PGH, where should I look to hunt?
    - What guns are ok to use in Allegheny county?
    - Any other words of wisdom for a new hunter?

    I have two young sons and would like to get a few seasons in before I start taking them and pass on knowledge. My dad used to hunt but hasn't in 30 years with no interest in starting again.
    One should probably note... Deer season actually hasn't passed! Flintlock & archery are happening right now, and if you're in Allegheny County, you can still go for a doe with a shotgun, and tags are still available. If you can find a place in Allegheny county (or rather, WMU 2B), you've got almost the entire month left. That being said, it might be a bit much to jump into right away.

    As far as places go, everyone else has covered most of it. There's only one State Game Land in Allegheny County (SGL 203), and deer there can be tough to find, maybe even more so than other public land (it's a very small piece of land, and sees a pretty decent amount of traffic). There's nothing wrong with looking outside of Allegheny county. Consider this when applying for doe tags, as they are WMU specific. I personally hunt my sportsman's club. I have also heard that you can hunt Allegheny Land Trust properties if you apply for a free permit through them.

    Allegheny county is shotgun (no buck shot, slug only), muzzleloader, and archery only.

    Words of wisdom, well, from another relatively new hunter, I would say that the main way you're going to learn is to get out there and make mistakes - don't let the fear of making them stop you from hunting (as long as they're not mistakes that endanger yourself or others, of course). If you're free on Saturdays, I might be open to helping you with squirrel if you're looking for an adult mentor. I've got blaze orange that you can borrow, if need be. Again, I'm far from experienced (only started 4 years ago), but if you wanted someone to answer some questions and show you around, I don't mind.

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