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FOLLOW THE MAP TO WHITETAILS

Deer Hunter Focus Areas point hunters to some of the best deer habitat on state game lands.



Scouting for deer is all about looking for sign.

And this year, hunters also can look for signs – green-and-yellow paper placards reading “Deer Hunter Focus Area” – and follow them to some of the best whitetail habitat on state game lands.

Sections of game lands posted as Deer Hunter Focus Areas recently have undergone timber harvests or other habitat modifications that typically cause deer to concentrate because of an abundance of newly available food. Many of these areas are off the beaten path, and have been posted to alert hunters to their presence and the potential they hold.

“Some of the best places to hunt deer on state game lands are in remote, often mountainous, areas where forest-management practices have opened the canopy to promote increased plant growth,” said Dave Gustafson, chief forester for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. “However, these areas often are in remote destinations, some distance from roads open to public travel.

“That’s where this new program intends to help hunters. Our goal is to guide hunters within a half-mile – or less – of game lands locations where deer are taking advantage of these habitat improvements.”

In large tracts of forestlands, deer are drawn – almost immediately – to wherever any thinning of the forest canopy occurs. Such places quickly offer increased amounts of browse – forest plants and other succulent vegetation that are an important part of a deer’s diet. Thinned forest areas usually provide sufficient cover, too.

But drawing enough hunting pressure to these areas is key to maintaining that habitat. And as part of the program, more game lands roads will be opened to vehicles. That should help hunters cut the time it takes to travel and hike to their hunting spots, whether they’re hunting in a Deer Hunter Focus Area or somewhere else.

“By getting hunters into these areas, we can keep deer numbers in balance with available food, and the land can continue to provide for deer there, making these places ideal hunting spots for years to come,” Gustafson said.

Of course, as a result of this new program, there also will be hunters who end up with more company where they hunt currently in game lands interiors. But the program, in its first year, will occur on only 30 or so tracts of game lands. Hunters seeking to avoid the crowds still have plenty of room and places to hunt on most forested game lands.

Signs identifying Deer Hunter Focus Areas contain a yellow keystone, surrounded by a green background with images of deer silhouettes in all four corners.

Maps of state game lands with sections posted as Deer Hunter Focus Areas can be found on the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. Go to the homepage and select Deer Hunter Focus Area link.
 

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All I can say is WOW!!

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/porta...ses/newsrelease/articles/release__090_15.html


I am all for teaching people to hunt, but this one irks me. Thank god I didn't see any of the gamelands that I hunt on the map. If I hunted one of those areas I would be jacked! You put your time in, use what time you have to scout and find a good area. Then you go in to your spot on the first day of buck, and see 10 cars parked there and neon signs right to your spot?

I would double check this map if you hunt one of those "white tail deer focus areas" hunt up wind from them, and shoot the deer that these sign chaser spook out of there.

I think this one is flat out wrong. Now I am a big time supporter of the PGC but this one is a bad move IMO
 

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Re: All I can say is WOW!!

I think the game commission is trying to promote deer hunting by any means they can. I hunt near two spots on their map and there are far better places to deer hunt than where they are pointing out. One spot borders a lease, and the lease is not worth 2 cents to hunt, but someone is definitely making money on some unfortunate hunters. I think this is a gimmick, sort of an attention grabber to get some people excited.
 

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Re: All I can say is WOW!!

All I can say is the last time I grouse hunted SGL 110 could not believe how much area was timbered.
 

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They should have made the SGL borders on the map red, and focus areas orange.

Because that will be all You see on Monday morning, November 30th in any one of them. If you can find parking...
 

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Yeah, I'm glad I don't hunt any of them either. My question is that will they add more sgl's in the program next year? Bad move totally in my opinion. Do your own scouting, find your own spots, and if you do shoot a deer it will be worth the effort. This is one of the closest things to having a "guide" with you. Another bad move by the PGC.

And yes, it will be a pumpkin patch in these areas on the rifle opener.
 

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where are those signs ???....
 

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Why do some posts get so wide I have to scroll for miles to reach the end of a sentence? is it possible to have a post only
be as wide as my monitor as a default on this site? No offense, but it usually forces me to
not read a post on move on to something else right away.

