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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to PA, just moved here form Missouri, and looking for game lands to archery hunt. I can find them easy enough, PA seems to have tons open to the public. How to you find out how heavily pressured the area is? seems like most everything on the eastern side of the state is within an hour of some major area (philly, reading, allentown/bethlehem, scranton, and so on) do you go to the lands and hike back in em? (which Im not afraid of) or just find different lands?

in missouri it was easier to find places away from large cities... any tips?

and Yeah, I know I can go door knocking, i've knocked on so many doors my knuckles bleed. no luck. One guy accused me of being the dude who shot a deer off his property last week with a crossbow.. i don't even own a crossbow. so that was fun... :oops:
 

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Also consider state forest land as well as state game lands there are plenty of public land options in PA as you will discover. To get away from crowds find pieces where access may be difficult in the form of poor parking, steep terrain, long hikes off trail, water crossing etc. If you are in the Eastern part of Pa the Lehigh River Gorge and surrounding areas may provide you the opportunities you desire.
 

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Not sure where in Pa you are located, but if it’s on the eastern side the gamelands will hunted pretty hard. Your best bet is the northern tier, tons of state land and It’s fairly remote by east coast standards.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also consider state forest land as well as state game lands there are plenty of public land options in PA as you will discover. To get away from crowds find pieces where access may be difficult in the form of poor parking, steep terrain, long hikes off trail, water crossing etc. If you are in the Eastern part of Pa the Lehigh River Gorge and surrounding areas may provide you the opportunities you desire.

thanks I was literally just looking at that area. it seems like in addition to a bunch of land PA has made it accessible to nearly everyone. which isn't bad I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sure where in Pa you are located, but if it’s on the eastern side the gamelands will hunted pretty hard. Your best bet is the northern tier, tons of state land and It’s fairly remote by east coast standards.

thanks, thats what I figured, looks like every thing around me is within an hour of something. i have a job that should allow midweek hunts, hopefully this will help. I dont mind driving, but 2.5 - 3 hours isn't gonna be for me. not unless I can stay and hunt a few days. appreciate the input thank you so much.
 

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Moved here from western Pa.

Everything’s relative. I’ve been satisfied with my archery hunting opportunities on public land here but it’s not as good as the west.

Fishing better and more diverse.
 

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I’m not familiar with “that” side (east) of the state, but look for public that isn’t necessarily marked ie flood plains etc makes for less crowds. I also feel your pain about trying to get permission. I’ve given up on that and hunt public exclusively. I don’t have to worry about doing “extra” to keep land owners happy. I just hunt.
 

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If you’re in the East side of the state look up the SGL 57 thread. Great info from some pretty darn good hunters. Pm me and I will help if needed.
 

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If your in eastern PA then good luck. I am south of Philly and had a few private places that sold out to developers in the last year. Im now working on state and other public land for next year. If your anywhere near Delaware County id gladly work with you to find decent places to hunt.
 

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Retaks I just gave up on 3 properties close to Delaware county, cause I like hunting at camp better. They are archery props, if your interested PM me and I’ll tell ya the neighborhood they are in. I have one property by my house in Montco, but from the first Saturday in October till the last day of rifle I’m at camp.
 

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I am new to PA, just moved here form Missouri, and looking for game lands to archery hunt. I can find them easy enough, PA seems to have tons open to the public. How to you find out how heavily pressured the area is? seems like most everything on the eastern side of the state is within an hour of some major area (philly, reading, allentown/bethlehem, scranton, and so on) do you go to the lands and hike back in em? (which Im not afraid of) or just find different lands?

in missouri it was easier to find places away from large cities... any tips?

and Yeah, I know I can go door knocking, i've knocked on so many doors my knuckles bleed. no luck. One guy accused me of being the dude who shot a deer off his property last week with a crossbow.. i don't even own a crossbow. so that was fun... :oops:
The way you find out is to put boots on the ground on the game lands you are interested in during the season and not scout via the internet.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The way you find out is to put boots on the ground on the game lands you are interested in during the season and not scout via the internet.
Yeah, and I got that - not scouting via the internet, trying not to waste time scouting, hanging stands, only to have 50 people in the same spot. just looking for hunting pressure, not secret spots.. additionally trying not to wander about like a moron screwing up other peoples sets because I wasn't aware the game land during the season was like wal-mart on black friday.
 

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Use apps like Huntstand or onX to find areas that area owned by townships, boroughs etc. and are technically public. These small plots area often over looked and can be good for archery. If you are not sure whether or not you can hunt the area give the township manager a call and ask if archery hunting is permitted.
 

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I think you have been misled on hunting pressure in the state... While I haven't hunted public land in the extreme southeast say from Allentown, reading area towards Philly, it is no secret that there are a lot of people on what limited public opportunities exist especially in rifle season. In Archery your more likely to have conflicts with hikers, mountain bikers etc. In general, archery pressure is limited if you are willing to walk and/ or hunt during the week. If you focus on the larger public land tracts in Carbon, Luzerne, Schuylkill, etc you will be able to find some places to get away from folks. Ultimately it is public land so there is no reserving of spots. At some point you will run into another hunter or have someone interfere with your hunt.... it is just part of the game.
 

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You are correct most Eastern Pa Game lands are pounded. I've lived here my whole life(60yrs) and have the same "luck" knocking on doors. The smaller patches will not hold deer much past the first couple of days after archery starts... especially those in 5C where 70,000 "doe" tags are up for grab. 5C had sort of become the new "upstate" a few years back when they had over 100,000 "doe" tags - it's not quite as bad now but still gets insane pressure. Bigger G/L's and State Forests along the Blue Mt in 4C will spread out hunters BUT for the most part deer will be found closer to the private Ag fields NOT way back in. As it stands now there are fewer "doe" tags sold too. (the same was true for 5B but now there are "extra" tags in the CWD zone).

Do not think just because a property is "public" you can hunt it.... Berks Co. does not allow hunting on ANY property that they own. Some of our Twsp's allow hunting on property they own - some do not. There is also DEP land in Berks that is NO HUNTING(Kernsville Dam property). It used to be allowed but some yuppie nature club somehow got stewardship of the place. I think all the rest of the DEP lands In Berks are open ....BUT NOT 100%. Also in Berks some of the "boundary" lines are OFF on the County Tax Map on some of the DEP/ACOE lands. I know some of the Counties closer to Philly allow limited hunting on some of their parks(not sure on other property). I think they require additional county permits. It may require some digging to find out if any given County/Twsp. allows hunting on property they own.
 

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I've found a few good spots using the Hunter Access Map on the Game Commission's web site. I'm not sure about your area but there are some good farms in my area open to hunting, Co-ops but you still need to ask for permission. Hope this helps and good luck, Hunter Access Program.

BTW, I've traveled to Missouri a few times for work and I love it there. SE section near Cape Giraudoux, beautiful area and the local guys always tease me about the size of the deer they shoot around that area. There are some monsters down there.
 
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