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Hunting in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has a diverse topography that produces an equally diverse climate. Winters are cold everywhere, but especially cold in the west mountainous regions of Pennsylvania. Summers, on the contrary, are rather humid. Pennsylvania sits next to Lake Erie and with 51 miles of shoreline opposite 57 miles of coast line, and mountains and valleys in the middle, there’s an ideal environment for every type of person.
Pennsylvania Hunts Available
Pennsylvania is one of the country’s favorite hunting locations. Large populations of Black Bear, Whitetail deer, and Wild Turkey provide any type of hunter with an inexpensive adventure.
Guides will use hunting dogs, ambush methods, and spot and stalk methods when hunting Whitetail deer. Bow Hunting is very serious in PA! Compound bows, crossbows, rifles, and muzzleloaders are all commonly employed weapons when hunting Whitetail.
Wild Hogs, aka feral hogs, are a popular hunt and can be hunted year round in most all the state.
Black bear can be run with hunting dogs, but the danger to the costly hounds has pushed many hunters to use ambush and spot-and-stalk methods. Many hunters use compound bows and crossbows to hunt Black bear, but rifles and muzzleloaders are not uncommon on these hunts. When using a bow, hunters generally carry a high-caliber firearm as a backup.
Hunting wild Turkey in any state presents unique challenges. First off, a hunter has to locate the turkey the night before the hunt. Without this information, hunters are left to desperate calling attempts and no real plan. Guides are worth their weight in gold when it comes to pre-hunt intelligence gathering. Turkeys can be taken down with a shotgun or a compound bow. They usually stick to wooded areas with protection and food.
Pennsylvania Hunting Regulations
Hunters who are over the age of 16 must obtain a valid adult hunting license. There are also junior resident licenses available to those aged 12 to 16.
Non-residents must also obtain hunting licenses, but there will be an added fee for these hunters.
Whitetail season begins, in general, around mid-September and runs through January of the following year.
Black bear season generally lasts eight days long and runs in mid to late-November.
Turkey season is broken up into two sections. These two sections are early-November through the end of the month, and again in the spring month of May.
Pennsylvania Wildlife Habitat
Deer are usually located grazing in open valleys on grasses and vegetation, and in densely wooded areas on acorns, nuts, berries, fruits, and various plants. They tend to bed down during the day. Their bedding areas are well protected by thick brush and thorns, if available.
Black bears eat nuts, fruits, berries, and vegetation, as well as small game and other sources of meat. Grubs are also on the menu if available. Black bear are adaptive but prefer to spend the majority of their time in densely wooded forest areas. Black bear are naturally fearful of humans and tend to stay as far away as possible from human elements.
Turkeys are known to eat grub worms, other small worms, tiny snakes, insects and other small bugs. They eat and mate in open valley or field areas. They prefer densely wooded areas as it provides protection from predators and provides trees in which they roost.
Pennsylvania Outdoor Tidbits
Pennsylvania has 4.5 million public acres. These lands include State parks, State game lands, and the Allegheny National Forest. In addition to hunting, outdoor enthusiasts come to Pennsylvania for:
• Bird and Wildlife watching,
• ATVing and “extreme sporting,”
• Horseback riding, and
Moreover, Pennsylvania allows hunters to hunt Feral Hogs with relatively few regulations. Feral Hogs present a huge problem for PA agriculture.
For more detailed information on PA outdoors, visit http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pgc/9106.
Also remember, guides and outfitters are worth the extra “up-front” money because they can assist with travel, lodging, and much more. They will save money in the long run. Please consider taking advantage of the services provided by our featured guides and outfitters.