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Discussion Starter #1
I caught the last minute of a show the other night and a hunter harvested a black bear. This hunter estimated that the bears weight was between 300-400 lbs. The hunter said that this is a huge bear and said something to the fact that this is a trophy state for black bears.
The hunter mentioned that non resident hunters need to look and try to hunt this state for trophy black bears ( I don't know which state they was hunting cause I was with my 7mo old boy playing with him).
My first thought was [censored], Pennsylvania has a lot bigger bears than that and I consider Pennsylvania a great black bear state for anyone to hunt and try to harvest a black bear.
Then I started to think about what Pennsylvania hunters think about our state in general and what they think about Pa. hunting. Do hunters feel that Pa has become a bear hunting state? Or is Pennsylvania a deer hunting state that is trying to establish itself with the other top deer hunting states.
What is your thoughts on what non-residents think of Pa hunting? Do they come hunt Pennsylvania for the deer? Bear? or for the hunting tradition that so many people says Pennsylvania has? What does the Game Commission want to see Pennsylvania as, and what do they want non-residents to think about Pa. hunting and ways to attract non-residents to by a license........

Just curious on what your thoughts are on hunting in Pennsylvania, what YOU would like to see OUR state be known for whether its great deer hunting, bear hunting, public land etc.....
 

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HuntingPA i believe is the biggest state specific hunting site...i think that speaks volumes on how much guys like hunting here.

i think our bear season is a little short and too bear drive style to attract those from out of state unless they got a big group or camp here. Bear hunts that are bait hunts are obviously a better choice for a solo traveling hunter.

I think our state has it all..short of moose. We got a ton of public land , entire regions of it. We did not get to be this hunter heavy in population cause this state is not a mecca for wildlife.

Are there better states for this animal or that one, sure...but for the whole menu?? PA got it covered pretty well.
 

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When I think of the Pennsylvania hunter, I think of deer camp, fluorescent orange, pump rifles, meat poles, Thanksgiving, mountains, and only hunting a few days of the year. Bear definitely isn't the first thing that pops into my mind, neither is archery. I think of tradition. When it seems everybody and his brother puts on some orange and hits the woods. I don't think most PA hunters think about hunting too much on the off season. Not saying any of this is good or bad, but PA definitely has or had a unique reputation for deer hunting.
 

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a few out of state guys i know think we're crazy for jumping in swamps to get up on a bear, they think its nuts not to use dogs or bait.

i tell them it depends were your raised in this country i guess.

we had fellas drive from southern florida to hunt bear and deer with us every year. but they were born in PA. all the others i know wont come here to hunt, most are from the south where they can shoot multiple bucks and run them with dogs.
 

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PA will never be able to compete as a "Trophy Deer State" due to the sheer number of hunters. Just statistically very difficult for bucks to get to 4-1/2 or 5-1/2 years old with such a big hunting population.

Sure, some do. But generally most bucks are killed as 1-1/2 or 2-1/2. If you went to "four on top" statewide, there would be anarchy in the streets for a few years but then a whole other story on the numbers of B&C class deer.

Be honest, if your goal was a B&C deer, do you pick PA as the first choice?

Genetics, soils, habitats and all that are important, but let's face facts, it's a pretty large number of hunters out there killing mostly young, not fully mature (to their potential) bucks.

Not saying anything wrong with that or that hunting is bad. We just have a lot of guys and gals out there hunting deer which lessens the odds of any individual deer reaching several years in age.
 

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the average bear in PA is probably 120-140 lbs. The are some huge bears in pa but there are a few huge bears everywhere. It's a misconception that " Bears are big here and are small in Canada." or other places. As far as deer go PA would be about my 20th choice to hunt deer. To many people and more importantly to many hunters that just will settle for any immature deer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
RB-HPA said:
HuntingPA i believe is the biggest state specific hunting site...i think that speaks volumes on how much guys like hunting here.

i think our bear season is a little short and too bear drive style to attract those from out of state unless they got a big group or camp here. Bear hunts that are bait hunts are obviously a better choice for a solo traveling hunter.

I think our state has it all..short of moose. We got a ton of public land , entire regions of it. We did not get to be this hunter heavy in population cause this state is not a mecca for wildlife.

Are there better states for this animal or that one, sure...but for the whole menu?? PA got it covered pretty well.
I agree....... but this wasn't meant to be about bear I just wanted to know what us Pa hunters think about our state and what we think non-residents think about hunting in our state.....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
DethFrumAbuv said:
PA will never be able to compete as a "Trophy Deer State" due to the sheer number of hunters. Just statistically very difficult for bucks to get to 4-1/2 or 5-1/2 years old with such a big hunting population.

Sure, some do. But generally most bucks are killed as 1-1/2 or 2-1/2. If you went to "four on top" statewide, there would be anarchy in the streets for a few years but then a whole other story on the numbers of B&C class deer.

Be honest, if your goal was a B&C deer, do you pick PA as the first choice?

Genetics, soils, habitats and all that are important, but let's face facts, it's a pretty large number of hunters out there killing mostly young, not fully mature (to their potential) bucks.

Not saying anything wrong with that or that hunting is bad. We just have a lot of guys and gals out there hunting deer which lessens the odds of any individual deer reaching several years in age.
Ok well do you think hunters will look at Pa as a great bear hunting state? I want to know what most hunters think of Pa??? Whether its bear, deer or what????
 

