Northern Big Woods Insight - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 64Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread
post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
steelhead125
The Man
 
steelhead125's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Steeler Country 2D/2C
Posts: 7,803
Back To Top
Northern Big Woods Insight

Looking to gain some perspective on what it’s like to hunt Elk State Forest. My family just bought a camp in the Sinnemahoning area and I plan on doing some of my hunting up there. I have only ever hunted the SW corner of the state. We do have mountains down here and I hunt some big areas but it doesn’t compare to up North. Figured I would make a list of questions and perhaps some of you would be willing to offer some insight.

1. What’s it like hunting in elk territory ? Do they coexist with whitetails or do they take over a area and push them out ?

2. The mountains around Sinnemahoning are steep. What part of the mountain do you hunt ? Do you drive up to the top, hunt halfway or stay down in the valleys ?

3. Does the area grow bigs bucks ?

4. What’s the pressure like during rifle season ?

5. How often do you encounter bears while hunting ? I average about one sighting a year around here but I know there are many more up north.

6. What about rattlesnakes ? At home I will cross paths with a couple of them almost every year. Where I am at up north is known for being rattlesnake country. Is snake boots a must or am I overreacting ?

7. Do you feel the deer herd is starting to rebound from HR or is it still bad? I know I read stories on here of guys going a entire week without seeing deer.

Anyhow I am sure I have more questions but can’t think of anything at the moment.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks.

Darton DS-3800
Public Land Hunter

Last edited by steelhead125; 04-17-2019 at 03:56 PM.
steelhead125 is online now Report Post  
post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 03:59 PM
pchunter1231
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: pa
Posts: 1,769
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelhead125 View Post
Looking to gain some perspective on what itís like to hunt Elk State Forest. My family just bought a camp in the Sinnemahoning area and I plan on doing some of my hunting up there. I have only ever hunted the SW corner of the state. We do have mountains down here and I hunt some big areas but it doesnít compare to up North. Figured I would make a list of questions and perhaps some of you would be willing to offer some insight.

1. Whatís it like hunting in elk territory ? Do they coexist with whitetails or do they take over a area and push them out ?

2. The mountains around Sinnemahoning are steep. What part of the mountain do you hunt ? Do you drive up to the top, hunt halfway or stay down in the valleys ?

3. Does the area grow bigs bucks ?

4. Whatís the pressure like during rifle season ?

5. How often do you encounter bears while hunting ? I average about one sighting a year around here but I know there are many more up north.

6. What about rattlesnakes ? At home I will cross paths with a couple of them almost every year. Where I am at up north is known for being rattlesnake country. Is snake boots a must or am I overreacting ?

7. Do you feel the deer herd is starting to rebound from HR or is it still bad? I know I hear stories on here of guys going a entire week without seeing deer.

Anyhow I am sure I have more questions but canít think of anything at the moment.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks.
You should really ask RSB. Thats his home turf. I never hunted it but my youngest brother and his crew usually go up the second Thursday until the last day and he says your lucky to run into another hunter. Their crew got 18 deer in those 3 days out of 11 guys this past year. He tells me lots of deer no hunters every year they do it. They mostly do deer drives but i dont know which part they actually hunt. Even the last day of rifle he said the woods were void of hunters which is a common theme these days.
steelhead125 likes this.

4B
pchunter1231 is online now Report Post  
post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 04:08 PM
Shiftyshad
Hooked on HuntingPa
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: 5B, 4A, 4D
Posts: 310
Back To Top
I'm close friends with a group that hunt a very large tract of "private" land up there and I usually make it up a few times a year. I had a lot of issues with fog during rifle this year but generally I'd say most hunting is up high or back long hollows. There are lots of big bucks and also seems to be a fair amount of pressure during rifle. The "private" piece I'm referring to allows locals to hunt and I was running into them with some frequency this year. There are also a good amount of rattlers and I've nearly stepped on them in the summer picking blueberries. Never had any issues later in the year. I'd say in the last 3-5 years the deer herd has been on the up and up. This is based on anecdotal evidence riding atvs and walking around. Used to never see deer, now see them with some frequency. It's tough hunting, but the folks that know what they're doing regularly pull a few nice bucks off that property up there in rifle and there is a seemingly endless amount of land to hunt.

