PA Public Land???

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Mr.O, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. Mr.O

    Mr.O Weekend Warrior

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    Just wondering if anyone out there knows of any public land in Northeastern PA? I have been to Gameland 57, and there just doesn't seem to be a lot of deer. Anyway...any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Jake/PA

    Jake/PA Grizzled Veteran

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    That's PA public lands for you.

    I'm sure there will be a guy that posts a big buck picture and says something like "you just have to find them". But a majority of PA public lands are less than average and they get a ton of pressure.

    If I were in your situation, try to knock on some doors. You'll get turned down 100 times but you only need one yes. If you don't want to take that route, prepare for a lot of sits with low numbers seen. Try to get back in a mile off the roads/trails because I've seen most stands/human activity within that half mile range.

    Good luck.
     
  3. PinkPony

    PinkPony Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Like Jake said, that's the game lands for you. PA has the most hunters in any state. The numbers are actually pretty crazy to read. But the game lands are one of the only places many get to hunt. The best advice I can give you is walk far into it. Many will stop a mile (max) into the woods as they don't like to walk. Go back further and you should see more sign because the pressure wont be as intense.

    Granted, that is around NW PA parts - but it seems to work for the few I know who have to hunt game lands.
     
  4. virginiashadow

    virginiashadow Legendary Woodsman

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    Ever thought about heading down to hunt in Northern MD? Some decent bow only places within a couple hours of State GameLand 57.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2016
  5. ChrisKill22

    ChrisKill22 Newb

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    go on the states hunting/outdoor site and it will tell you all the public land accessible to hunt... or at least here is wisconsin
     
  6. pick00l

    pick00l Weekend Warrior

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    Gameland 57 is a very large area. You also have the connection with Rickets Glen making it even larger. The private land around there also contains large tracts so, it's a challenge to see a lot of deer. I've hunted in the Northeast for most of my time and deemed areas like this the "big woods". To me, that means I can find lots of great signs, find what I think are killer spots...and still not see many deer at all. Trail cams can go days, even a week without capturing deer. Does not mean they are not around. Just means they were not around that day. They have so many places and pockets to be in. I can go several hunts without seeing a tail. Since I grew up hunting these kinds of areas, it is normal and not usually frustrating.

    One way to increase your odds on these game lands is to but up near a swamp, thicket, or transition area. Early season, find the large areas of acorns near thick laurel.

    I'm not sure the direction you are coming from however, Francis Slocum SP seems to have a lot of deer...lots of people hunt there so, don't get frustrated bumping into others. You will see deer early and often there compared to the big woods.
     
  7. Mr.O

    Mr.O Weekend Warrior

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    I would have to honestly say...No, I've never really considered it (driving to Maryland to hunt), but you have given me food for thought.
     
  8. Mr.O

    Mr.O Weekend Warrior

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    I have mostly hunted the Forkston side, but I've been up in the Noxen end a couple of times.
     
  9. Mr.O

    Mr.O Weekend Warrior

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    Thanks for all the help and suggestions. Good luck to all this season.
     
  10. Jeepwillys

    Jeepwillys Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Beautiful area. My moms family is there in Tunkhannock. We used to spend two weeks every summer in forkston at a cabin. Our family leased it for years and were supposed to get first dibs when it went up for sale but they sold out from under us.
    We used to go out shining at night in my uncles jeep for deer in all the apple orchards there. Tons of deer. But that was 20+ years ago. Sorry nothing to help you out, just a trip down memory lane. When I saw those names posted up.
     
  11. pastorbigdan

    pastorbigdan Weekend Warrior

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    Haven't hunted that far east in PA, but i find PA to be spotty. Some areas hold few deer and some have tons. Example, I live in The NW corner where seeing a deer in archery 3 out 5 sits would be a great week. We also have a camp in Brookville where not seeing 3-5 deer per sit is a bad day. As heavy as the public land gets hit, I have a couple spots that have produced. They are far off the road and work best w/ lots of other hunters moving deer.
     
  12. Zweibarrt

    Zweibarrt Weekend Warrior

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    Northeastern pa has a lot of public lands available. As others have said, you must get away from the crowds. I used to hunt areas that were only accessible by going down. Nobody wants to drag a deer uphill.
    I work in Maryland. Not sure I would drive from NE PA to hunt in MD unless I had an in to private property.
     
  13. Coop

    Coop Grizzled Veteran

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    I have hunted many public lands throughout PA. They all seem to be the same in the fact that if you find a honey hole you will swear PA is full of deer and the hunting is excellent. If you find a spot that gets a lot of pressure, even if you find lots of deer sign, chances are you will won't see many deer during hunting hours. I had a spot I hunted last year that seem excellent on paper; white oaks, good edges, heavy crossing at a small stream. However, I hunted that spot several times through out the season and never saw a single deer. No even a yearling. I did see other hunters though, both bowhunters and small game. I didn't even bother scouting that spot this year.
     
  14. grommel

    grommel Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Same here in NY!! State land means more people less deer!! Best of luck
     
  15. BowHuntNEPA

    BowHuntNEPA Newb

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    Plenty of deer on PA public land. You have to work for them though. As others have said, find a major terrain feature and walk to the other side of it and you'll rarely have to deal with any other hunters.
     

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