New to Pennsylvania

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New to Pennsylvania

Postby jmruss » Wed May 14, 2014 2:45 pm

Hello PA,

I'm just dropping a line to introduce myself to all who are still on the forums. My wife and I are fresh transplants and ended up just outside of Allentown close to the Berks County line. I haven't been on the forums in quite some time but I hope to be able to use them to connect with anyone who may be interested in teaming up during the duck/goose seasons (or any other seasons) that are fast approaching. As I stated, I'm brand new to the area and the state as a whole and thus I have zero knowledge of where to start my scouting but I'm eager to see all that PA has to offer.

I've primarily hunted ducks and geese the past two seasons and I'm best prepared for those in terms of gear. I've got waders, decoys, and I'm not a pro but I can call them in. I don't currently have a boat but I'm hoping to change that here shortly. This past season I did fairly well with my best luck in the coastal zone for ducks and in the cut fields for geese (all NJ). If anyone's interested in going out together or possibly lending a couple of tips as to where I could start my scouting please let me know. Thanks in advance.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby Boatman » Mon May 19, 2014 3:37 pm

You have lucked out. You are in a great area for waterfowl.
There are still things worth dying for and 1 of those things is freedom.

I love Geese

Genesis 27:3 Now then, get your weapons, quiver and bow, go out in the fields and hunt some wild game for me.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby jmruss » Tue May 20, 2014 5:32 pm

Boatman,

Well that's excellent news. Last waterfowl season I hunted a few times with a gentleman who was from PA and when I told him where I was going to end up he did explain that the Lehigh River makes for some good hunting. I haven't begun to explore the area as far as hunting access yet but just driving around I've seen all the local pairs of honkers in their chosen nesting sites and a few mallards fly over the house every day on the way to and from the roost.

I'm glad you took the time to reply. After 800+ views and no hits I began to assume that many read that I was new to the area and may have mistaken my words for me asking where to hunt and so on. I hope the post didn't come off that way, I was just trying to see if anyone would want to try and link up before the season/during the season and introduce myself to the area. Thanks again.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby don taylor » Wed May 21, 2014 12:08 pm

People were checking for the drama that erupts when spots are mentioned.

I'm not from out that way, but from what I know, the hunting is only comparably good when talking about surrounding Pa areas. If you've hunted costal areas, be prepared for more pressure, less area and less birds. I've hunted coastal NJ a few times. It's nothing like that. Scouting is what will make it happen for you. That's going to consume much more of your time than it likely has in the past.

Good luck out there.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby jmruss » Thu May 22, 2014 1:22 pm

Don,

Yeah I kind of had to assume that most were either looking for the online argument antics or simply just lived nowhere near me and had nothing to contribute.

In regards to the comparison to coastal hunting, I think scouting is always a must. Being new to the area I'm going to have to scout a lot and even then I most likely still won't be on the x without a ton of luck.

Given the differences in distance to the coast do a lot of guys out here prefer field hunting geese over trying to shoot ducks on water? Given the abundant farm land it almost seems safe to assume that fields may produce more when it comes to geese.

As far as the ducks go would anyone feel safe saying that the ducks usually tend to prefer any type of water more than another? I know waterfowl hunting very rarely provides consistent patterns and the birds go where they want to go in search of food but would anyone say they've had any better luck on rivers, lakes, potholes, or creeks or any other type of habitat as opposed to any of the above?

I know I'm just spouting questions here but I'm trying to keep them pretty general so no one is giving away any hard earned secrets but my final question is about access to private land.

In New Jersey it is extremely rare to find a farmer or land owner that is willing to allow hunters on their land to hunt. Furthermore, the ones that are kind enough to allow it have long standing relationships with hunters or hunting clubs that have been on their land for years and wouldn't consider allowing anyone else to hop on. Once again I know everybody's different and reactions will vary but I would assume that hunting permission is granted much more frequently out here than what I'm used to. Has anybody ever had a tough time getting on private land or do the majority of hunters stick to the state game lands? The majority of where I hunted in NJ was on the public wildlife management areas and I am just sick of the inconsideration that comes from most when hunting wma's. Thanks again for any replies.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby TRL91 » Mon May 26, 2014 12:36 am

I'm just north of Allentown. The duck hunting is decent, some years great other years not so much. You will always do good on the Lehigh as well as the Susquehanna River and Delaware. The goose hunting is phenomenal. The only down side is there is a ton of hunting pressure and 99% of the land is private. We use to have close to 20 farms to hunt and we are down to 7. It seems like the last 5 years or so goose hunting has really taken off around here and the farmers know they can cash in. Most of your land is going to be leased and its not uncommon for a group of guys to pay 10k for a season. It is possible to find a piece of land to hunt if you put in the time and knock on doors. I would also think about joining the local DU chapter to try and make contacts. If you can hook up with some guys and bring some decoys, blinds to the table you might get lucky. Just be prepared, most guys are cut throat around here as far as divulging info or even driving past "their" field slow.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby don taylor » Tue May 27, 2014 4:39 am