I'm sure you'll find more answers from those that regularly hunt there, but that's what I've got. Beautiful area and congrats on the camp.
steelhead125 likes this.
Shiftyshad is offline Report Post  
post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 04:11 PM
Goosechaser
Part of the Community
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Fingerlakes of N.Y
Posts: 178
Back To Top
As in all area's of the state, some parts will hold more deer than others. We've had a camp in that part of the world since 1947. Scouting is certainly a must. We don't usually end up with a large kill, usually around 50% , but always over 120". Last year we were 5 for 11. We all want to hunt, just not shoot the first legal thing hat comes by.
The deer are certainly there, but you'll generally get out of it what you put in it.
Never seen a rattler, but others have.
Have seen a few elk, but where we are there's not many .... Yet!
I saw a bear every day in bear season and almost the same during buck. We hunt clear cuts and laurel, so that's why.
With the amount of public access around, there certainly is a big area to stretch your legs and go.
Welcome to the big woods.
steelhead125 likes this.
Goosechaser is offline Report Post  
post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 05:03 PM
dce
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: dubois
Posts: 19,883
Back To Top
It's been a few years but my buddy used to own that cliff behind the Willows.He didn't hunt but DMAP'd the property because he was a forester and bought the property for the trees.It was absolutely miserable climbing that hill but once you got hear the top,there was a big bench and the top was flat and choked with laurel.It ran into elk state forest at that point.I started hunting it around 2005 and haven't been up there in a few years.I never scouted it and only hunted it on the last day because that was generally the only tag I had left.I've never seen a human or even a track in the snow.I killed a deer every single Time I've hunted there and saw a couple huge bucks that I never had a tag for.People complained about few deer in that area but I always saw multiple deer,sometimes as many as 25.He sold the property a year or two ago.That's a good area to hunt.You probably won't see dozens of deer/day but the chance of consistently killing a good one is good.I have another buddy who has a camp on Lick island.They put their time in every year and shoot some really nice deer in that area
steelhead125 and lynxone like this.
post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
steelhead125
The Man
 
steelhead125's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Steeler Country 2D/2C
Posts: 7,803
Back To Top
You guys are getting me pretty excited. Thanks for the responses so far !

Darton DS-3800
Public Land Hunter
steelhead125 is online now Report Post  
post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 06:01 PM
.257
Frequent Contributor
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: 2A/2H-2G
Posts: 859
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelhead125 View Post
Looking to gain some perspective on what itís like to hunt Elk State Forest. My family just bought a camp in the Sinnemahoning area and I plan on doing some of my hunting up there. I have only ever hunted the SW corner of the state. We do have mountains down here and I hunt some big areas but it doesnít compare to up North. Figured I would make a list of questions and perhaps some of you would be willing to offer some insight.

1. Whatís it like hunting in elk territory ? Do they coexist with whitetails or do they take over a area and push them out ?

2. The mountains around Sinnemahoning are steep. What part of the mountain do you hunt ? Do you drive up to the top, hunt halfway or stay down in the valleys ?

3. Does the area grow bigs bucks ?

4. Whatís the pressure like during rifle season ?

5. How often do you encounter bears while hunting ? I average about one sighting a year around here but I know there are many more up north.

6. What about rattlesnakes ? At home I will cross paths with a couple of them almost every year. Where I am at up north is known for being rattlesnake country. Is snake boots a must or am I overreacting ?

7. Do you feel the deer herd is starting to rebound from HR or is it still bad? I know I read stories on here of guys going a entire week without seeing deer.

Anyhow I am sure I have more questions but canít think of anything at the moment.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks.

1. The elk are pretty much a non factor for deer hunting they're around but don't bother the deer.


2. Just like at home it depends on sign and food


3. Some of the biggest bucks I see all year are from the big woods


4. Pressure is scattered some areas close to the road can be very crowded some more remote areas are void of people


5. At least one per year throughout the seasons


6. I've never seen one while hunting but they are most definitely around, IMO snake boots aren't necessary


7. The herd is definitely rebounding, but you must be flexible I think there are plenty of deer to hunt but you have to hunt for them and I tend to find them way more concentrated than in the SW part of the state that I hunt where they seem to be more evenly distributed.


Hope this helps




I see a good bit more deer at home for sure but there is something special about hunting the big woods and there are certainly enough deer around to keep it interesting.
bigguy54 and steelhead125 like this.
post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 08:50 PM
R. S. B.
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Elk County
Posts: 12,795
Back To Top
Most of the Elk State Forest is east of my hunting grounds and even Elk County.

I am somewhat familiar with it though. I think most of the others who have posted have explained pretty much my experience with the hunting in Elk State Forest.

