Pennsylvania hunting question, please.


October 2, 2012, 10:12 PM
About three weeks ago my wife and I went to the Poconos for a four day vacation of sorts. We had a great time and the focus of the vacation was for my wife and her enjoyment. After all, hunting season is around the corner.

While I was there I did see quite a few deer, when compared to what I have seen in my area of Massachusetts, except there is a lot of posted land in the Pike County area of Pennsylvania.

I had a thought. I know that Pennsylvania has a week long antlerless season for whitetailed deer. You can use a specialty muzzleloading handgun for deer in the Keystone State for that season. I was wondering if it would be worth the time and money to go to the Pocono area for a week long antlerless hunt on the state game lands that are in the region? One night we did take a ride on some back roads including one state game land and spotted some does and a nice buck. All were in shooting range of my Kahnke M82 pistol. Bear in mind, one of my passions is hunting with a handgun and this specialty muzzleloading handgun is quite powerful and accurate.

I also talked to a gunshop owner in the region and he commented that he would not spend the time or money coming from out of state to hunt Pike County. He recalled the hey day of Pennsylvania in the 1980's and how it changed. I didn't like a comment about how it would be hard to find a track after the first snow today vs. two decades ago.

I did chat with another person who told me that few people hunt that special muzzleloading season thus the woods do not have a lot of hunting pressure.

If anyone is from Pennsylvania or hunts the state, I would appreciate any input. I am thinking about doing this next year as this year is too late for vacation time,etc. Thanks for any replies.

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October 3, 2012, 08:29 AM
The early ML season preceeds rifle season. It's antlerless deer only but modern in-line rifles are OK.

The late ML season is after rifle season. It's flintlock only; no scopes, but peep sights are OK. An un-used buck tag can be used to take an antlerless deer. Sort of a conversion advantage.

State Game Lands can be overhunted and crowded with hunters. I advise you to avoid the most popular State Game Lands. Instead, plan to hunt a State Park and hike in at least 1 mile to get away from majority of hunters. You can use this distance to your advantage.

I hunt early ML season at French Creek State Park along a ridgeline separating it from adjacent National Historic Site. It's a long walk but always worth it for me. I use a wheelbarrow to get the deer out to my SUV.

Pennsylvania still has many deer but not at the more popular overhunted State Game Lands. I've never hunted within the Pocono region.

Good hunting to you.


Jim, West PA
October 3, 2012, 01:19 PM
What is " specialty muzzleloading handgun " ?

October 3, 2012, 07:36 PM
I bought this several years ago. It shoots very well and right now I am shooting a 240 grain sabot at 1705 fps on average from a 14 inch barrel and 90 grains of H777 in 3f granulation.

October 4, 2012, 03:25 PM
If you are looking to shot an anterless deer, you need to apply for anterless tag. They go fast in some WMAs, so you need to get it in the mail close to the opening of the application period.

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