All of those spots you mention can be productive. You have to find the ones people aren't using. Plenty of Amish and what not allow you to hunt, you can find private land. Seems if they let one guy on, they let anybody on. It's the guys who find them Wednesday that hunt them Thursday who win out, out that way. Going to old faithful on Friday, after Brandon, Timmy and the kill em all crew with 2 trailers of decoys isn't going to work out. I went down thru the Barnegat bay area a couple times, checking out the shallows and we couldn't believe what poured out of the smallest area at daybreak. There will be little of that in Pa.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby jmruss » Tue May 27, 2014 3:20 pm

TRL91,

It seems that what you said about the farmers realizing that they can charge high prices for leased land is pretty similar to what I was dealing with where I hunted in NJ. The only private land that people were willing to let people hunt on was leased to all the hunting clubs in the area. There were clubs in the area that had access to ridiculous amounts of land. Fields would go untouched for a year or two if they were able to find success elsewhere but they still held onto the land with a death grip. I will definitely take your advice in trying to make contact with the local chapter of DU as I've been a member but never really active with any of the chapters that I've been near.


Don Taylor,

As far as trying to sniff out the properties that may not be committed to others or aren't being leased, is there anyway to get property maps in PA? Does the state publish anything like that?

About your trips to Barnegat Bay, I made it down there this past season and saw the same things. We got out there early and spent the first half of the day in two different spots late in the season. Ended up with a gadwall and a couple of mergansers. Tons of birds in the area, we saw thousands of canadians, hundreds of snows, and the smaller groups of buffleheads, megansers, etc. There was a group of 5 green wings in and out of the potholes that I was surprised to see as well as 3 pintails, With all of the restrictions in Barnegat the birds know where to hang out. With all of the little drop holes just outside and in between the hunting zones they always seem to find the wrong place to be. I didn't necessarily expect the production out here to be comparable to the coastal areas but I'm content to shoot on pairs throughout the day rather than the big numbers that Barnegat puts out. Thanks again for the advice guys.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby don taylor » Wed May 28, 2014 4:45 am

There might be, or there might have been something made at one time, but access isn't geese. I wouldn't waste my time makking contacts for unused fields. It's not ideal, but you're almost forced to wait out a year or two and find them in season. They're not going to be where they are in the summer come the fall,, obviously. I was lucky, like a lot of my friends. My first spots all came from family outing years ago and everything else has come with time. I drove past a spot for years before I ever knew it was there. I couldn't imagine starting over if I relocated out of state.

Good luck out there and keep scouting.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby jmruss » Thu May 29, 2014 1:36 pm

Yeah, starting over isn't ideal but I am certainly happy that I finally made the move to PA. New Jersey was a bit stuffy as compared to Pennsylvania.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby xxDuckWildxx » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:44 pm

Jmruss, welcome to PA! If you get on the game commissions website they have an interactive map of all properties enrolled in farm-game co-op and safety zone programs. If you do some preseason online scouting now and find some likely farms, put them in your GPS, or make a list of addresses. When the season gets close start driving and checking. When the season is in, drive looking for birds in the fields, if any of the active fields match up with cooperating landowners it's almost a guaranteed access. Get in there that day and ask permission. Hunt the very next day. Google earth is worth checking out for likely duck spots as well. Good luck this season. I'm in Chester County, PA near the Berks line. I'll let you know if I need a hunting partner this year
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby kx80case » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:33 pm

that is a good area where you move just look for farm land when the migration hits and knock on doors im in the same boat i just moved from that area so i cant hook up with u to hunt
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby WILDOHIO330 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:35 am

I live in down in Lansdale not far from you. A lot of the spots we hunt are public and we are usually the only ones there when we go for geese. My family has farm land in Ohio and the goose hunting out here is much better than back home. There is a lake that is between me and you just outside Quakertown that I will be hunting for ducks and geese if your interested.
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby taylor714914 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:33 pm

As others have said said, put In the time scouting and finding farms to hunt. Summer is spend securing farms, and fall is spent scouting those farms for birds
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Re: New to Pennsylvania

Postby stackandwhack » Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:41 pm

Welcome! I go to school in Maryland but when I come home to the Lehigh valley I usually get out a couple times. Il let you know when I come home and maybe we can shoot some birds. Good luck!
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