There is a lot of excellent hunting for deer, bear and turkeys if you put the time in to locate the best areas. Some of it has easy access while much of it is pretty remote and rugged country. Some of the oldest and also a few of the biggest bucks in the state come from the Elk State Forest.

As for rattle snakes...they are there but I don't worry at all about them. Don't walk around in sandals or shorts or expose bare skin to them and you most likely will not have any issues with them. Mostly they will hide from a person and you will walk by them without even knowing they are nearby. It is usually exposed skin, the heat source, within their hunting and strike zone that will get a person stuck at. Unless they are trying to handle them most people aren't get to have any issues with snakes. All I ever wear are regular eight inch high boots and long pants. When I encounter them I just walk around them or if they are on a road, path or someplace I am afraid someone will kill them I take a stick and move them off the trail where they aren't likely to be seen.

It depends on what you are looking for in your hunting and outdoor experience how much you will like or dislike the big woods hunting adventure.

Dick Bodenhorn

Last edited by R. S. B.; 04-17-2019 at 08:53 PM.
R. S. B. is offline Report Post  
post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
steelhead125
The Man
 
steelhead125's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Steeler Country 2D/2C
Posts: 7,803
Back To Top
Quote:
Originally Posted by R. S. B. View Post
Most of the Elk State Forest is east of my hunting grounds and even Elk County.

I am somewhat familiar with it though. I think most of the others who have posted have explained pretty much my experience with the hunting in Elk State Forest.

There is a lot of excellent hunting for deer, bear and turkeys if you put the time in to locate the best areas. Some of it has easy access while much of it is pretty remote and rugged country. Some of the oldest and also a few of the biggest bucks in the state come from the Elk State Forest.

As for rattle snakes...they are there but I don't worry at all about them. Don't walk around in sandals or shorts or expose bare skin to them and you most likely will not have any issues with them. Mostly they will hide from a person and you will walk by them without even knowing they are nearby. It is usually exposed skin, the heat source, within their hunting and strike zone that will get a person stuck at. Unless they are trying to handle them most people aren't get to have any issues with snakes. All I ever wear are regular eight inch high boots and long pants. When I encounter them I just walk around them or if they are on a road, path or someplace I am afraid someone will kill them I take a stick and move them off the trail where they aren't likely to be seen.

It depends on what you are looking for in your hunting and outdoor experience how much you will like or dislike the big woods hunting adventure.

Dick Bodenhorn
I pretty much hunt the most remote areas I can find in my part of the state even though I could hunt other places that have much better odds and are easier to hunt. After 8 years of hunting one particular area I still have a lot of ground to cover. With that being said the landscape around Sinnemahoning is totally different . Been going up there for close to 25 years now but it has always been for trout fishing and hanging out in the summer . Never seriously considered hunting up there until we got the camp. The NC part of the state is by far my favorite place to be. There is nothing like it in my opinion.
bigguy54 likes this.

Darton DS-3800
Public Land Hunter
steelhead125 is online now Report Post  
post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 09:32 PM
Coureur De Bois
Diehard Outdoorsman
 
Coureur De Bois's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Southern 2G & Northern 4D
Posts: 4,198
Back To Top
It don't matter at all where you hunted before, the north central is a brand new game. I hope for you the best, but little what you learned in the SW will hold true or do you any good in the NC.
Scouting each year is much more important. Where they were last , may not hold true this year.
Your sent will put them on high alert, even if its 7 hours old.
A 200 pound buck can hid in a thimble, and disappear in a second.
If you're not hunting with a gang, driving, learn how to track, and still hunt. If your going to post, arrive before first light, and don't leave until last.
Good luck, you will need it, but you just might end up killing the biggest buck of your life. There are deer in the big woods that only encounter humans during hunting season. A young deer may be the dumbest animal you've ever seen, a mature one you may never see.
Edit; one more thing, get yourself in the best physical shape possible.
bigguy54, steelhead125 and .257 like this.

The way that you wander is the way that you choose,
The day that you tarry is the day that you lose.
Sunshine or thunder, a man will always wonder.
Where the fair wind blows.

Last edited by Coureur De Bois; 04-17-2019 at 09:37 PM.
Coureur De Bois is online now Report Post  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Remove Text Formatting
Bold
Italic
Underline

Insert Image
Wrap [QUOTE] tags around selected text
 
Decrease Size
Increase Size
Switch Editor Mode
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress:
0
Valid file extensions: bmp doc gif jpe jpeg jpg pdf png psd txt zip
Options



Forum Jump

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On