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Elmer Fudd said:
DethFrumAbuv said:
PA will never be able to compete as a "Trophy Deer State" due to the sheer number of hunters. Just statistically very difficult for bucks to get to 4-1/2 or 5-1/2 years old with such a big hunting population.

Sure, some do. But generally most bucks are killed as 1-1/2 or 2-1/2. If you went to "four on top" statewide, there would be anarchy in the streets for a few years but then a whole other story on the numbers of B&C class deer.

Be honest, if your goal was a B&C deer, do you pick PA as the first choice?

Genetics, soils, habitats and all that are important, but let's face facts, it's a pretty large number of hunters out there killing mostly young, not fully mature (to their potential) bucks.

Not saying anything wrong with that or that hunting is bad. We just have a lot of guys and gals out there hunting deer which lessens the odds of any individual deer reaching several years in age.
Ok well do you think hunters will look at Pa as a great bear hunting state? I want to know what most hunters think of Pa??? Whether its bear, deer or what????
I don't think out of state hunters will ever look at PA as a destination type state for any type of game. I doubt PA ranks as a top 5 state for any species. Like RB said when you put everything together PA is a pretty special state and has alot to offer. I think you have to be from here to appreciate it though.
 

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Not true, PA is in the top five for total deer harvest, even though we have no deer.

To the OP, I think PA is known for deer and an abundance of public land.
 

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Our state is the laughing stock of every other state when it comes to hunting. We have decimated the hunting by over-harvesting the deer and outgrowing out livable land spaces across PA. All other states just chuckle when they read about PA and out spike antlers tacked on the barn walls.
 

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GHOSTHUNTER said:
Our state is the laughing stock of every other state when it comes to hunting. We have decimated the hunting by over-harvesting the deer and outgrowing out livable land spaces across PA. All other states just chuckle when they read about PA and out spike antlers tacked on the barn walls.
We have those spikes tacked on the walland are the laughing stock because we had too many deer. Now we are the laughing stock because they are trying to change that!!

Which is it, can't be both!

Personally, I could care less about what other people think of this state and am not going to even try to interpret what their opinions are regarding hunting in this state. There is some darn good hunting in good old PA, and if the non residents think otherwise, who cares.
 

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No matter what you hunt here in Pa ( except squirrels), there are just to many hunters. I hunt the states surrounding with more success.
 

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I think hunting in Pa is sort of a "total package" sort of thing. We have enough deer to keep most hunters happy, with antler restrictions in place that does increase rack size for those who care about things. Same with small game hunting; not incredible, but better than alot of other states. Turkeys are EVERYWHERE, along with some of the biggest black bears in the country. While not exactly a waterfowl mecca, there are still numerous opportunities available. Average all these out in comparison to other states, and I believe we rank right up there. Add to all this some of the lowest license fees anywhere, and the HUGE amounts of public land available. Looks pretty positive to me.
 

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I don't know if I would travel here to hunt if I lived out of state, especially since we can't hunt on Sundays.

But, because it's our back yard, it's not a bad deal. Lots of animals & public land to hunt, some of it pretty remote if you have the time & gas money to scout it out. And you can't beat the license fees. We could be doing a lot worse.
 

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Overcrowded with hunters and lots of poaching. But, good amount of game due to the habitat, reasonable amount of rainfall(as opposed to the arid west), and mild winters.
I recently talked to a guy who hunted Iowa this fall. He saw 100+ bucks in a week or so. They only shoot the older bucks. Here, there are VERY, VERY, few actual mature bucks. We blast them before they have a chance.
PA won't be a destination state for some time. That is fine. We do have a great bear population. Again, most are shot young.
 

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I think anyone that doesnt appreciate the total package is short sighted and selfish - within a reasonable drive of all of us there is plenty of opportunity to hunt public land and a great range of game to choose from. Remember, buying the license doesnt assure the holder of that license anything more than the OPPORTUNITY to hunt - the rest is up to the hunter, and I say hunt 'em up!
 

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As far as I'm concerned I think PA is a great state for hunting but everyone wants it to be the best at something. You know what, I'm happy with it being really good at everything. Sure, it's not the best for deer or the best for waterfowl or the best for bear but when I look at what I can hunt, and I mean really hunt and be successful I couldn't ask for much more. I can go out in the woods each year and have a really good chance at filling my buck tag and an almost certainty of filling my doe tag. When that's done we have a legitimate shot at tagging a nice bruin as we are definitely one of the top states in the country for that. When those seasons are done I can take my beagles to the fields and run rabbits all day with all the squirrels I can shoot and a few grouse and woodcock mixed in. If the mood doesn't strike me I take the boat out on the Susquehanna and bag a few mallards, woodies, blacks, teal, ruddies, blue bills (you get the idea). If I'm not in the mood for ducks I load up a few decoys and head to a local farm here in Lancaster and watch as thousands of geese fly overhead. Once I'm done hunting from October through February I take a little breather until I head to the turkey woods and listen to the gobblers. So I guess to me I would have to say that we have a great state for hunting even though we may not be the best at any one thing. I think sometimes we become too jaded by the shows we watch and always want to have the best and biggest that we forget how good we really do have it.

Just think about it. I always hear these stories that say. "I went to Illinois and saw 50 buck", "I went to Maine and saw 10 bear", "I went to Maryland and saw 10,000 geese", "I went to South Carolina and bagged two gobblers", "I went to South Dakota and saw thousands of mallards", "I went to New York and ran rabbits for a week". You know what, we may not be able to top any one of those states at that particular game animal but I couldn't be happier that I can hold my own at any single one of them and can do it ALL right here in my home state.
 
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