Is this because the thread was "merged"?
 

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Re: Finally, No Scouting needed!

They did that years ago on the news about Washington county game lands and they have gotten hammered for years now. Especially Bavington/Burggetstown area. The deer got wiped out quickly. Now I see they want to do it to GL 86 in Warren county-nice
That GL is one of my favorites. I use to hunt that all of the time, now they want it hammered.
 

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Re: Finally, No Scouting needed!

Some of these areas are as small as 1/4 mile by 1/2 mile! One person sitting in the center could cover the entire 'focus area'!!! What a joke!
 

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Re: Finally, No Scouting needed!

I guess sometime next week the local news will have their annual "top 10 deer hunting spots" story.
 

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Re: Finally, No Scouting needed!

The deer focus area in Millville is one of the spots that can be covered by a single long range shooter they destroyed a good pheasant cover area but what the heck we traded that for a deer focus are lmao!
 

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Re: Finally, No Scouting needed!

I hunt SGL 37, the only target area in Tioga County. Interesting, a few years back they were going to log this area. Loggers wouldn't bid on the area unless the road was across gamelands was improved first. This road was closed to all motorized vehicles for as long as I can remember. So, along comes the PGC and using Pittman-Robertson money, improves the road, and the loggers basically clear cut a great area that always had deer and turkey. Now it's so thick you cannot get through it and the deer are just clinging in there. The PGC decided to open the road for the two weeks of firearm deer season only. Last year it was a cluster mess the number of cars back there. The zone they outling on the map is the remaining hardwoods and 5 open food plots beyond the clear cut right off the parking lot. It's going to be worse than ever back there!
 

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Re: Finally, No Scouting needed!

Hittingguru said:
I hunt SGL 37, the only target area in Tioga County. Interesting, a few years back they were going to log this area. Loggers wouldn't bid on the area unless the road was across gamelands was improved first. This road was closed to all motorized vehicles for as long as I can remember. So, along comes the PGC and using Pittman-Robertson money, improves the road, and the loggers basically clear cut a great area that always had deer and turkey. Now it's so thick you cannot get through it and the deer are just clinging in there. The PGC decided to open the road for the two weeks of firearm deer season only. Last year it was a cluster mess the number of cars back there. The zone they outling on the map is the remaining hardwoods and 5 open food plots beyond the clear cut right off the parking lot. It's going to be worse than ever back there!
The stoned surface came after the clear cut was done. The clear cut now has roads bulldozed through it. Seeded and with apple tree planted along them. It would be almost worth it to go up there for no other reason than to listen to the comments as hunters realize what happened to the ridge between West Branch and Cabin Run. Hope they don't wait until the wee hours of the morning opening day expecting to find a favorite tree.


I approve what they did and are still planning to do...it's going to create much needed edge habitat. A lot of areas in 37 need it.

As far as the road being opened, it didn't generate a lot hunters using the area after the first day. With the road improved and new parking lots made, it should be opened from October 1st on. Small game and predator hunter/trappers are just as good supporters of PR funding as deer hunters.

The road they open in the Stephenhouse/Firetower area for the disabled is a potential accident waiting to happen. Stephenhouse can best be described as neglected compared to what PH has become. With Park Hill going to be connected to road coming up from Cabin Run, I hope they open it all the way for at least the disabled. Provide a few spots where they can pull over and park. The hill between SH and the tower area is as dangerous as they come...then add a disabled person driving on it. I don't know what they do if they meet someone coming from the other direction.

The new deer management areas being defined, I don't worry about it. I've always liked hunting there and don't feel threatened because they've created it. The gate was originally down the hill from where it is now. It probably moved someone's cheese at the time but where it is now just became the new normal. So will the road opened out to the end and down into Cabin Run.

They built a new 4 lane and the deer, turkeys, and bears still cross it and feed on the banks next to it. I don't see how opening up Park Hill to hunter traffic is going to have a major affect on how game interacts. I don't know how many times I've walked back to the main parking lot and found fresh deer, bear, or turkey tracks next to my car.
 
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