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This thread, and it's counterpart, will remain open as long as the discussion remains civil. It will be swiftly removed once the personal slams begin.
 

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Allow me to be the first to post the popcorn guy. My opinion? There are deer in Pa, alot less than the peak times for sure. Still some pockets of the state have that magic combination of food, cover and low hunter pressure. The real "hunting" in this state is to find those areas. Hunting the actual deer is actually the easy part. Finally I've noticed something on HPA. Anyone connected to the PGC in ANY way, always claims there are tons of deer everywhere and you just gotta hunt smarter to find them. Hmmmm very ironic.
So don't look at hunting as killing deer, look at it as time outdoors and a challenge. I mean for me to even SEE a deer is an event, if its after christmas in the late season I'm probably more apt to see bigfoot. Can you imagine if i could actually kill the a deer? It would mean alot more than those guys on private land who seem to kill big buck every year with no effort. So hunting is what you make of it, if killing a deer is your only goal -your setting yourself up for disappointment. Just do like my bumper sticker on my truck says, "annoy a liberal- work hard and be happy"
 

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Now I'm confused because I don't know which thread to post in. I was able to hunt 7 whole or partial days in rifle season. I hunted 4 whole or partial days in the early muzzy season. Out of 11 days in the woods, (not counting duck or squirrel hunting) I saw deer on only 3 of those days. Last season, I saw deer on one single day during the entire hunting season.
I haven't whined or complained. I've seen (and killed)deer in places where other guys hunting the EXACT same area claim they are GONE! I have a couple in the freezer, and am looking forward to checking out a new place or two with the flintlock.
Yes there are less deer than they used to be; in some areas MUCH less. Sitting around complaining does NOTHING!! They are NOT gone, go find them.

Which kind of hunter am I, deer or no deer?
 

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I've never hunted deer until this year. I used satellite imagery to locate clear cuts/clover plots on SGL in 2F. I hiked 6,000ft to the plot, set up behind some lumber, and killed my first buck/deer. It took me 18 hours over 3 days to find that spot.

I spent a few days spooking deer prior to that, and getting skunked in other places on SGL. No trail cams, no private land, no baiting. Killed him on his level, downwind from me. He stared at me thru my scope when I pulled the trigger.

I may never hunt from a tree stand.
Killing a whitetail on public land, from the ground is very difficult. Plain and simple. These animals live in the woods everyday, you show up for one or two days and think you can get the jump on them...
 

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I was out every day of rifle season and I saw nine deer. Years ago I could see over 100 deer in rifle season. I realize something had to give but I think it's gone too far in the wrong direction.
 

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I can't speak about the Lebanon area but it used to be nothing to see 100 deer around here.I also grew up in Wyoming county,not far from Sullivan.It was the same there.You're right though something had to give and it was the habitat.We needed a lot less deer Mike,plain and simple.
 

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*Moose said:
I was out every day of rifle season and I saw nine deer. Years ago I could see over 100 deer in rifle season. I realize something had to give but I think it's gone too far in the wrong direction.
I agree. I remember when the PGC added the "Bonus" antlerless tags in 1988. The PGC stated at the time that this program would be limited in scope and when the population came down to the optimum level the program would cease. It never ceased and has gone WAY to far in many areas of Pa.primarily IMO the central and NC part of the state.
 

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gary3414 said:
I saw deer a grand total of 5, 2 in a safety zone and 3 behind no hunting signs. I hunted everyday on public land. Now I am hunting for a new location.
Gary- you are light years ahead of your counterparts in this threads. Can't get on the deer in your current spot, so looking for a better spot. wow, thats is a great idea. I wish you the best in finding your new honey hole.
 

