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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There have been some posts saying that PA deer hunting is really hurting ..... seeing fewer, if any bucks, etc. Different folks saying it used to be much better, or at least "OK."

This is what I think ....

-Deer Management in PA and in NJ are two different things; I don't blame the NJ DFW biologists, I blame their superiors

-PGC biologists were determined to decrease the deer herd, for the sake of the land and the deer, and they did so (does, etc); (some PA hunters are pissed, calling PGC "wacko environmentalists," etc)

-PA used to be one of the states with the highest ratio of yearling bucks to total buck harvest ... no more, now its low; I believe NJ is tied with another state for that sorry-ass distinction now

-I think there is a growing subclass of hunters in PA, made up of many younger hunters and *some* of the hunters coming over from NJ, that don't want to work for their deer; bucks in PA have a lot of big woods to sneak away into, unlike NJ .... especially with the smaller herd

-if you want to *kill* a lot of deer, including the 6 or 15 or how ever many bucks we can kill here in NJ each year, and you want to work very little to get those deer ..... then NJ is the place for you. PA isn't

-PA buck/deer harvest numbers fluctuate almost wildly sometimes; 2 seasons ago was a low point, but still, they are better deer harvested by fewer hunters. (I'll note that the bear harvest was also low that year); Last season the numbers were up 10% or 15%; the season before it, the numbers were 25% higher

-My seasons my be off by a year or two, but 2003 season set the record for bucks harvested; and, 2002 or 2004 had the second best ever buck harvest; the following season was a really good one; Lots of does are being taken, too

-I think when you compare the harvest numbers from the 2000's, compared to those of the 1990's .... they're fairly comparable; compare them to the 1980's, and they are better; but, you have to work for the deer, more so now with the proper deer/land carrying capacity

-Thats what I think anyway

-Last night, The Deer Hunter (with Robert De Niro) was on HBO ..... It got me siced! I have a little place in the WMU 4A mountains, Huntingdon County ... a lot of new growth from mining and timbering
 

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There have been some posts saying that PA deer hunting is really hurting ..... seeing fewer, if any bucks, etc.
i hunt tioga, state land.
the herd is next to nothing, the reduction has gone too far. forget about seeing bucks, try seeing a deer. my group has guys that have been hunting up there since '69, we are now talking about not going back. we all hunt dark to dark, some stillhunters, some stand hunters.
one problem is they zones are too big and they are managing state land and private land the same, that never works. much like zone 25.
PA needs to make some big changes, or they will lose even more out of state hunters. it's just not worth leaving 40 deer p-sq-m just to walk to the mountains that has 5 deer p-sq-m.
 

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This is odd, people that I have hunted with and spoke with have said the deer are here and the bucks are good.

I know the anti's have caused problems by authorizing a slaughter in some towns by allowing hired guns to come in and reduce the amount of deer in some areas.

They should let the hunters hunt and reduce the amount of deer.
 

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I have a camp in the 500,000 acre Allegheny National Forest. It is big woods with pretty harsh winters. Pre antler restrictions and herd reduction, you would see deer. Never a lot, but you would see them. The last two year, my dad and a friend have not seen a deer on the first day of and I have seen only 1. Hunting in NJ with 50+ deer per square mile is easy as compared to up there with 5-10 deer per square mile.

Here is a picture of the big buck contest that is held in Kane, PA. There are some very big deer up there though.
 

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I didn't buy my PA license this year and I didn't get a PA doe tag either. I own private land and haven't seen a legal buck in I don't know how many years. Last year, I saw 6 does.

I'm in Cambria County.

It's a waste of my time...
 

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Having never hunted in PA, i cant really contribute to this topic. But i am interested in the PA bear hunt this year, and have since read the PA digest. It is loaded with so many regs, special regs, so many zones, it is unbelievable.
 

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My Dad and I with 2 of my friends hunt Sullivan County every year - My Dad's property. It is 14 acres surrounded by all woods on every side. We definitely used to see more deer - pre antler resrictions, each guy would see 10-15 deer on opening day usually. Now we see much less, but the bucks we get are usually much bigger. We average one buck per year between 4 guys, but they are usually nice ones now. My friend got an 8 pointer 17 in. spread last year and my Dad got a similar buck the previous year. We definiely hear a lot less shooting now than we used to also. Less guys I guess.
 

