May 16th, 2014, 08:06 PM
Pennsylvania Game lands - pics and talk
Hi everyone! Recently my brother and I took on Public land here in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately it's hard to get any info, tactics, or just story and picture trading when it comes to hunting public land. This is a strictly positive only thread. Everyone already knows the negatives of PA game lands. I want to hear the positives! We have had great success, just not quite with the harvesting aspect yet. We hunt archery, rifle, and muzzleloader. This is one of many buck we were after this past season. image.jpg image.jpg
May 16th, 2014, 08:08 PM
Nice buck. Good luck getting him this year!
May 16th, 2014, 08:11 PM
Nice public land bucks. I hunt in NJ across the river from PA on public land near Milford, PA, I get in early well before daylight and others, I get in far, my walk is 3 miles from my truck, and I stay all-day or as long as I can, it's hard to pattern the deer cause it's all mountains crop fields are roughly 2 miles away. Cams as you know give you an idea and inventory of the deer in the area, also once they start rutting they can be anywhere, or a unknown buck can move in....Best of luck
May 16th, 2014, 08:26 PM
Thanks! Walking is our friend for sure. This buck is on a cam that's a 1 hour walk in from any road. My brother had a 120" class buck at 20 yards in muzzleloader, however it lost the other 60" already due to the subzero temperatures this year.
May 16th, 2014, 09:03 PM
I've hunted a lot of pa public land for turkey's and I'm always looking for deer sign,just a habit. I firmly believe you have to put on some miles. I get way back off the beaten path and find some great sign and say"I'm gonna hike back here in deer season" and you know how the rest of that goes. There's some great deer there,you just have to walk for them. A partner helps for the long drag you may have. As you know trail cams are your best friend as long as you hide them good.
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May 16th, 2014, 09:23 PM
What is your approach toward turkey season? Do you do a lot of moving or do you have designate areas you return to year to year?
May 16th, 2014, 09:27 PM
I hit game lands for turkeys the third and last week less people.
May 16th, 2014, 09:30 PM
I find a good vantage point before daylight and listen, and run & gun
May 16th, 2014, 09:33 PM
Great Pa Public land buck!
May 16th, 2014, 09:34 PM
It's still a goal of mine to get a spot-n-stalk deer on public land here in 5C. There are some great public lands that don't get touched in the early season and if you can get to them before the pheasant hunters roll in, you have a chance to get a crack at some good bucks.
May 16th, 2014, 09:41 PM
Some of my biggest bucks have come from Pa. public land, but because of some good private land in Ohio and Pa. i now have access to the last couple of years I haven't hunted Pa. public. My success rate has dropped on the private land mainly because of bad luck and a few misses. It might be time to roll up my sleeves and get back on some of my old public spots this year.
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May 16th, 2014, 10:13 PM
My public land hunting was dismal last season. But I blame myself as much as the land. I did not scout much and just tried to rely on old spots. I have never gotten permission to hunt private land in Pa so if I am hunting Pa it's on public ground. I do hunt with a friend on private land sometimes but I don't have permission to hunt that without being with him.
Any Pa buck I've ever killed came off of public land. Never any nice ones but I keep trying .
Mike - 2014 Bowtech RPM 360 email@example.com"
"I hunt deer because I love the entire process; the preparation, the excitement,and sustained suspense of trying to match my woods lore against the finely honed instincts of these creatures. " - Fred Bear
May 16th, 2014, 10:19 PM
I've hunted some County Parks and have had good success. I've only killed one buck and he was a scrub buck that needed to be taken out of the breeding pool. The big bucks are there but I have other places so I do not spend as much time hunting public land anymore but I should. This year I probably will since my work schedule has changed in the worst way.
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May 16th, 2014, 10:20 PM
I have hunted public land my entire life on 100 acres. I'm 22 now and after years of more people than deer it got old very fast. Now I did shoot a lot of nice buck over the years, but on private land it's hard to establish an age structure over 3 years old. Unlike most people think when it comes to game lands, we started hunting them for the bigger deer they have to offer and less people. However it comes at the cost of 3X the work to find and avoid each of those two factors. But with buck like I posted earlier it makes it all worth it. It's a whole new game and thrill hunting deer in a 4+ age group.
May 16th, 2014, 10:33 PM
I have areas that I return to because I've always heard birds. There's a power line that runs a few miles through hard woods and I like to walk that and listen. I can cover a ton of land with easy walking.
Originally Posted by DustinArner
Hoyt Vantage Elite
Hoyt horizon Olympic recurve
June 27th, 2014, 09:17 PM
Has anyone started putting cameras out yet for the upcoming season?
June 28th, 2014, 07:10 PM
I just started scouting and looking at some state forest land today. Going to try to get a camera or 2 out next weekend
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June 28th, 2014, 07:56 PM
Nice buck and also nice to see a thread that is all good about Pa Game lands.Some of my best times in the woods were on Pa SGL from 1986-2002.
117 Whitetails to 160" and counting.
June 28th, 2014, 08:24 PM
1st pictURE AT HOME last picture is last years he will l be on hit list as well , public game lands as well as you see date it was last day of archery i was on top hill and what do you know came right bye the tree i was in in morning
Originally Posted by DustinArner
June 28th, 2014, 08:34 PM
I hunted state lands in 2g and ha a massive 10 point come in last year but couldn't get a shot off. Find the food up here in the mountains and you find the deer.
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June 29th, 2014, 02:06 AM
It is tough hunting public lands. No fields mostly hardwoods which requires you to scout differently. I look for white oak acorns which are usually spotty. This is where the bucks will be during archery season.
July 3rd, 2014, 01:34 AM
Nice buck! My brother was out last year and 150 yards on the other side of a swamp he was hunting, one of our big guys was on camera at the same time. It's nice to see positive comments and game land pictures. We'll be putting our first set of cameras out on game lands this weekend.
July 3rd, 2014, 08:04 AM
The farm I go to is backed with gameland. The oaks all died off years ago, so the deer are on the farm a lot to feed. I still rather hunt the gamelands, in the thick undergrowth, mostly briers, that grew when the oak canopy died. I've noticed the deer have been getting a lot bigger since they have a lot of browse, and good cover. It's so thick it keeps most other hunters out. My cousin shot a nice ten that went over 200lbs dressed, and I got a 9pt that was 187lbs. I've been after one that makes them look small. I thought it was a horse coming, when I first saw it.
Last year we both had rushed shots, and made the mistake of shooting smaller bucks. There were some big bucks in there we were after.
I'm tempted to get another trail cam, even though I said I never would. But, I'm not going back into that spot, until I can hunt it.
I'm not excited, at all, to hunt Jersey anymore. The lands in PA are heaven, compared to what is here. It's nice to be in the woods and not hear traffic, planes, atv's, kids yelling, and dogs barking.
July 3rd, 2014, 11:02 AM
I used to hunt Pa. public all the time. Like the others have said its a lot of walking to get in past the pressure. When I was younger it was not a huge problem dragging out a mature buck even though it meant not getting back to the truck till many hours after dark. Now that I am getting older with a few minor health issues it just is not in the cards for me to go in that far. luckily these days I can hunt my own land and a few nearby farms. Those are some nice bucks you got on camera and I know how much work it can be to get on bucks like that in Pa. public land. Best of luck killing one of those this season.
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July 3rd, 2014, 07:36 PM
We like to focus on the thick swamps and undergrowth and basically anything I think I'm gonna regret going into or over knowing someone else won't. What are everyone's experiences on the food plots gc plants during archery prerut and rut?