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Hi all, my bro and I are planning our first hnting trip to hunt white tail. Like other things location is an issue. We are located in the Pittsburgh area and have been looking at game lands all over the southwest area. Not an easy task for places you have never seen or visited.
Some of my searching has led to areas around Ohiopyle state park, but again what the heck do I know.
We are looking for a place that gives beginners the best chance for success.
Looking for American guidance front m the meeting experienced hunters out there to choose an area. Somewhere I won't have a heart attack humping my gear up and down steep terrain all week long.
Willing to travel, but will need to be close to some lodging ect

Any help will be much appreciated.

Thanks,
H.
 

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Hstone, Welcome to HPA, i am sending you a PM with a suggestion.

I can't promise on the heart attack though...there are some bruisers there
that may stop your heart.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
LOL. Who said smart phones make you smarter...:) [censored] auto correct!!
Reading that post I would have no idea what was trying to be said.

Yeah, OhioPyle and WhiteTail is what I meant.
 

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Why leave Pittsburgh if you don't want to hike up and down steep terrain? Check out my video on the bucks playing tetherball in 2B. That was filmed in the heart of Pittsburgh where you could hunt and after the season ended in March/April. When we deer hunted in the past my son killed an 8 point there and I left a lot of bucks go over the years waiting for mr. big. There are so many deer in the Pittsburgh suburbs that the police had to do controlled hunts awhile back. Permission is all you need in most parts of Pittsburgh, people do not want the deer eating their expensive shrubbery. Don't get me wrong Ohiopyle has some dandies and is a beautiful spot but you will work for the deer. The locals have the upper hand in that area and you stated you wanted a quicker way to success. Pittsburgh has some big bucks in tiny patches just outside million dollar homes. You just have to get permission and be sure to follow game laws as far as distance from occupied dwelling and such. I would hunt Pittsburgh for deer but I live 4 hours away and I love to bear hunt and I am usually doing that rather than deer hunting. Try the route 88 area and the route 28 area. Lots of luck! PS. You will need a slug gun or bow.
 

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I can suggest several places for you to hunt in the area you are thinking about. Rob Gratson who posts on here has given me a lot of help when I moved my hunting operations to Somerset County. Bluetick also can be of some considerable help. Here are a couple of places you can look up and find maps for if you wish.
1. Laurel Hill State park, on the border between Somerset and Fayette Counties. This is also a DMAP area, so you can purchase a DMAP tag to take a doe.
2. You already mentioned Ohiopyle State Park. The hunting terrain in the area is a lot less steep than what I was used to in the Ridge and Valley province to the east. Ohiopyle is also a DMAP area.
3. Mount Davis in southeastern Somerset County. While it is the highest mountain peak in Pennsylvania, the terrain is relatively gentle, and this is also a DMAP area.
4. If you want to get away from state parks, check out State Game Lands number 51 in Fayette County, and also State Game Lands number 111 in Somerset County. I do almost all of my deer hunting on SGL #111, and <span style="color: #FF0000">if you drop me a PM,</span> I can arrange to meet you and give you a quickie tour of some places from which you could stage a hunt.

A great resource for maps of such areas as the above mentioned would be the DCNR website for maps of the DMAP areas I mentioned. Here is a link to the interactive map of DMAP areas in Pennsylvania. Click on one and a map of that area will come up.
DMAP area website

For maps of State Game Lands, go to the Pennsylvania Game Commission website. This link takes you to a portal for the entire state:
PGC web page on State Game Lands

This one takes you to just the Southwestern part of the state. The numbers on the map are Game Lands numbers. Pick one and look up the map in the search block at the right side of the page.
State Game Lands in Southwestern PA

Hope this helps you. Good luck with your foray into hunting.
 

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Permission is all you need in most parts of Pittsburgh, people do not want the deer eating their expensive shrubbery.
Pretty much my thoughts also... up until now. The PGC Biologist apparently are not in herd reduction mode in 2B. They are in herd stabilization mode, based on a random survey sent out to the folks living in 2B (see more on this via the thread in the AR/HR forum). The majority of respondents pretty much deemed the current herd as "just right", and they are more than happy with the current resident/Deer relationship.

Also adding, not sure how long you've been gone, but access in the PGH suburbs are the closest thing to impossible that you'll get. I truly believe you have a better chance of getting into somebody's woodlot with a bow in Peter's Twp, than you would getting on a farm with a gun in the rt. 88 corridor you've mentioned. It's possible you can "network" with folks in your workplace or neighborhood. If not, explore and familiarize yourself with the Laurel Highlands as mentioned. It's a beautiful place, with a large expanse of open, state land. You can't see it all in 3 lifetimes.
 