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PA deer management isn't that bad. It's great I moved to PA from NJ about 6 years ago. The deer management in PA is leaps and bounds above NJ. How can you expect each hunter to be able to harvest 6 bucks in NJ and not have it effect the quality and quantity of NJ bucks?
 

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Grew up hunting in Lycoming and Sullivan counties in PA. I have not gone back to hunt there since the antler resrictions were put on. I remember when I was a kid mid 1970's we were used to seeing strings of 40 to 50 deer come through at once and a buck or 2 in the string. As I got older began seeing less and less deer. I did put a string of 8 years in a row of killing bucks back when yopu were only allowed one deer. Couple of nice 8's in there, but I think when the went to the buck and doe season together they messed it up.IMO
 

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How can you expect each hunter to be able to harvest 6 bucks in NJ and not have it effect the quality and quantity of NJ bucks?
Acording to the Assistant director of the Div.F+W and his deer project leader "that is how it is no impact"! So please buy those buck stubs.
 

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I think there is a growing subclass of hunters in PA, made up of many younger hunters and *some* of the hunters coming over from NJ, that don't want to work for their deer; bucks in PA have a lot of big woods to sneak away into, unlike NJ .... especially with the smaller herd
I really think the subclass of hunters was not called for, hunters are hunters. Alot of guys work most of the year, live in towns away from the deer woods they hunt, and don't get as much scouting time as others.
I know the reason the herd is down, because of the massive antlerless deer kill they institued. How many button bucks won't make it to maturity? We have a deer camp that has been in existence since 1950, prime farm land. If you see 10 deer a season you do good. It used to be you would see 50-60 deer a day. That was when there was a 3 day doe season, and tags were hard to get. This year PGC officails have been bragging about lowering the antlerless allocations. They lowered the allocation by 21,000, and thats in one WMU 5C. 4D the area I hunt is still at 40,000, there ain 40,000 deer in that whole area. I am fortunate enough to be able to spend more time at deer camp than most, I do alittle more scouting than most because of this. Deer are scarce.
Alot of guys would like to kill a "quality deer" but would be just as happy with a 4 point, or a spike, they would rather shoot a buck than a doe, but since they are limited to "quality deer" and the herd is down so far that even seeing deer is an accomplishment they will take a doe.
 

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I spent one week hunting PA last year, saw 2 does I could have shot if I had that tag. Saw the rear ends of half a dozen running deer a couple times. I'd say its not bad at all, for my first year trying to see a new area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I really think the subclass of hunters was not called for, hunters are hunters.
Subclass ..... as in a class within a class, a group within a group.

I did not mean inferiority, etc

Yes, hunters are hunters.
 

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PA wildlife biologists decided that there were too many deer for the ecosystem and they did something about it. I think they were right. You will see many areas of the state forests in monroe and pike county with deer exclosures. When they cut a section of timber they put a fence up to keep the deer out so the forest can regenerate. Yes there are a lot fewer deer now, but they are getting big. and as the habitat recovers, the deer population will increase. I predict in 5-8 years that the deer population will have increased greatly, because the habitat will be able to handle it.
 

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and as the habitat recovers, the deer population will increase.
You are speaking regionally, not statewide.

My property (50 acres) borders my Uncle's 100 acres and we both border 800 acres of cornfields.

The deer population has not increased and there has been no change in habitat. It's corn fields, year after year.

Whiskers hit the nail on the head.
 

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I agree the population is way down, but my own experiences the last few years has been that while I see a lot less deer, 30-40% of the deer I see are bucks, and I've seen some very nice ones.
 

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What zone do you hunt outback?

I hunt in 2E. Cambria County (my place) and in Clearfield County at the family farm near Mahaffey (Rt.219). The properties are about 25 + miles apart from each other.
 

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I hunt 3c, pike and monroe. I hunt the delaware state forest lands, I don't normally hunt the water gap any more.

I tried for a few years to get an antlerless tag to hunt prince gallitzen, back when they only gave out 13000 and could never get one.
 
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