How tight do you hunt a suburban area? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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How tight do you hunt a suburban area?

How much free space are you willing hunt in? Meaning, I know the safety zone is 50 yards and that many deer are not going to die within that bubble. Do many of you hope the deer runs the way you want? Say youre 50 yards from a row of houses like many housing plans are set up, but the opposite direction is 200 yards of trees. What is your magic number? Would you hunt a 51 yard circle 100 yard circle etc. Do your potential interactions of a deer dying in someones yard affect your cushion zone?
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 01:50 AM
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Did that here in York. Permission from all land owners due to landscape damage. Was within 20 yards of homes on set up. Lost all interest once following blood trials between swing sets and sand boxes! The deer didn't care what's going on. They were going to pass through or eat at any cost. Was more of a herding of cattle experience.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 08:43 AM
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I plan to use a crossbow to hunt a woodlot by my house next year. I have met archers that have hunted the area. Last year one guy dragged out two deer and hit two others that he didn't find. (I am in 2B WMU so you can get as many doe licenses as you want.)

When I set up, I will be beyond the 50 yd safety zone. I would not go closer than that even if I had permission. I would guess the woodlot to be about 15 acres that wraps around a housing plan.

Also, the woodlot is very thick with the invasive privet plant. I intend to use a tree stand, and I have started clearing out shooting lanes now. I figure, if I hit a deer it is going to stay in the thicket to hide. I think that is why the hunter couldn't find the deer he hit last year. I will be careful to only take good shots and not push a wounded deer.

I set up a trail cam last fall. There are a lot of deer including some nice bucks in this area. I do not need to go close to houses to hunt. I haven't even decided if I will shoot a legal buck. There are so many deer, I would rather take a doe to knock down the whitetail rat herd. Every year there are several road kills in the area; overpopulation.

In summation, I have elected to hunt this woodlot because other have done so successfully and the area is large enough and the terrain is thick enough so that I have a reasonable expectation of harvesting a deer without a problem.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 09:53 AM
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I hunt a 4 acre parcel. I can see 4 houses from my stand. I have taken 3 deer. I have hit one I lost (only deer I lost in 27 years). That being said, that is also the only deer to ever leave the property. Neighbors were not happy when I knocked on doors asking permission to trail. There are corn fields etc. around as well so while I see 4 houses most are sitting on 2-3 acres so its not TONS of houses. Not sure how I would handle that. Depends on your comfort level, accuracy, and the neighbors tolerance I suppose

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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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That was part of my question. Since we cant control the deer, do many of you go out past 50 to say 150 yards and hedge your bets that the deer would expire within the 150 vs 50 bubble. It's a tough call because as mentioned once you get into someones yard it is a different scenario especially when said property is different than what you had permission to hunt. I'm not sure how many people take rangefinders with them, but they should. Gained a whole new perspective for what 50 yards is from a house. It is closer than you think for sure.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Also, I noticed that one tends to get distracted by the activity around and not focus on hunting. When I'm in the woods, or field etc that's really all there is to see. The more suburban aspect, you see cars going by and other things which grab your attention.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pt1e View Post
How much free space are you willing hunt in? Meaning, I know the safety zone is 50 yards and that many deer are not going to die within that bubble. Do many of you hope the deer runs the way you want? Say youre 50 yards from a row of houses like many housing plans are set up, but the opposite direction is 200 yards of trees. What is your magic number? Would you hunt a 51 yard circle 100 yard circle etc. Do your potential interactions of a deer dying in someones yard affect your cushion zone?

I am not willing to hunt in such areas at all. My BIL lives in Monroeville and I hunted a couple times with him. It is just not for me. When I am watching people come out and rake leaves, wash their cars, get the mail, let their dogs run, I hear the phones ring inside the houses, it's just too much for me. The first time I shot a deer and it fell in someone's yard would be enough for me. The couple times I hunted down there, I let deer go because I was just not comfortable hunting in that situation. 50 yard safety zone or not, I would not hunt that close to someone's house and I wouldn't want anyone hunting that close to mine.
I don't care how many deer are there or how big the bucks may be, that type of hunting is just not for me, and never will be.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 11:58 AM
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I've done it in the past, shot 'em in my back yard. There's too many nosy neighbors now. I like to shoot a neighborhood deer if I can to help control population. Now I hunt a sliver of SP about .10 of a mile behind my house. I can see houses, people walking dogs, etc. but there's a comfortable safety zone also. No guns, just bow. Oh, and a few a-holes who ride 4 wheelers through the park.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 11:59 AM
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I agree with Kudu, that scenario is just too tight for me. Most of my Pa. hunting has been in suburbia, but on the edge of farm / mountain country, and it was never necessary to hunt that close to housing.


IMO, the best approach, if possible, would be to talk with an influential person in the neighborhood, and see if they would be interested in maybe setting up a co-op allowing archery hunting in order to help solve the overpopulation problem, and the health and welfare problems that can accompany it.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-01-2019, 01:36 PM
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I've been hunting in a Suburban deer management program since 2008. I had one tight property where I was about 20 yards inside a tree line and 40 to 50 yards away from the landowners house (yes I had permission to be that close.) Other properties bordered that weren't friendly to the program. I didn't like it at all. Prevailing wind direction blowing toward where the deer would come from, terrain issues and thickness of the woodlot led to my eventual abandoning of that spot, as it frankly didn't end up being productive. I had to explain to the property owner why I only hunted there a couple of times a year (with an easterly wind) and they understood but weren't particularly happy. In the winter you'd see so many deer beds it was ridiculous.

I was also assigned a hunting a borough owned property and an adjacent private property across the road. When I'd shoot a deer on the private property, I'd knock on the owner's door and let him know that I'd shot one, and that if he or anyone there would be uncomfortable seeing me drag and load a dead deer on my truck, that they might want to lay low for a bit. He was appreciative of my efforts and we got along great. Unfortunately, he died and that property changed hands and I'm no longer able to hunt it.

So now I hunt strictly on the borough owned property. I can see two houses from my stands and they're about 110 to 130 yards away. I've shot quite a few deer there and thankfully none have died in anybody's yard. Most of the time the hit deer head towards thick stuff and it's not a problem. I'd hate to hunt much closer to the houses. I keep my shots short and pay attention to the mood of the deer and shot angles and will not shoot a walking deer unless its within a few yards. I still try and make a bleat call and make the deer stop. Shot selection is key to avoiding conflicts.

I agree with the comments about the distractions. Kids playing in the yard, deck hockey on the driveway, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws, walkers, dog walkers, horseback riders (including local hunt club sponsored fox hunts, with many horses and large packs of dogs), car and bike traffic and joggers on the adjacent road, other hunters on the adjacent private properties are all some of the things I deal with on a regular basis. It gets frustrating for sure.
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Last edited by WexfordBowhunter; 01-01-2019 at 03:07 PM. Reason: fix typo
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