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As Fleroo states the key is networking. If you live and work in Pittsburgh you should know someone who hunts or sees deer on a regular basis that can put you in contact with property owners. Yes the Laurel Highlands is beautiful I have spent 100's of hours scouting the Fayette, Somerset area as I was born and raised in Uniontown. As far as SGL 51 AWSOME! I have taken 2 bear there, however it is the largest game lands in Pennsylvania and terrain can be a problem for someone who does not care for that type of hunting. I love the terrain of SGL 51 until I have to move a harvested bear miles to the nearest parking lot lol! My son and I saw the largest racked buck of our life time bear hunting in 51 and he was still there on the last saturday of buck hunting season because he stood on the gameland road at 5:00 am. and looked at us. If you live in Pittsburgh scouting could be a problem for you I am lucky because my extended family live in Uniontown and Pittsburgh. You will need to put in your scout time unless you meet up with a veteran as was proposed to you in an earlier post. At least you can use that 270 of yours in the Laurel Highlands. A tip for a beginner, luck aside, spend as much time in the woods as you can, learn to read the animal sign, invest in a GPS with mapping capabilities especially for 51. Use the maps on the SGL web site and others. Remember you won't be the only one hunting in the SGL. Some of the parking lots have 50 or more cars at them on openers then dwindle down to a few toward the end of season. With that many hunters you need to anticipate deer/bear movement in reaction to that pressure. As you can see theres more to hunting a SGL than the little Pittsburgh woodlot. As Fleroo said if you can network one. Some farmers will exchange work for permission. Help putting up hay etc. Just some random thoughts. We are all here for you with years of hunting experiences. We can make suggestions but ultimately you will have to find your own nitch.
 

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If you hunt around Pittsburgh, getting permission to be on someones property is the hard part. If you hunt Laurel Hill, finding the deer is the hard part.
 

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Amen, Danesdad. Spoken with experience in the area I presume! Long hours spent in the tree stand watching squirrels in deer season and not hearing any shooting. When I was 12 in the very early 70's It was common to see 100 deer a day. Sometimes 20 in a heard. But those days are gone. Hard for beginners to stay with it if they did not grow up in the by gone era. Today most guys hunt till noon on the first day and call it a season. I did appreciate your post, so true so true.
 

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Put some TIME in and find, scout and hunt an area...There are limited gun spots in 2B but ....many in 2a. Internet scouting is for those that want shortcuts from the beginning. PA is blessed with ample opps(SGLs, farm game Co cops, crop damage farms, DMAPs, ETC ) for deer for those willin to go get them. Some areas still hold lots of deer and oull see a ton...BUT success come to those that put a physical effort in not just a technological one.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all for the input. Some wisdom there that I will take. I am not really one to take up anything without putting my all into it--just don't want to climb Mt. Everest--not looking for shortcuts as was 'alluded' to.
Problem with Allegheny is I would have to buy a new firearm or firearms and the wife will have nothing to do with that right now :) That is not including the difficulty with the people around here, their outlook on guns, and hunting.
I really reached out here cause I have no idea what is good from a topo map alone, and to travel 2-4hrs to recon each location is not possible and knew there would be some veterans out there willing to help. Thanks for all the links and info so far.
Good news is that I took and completed my hunter education class and purchased my license Saturday. Pretty awesome!!!
I have been spending a good deal of time reading and studying up as much as I can...learning some things, but it is trial by fire this year and everyone thereafter..I am stoked.
 

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I would try the gamelands out on Rt. 18 behind the amphetheatre. Lots of big bucks! Plus you can push them to me on your way in!
 

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Actually it's a great area. Hunt the right side.
 

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Frogfish said:
Amen, Danesdad. Spoken with experience in the area I presume! Long hours spent in the tree stand watching squirrels in deer season and not hearing any shooting. When I was 12 in the very early 70's It was common to see 100 deer a day. Sometimes 20 in a heard. But those days are gone. Hard for beginners to stay with it if they did not grow up in the by gone era. Today most guys hunt till noon on the first day and call it a season. I did appreciate your post, so true so true.
Yeah, I've hunted up there a time or two. I agree with the fellow who said you have to put in the time scouting. Actual boots on the ground, not maps and computer screens. Especially up there where there are thousands of acres.
 

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Look at Washington County SGL 232 and 245
 
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