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With you Moose, I have my own private ground. Own 40 lease 30 = 70 acres. Neighbor 120 acres, cousin adjoining me 130 acres. My cousin started new job night shift along with being sick hunted 1 day we drove him a doe and he took it. So for me, neighbor and his girlfriend we hunted all of these acres i mentioned and killed 0 deer. Different days we made small drives but covering everything seen around 30 total but this is combined 2 weeks of hunting 3 of us sitting and driving and of course differnt days seeing the same deer twice. Not to good at all. I can say maybe i hunted wrong place for myself to be dry but check out your surroundings. I could hear guys on radio driving and pushing nothing out. Little sign in the woods, no shooting first day actually sounded like middle of second week from years ago. Driving to my place years ago it was a challenge not to hit a deer with vechicle now it wow theres 3 in that field. I could say years ago i would see as many by 10:00 am than the 3 of us seen all season. But i must say i had a good time and enjoyed myself in the woods and wont give up. So just because you have private ground dont mean squat same issues here. I cant see where my habitat is bad that wouldnt take care of the game in my area it actually adjoins farm area. I have read and learned from this site some places wont take care of game anymore and can accept that. My area was hurt real bad around 7 years ago when a local farmer took over 200 on crop damage than with HR the rest became history. I live in the pan handle of Md. and its the same around here and in W.Va. I have a friend i go west with has around 300 acres about 50 miles away from me In W.Va. I was at his place in Sept. and riding around with him and every turn on suv there was deer just milling around. I said this looks like my Pa. place years ago. His responce was the locals that adjoined him combined with around 800 acres said the heck with W.Va. Dnr and just stopped total of killing does for the last 2 years on these propertys. The deer # around there was amazing. On the flip side AR has worked awsome in my area. My area at one time maybe 1 person in 3-4 sq mile of my place would get an 8 point with a 14" spread area just didnt produce anything because we all including my self took spikes, 4 and 5 pointers. Now we do have some bigger racks and i have taken 3 8 pointers 16" and 1- 8 point 21 1/2 since AR. I dont have the answer but the more does taken common sence produces less deer for next year. Btw, why would i want to leave my place since i own my family home place and invested buying add. property and building cabin. Also if i walk 1.5 in any direction or less i come out to another road.
 

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This topic really gets annoying...it NEVER remains civil once the usual suspects start posting their crap, I'll give this to about page 3 to go sideways.
 

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My area was hurt real bad around 7 years ago when a local farmer took over 200 on crop damage than with HR the rest became history.

If a farmer shot 200 deer for crop damage,you had a serious overpopulation problem.There's no way you'll convince me that all those deer didn't negatively impact the habitat.Two hundred deer on one farm in insane.

I'm not beating on you.Just trying to put things in perspective.You say you hunt on about 320 acres or 1/2 square mile.Realistically,how many deer do you expect that property to hold without negatively impacting the habitat?I'm willing to bet it won't hold more than 10 deer unless there's a fair amount of clear cutting going on without the habitat taking a beating.
 

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Hunted numerous days during archery season, including being on vacation the entire last week. Saw a total of a spike buck and seven doe.
Hunted every day but one of the rifle season, saw a total of four doe and two tails bounding. Three of those days consisted of organized drives.
Hunted the first two days of bear with a group of 23 guys, the second two days with a group of 18 driving. Saw a total of six doe. We did kill two bear and miss another however.
 

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It held them quite well years ago and the 30 acrs i have leased is part of a 120-125 tract where l/o did a select cut last year. The farmer that did the crop damage was 2 propertys away from me 3/4mile way the crow flys. You would have to see the layout to understand but sadly it was a year there was no feed and every thing headed to his field. No our forest did support the deer my cousin had a cut done 5 years ago but i still say when man gets involved things dont work. I also believe mother nature will take care of things she will send a bad storm if need be for the fit will survive.
 

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I bumped into 2 guys coming out of the woods near a pull off.. after little [censored] chat they were complaining about not see any deer..So I popped the question. you guys each have doe tags? they said Yep 2 ! and DMAP . I chuckled to myself ... not many in this area any more I said..and wished them good luck..
 

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As far as Im concerned all this habitat management implementation stuff is overboard. Its just another vain attempt of man trying to control his environment. From a hunter perspective, I'd like to manage to the high end of the carrying capacity. Personally, I could care less about pink lady slippers and other regen flora. The earth will reclaims its woodlands anyway she wants and shake us off like a bad case of fleas with absolutely no evidence of US being involved. In the meantime, lets hunt some deer !
 

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Jms44 said:
If you are not seeing deer find a new place to hunt. Why is the message board being flooded with these topics?
Because it's a hunting message board. Would you rather we talked weather, politics, or religion?
 
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