Deer season primer: Four Central Pennsylvania public hunting hotspots


Less than two weeks and counting until one of our region’s biggest annual outdoor rites of passage: rifle deer season.
Are you ready? Have you sighted in the trusty 30-06? Is the fluorescent orange jacket out of mothballs? Have you stocked up on ammo, hand warmers and mini Snickers bars?But beyond whos, whats, whens and whys, the most important question every preparing hunter must answer is the where.
Being ready for opening day takes a certain amount of scouting, regardless of whether or not you are planning to hit private land or drive out public fence rows. Less and less private land is available, and many have gotten out of hunting because the options of where to go seem more limited than ever.
Fortunately, our region has a number of public places where deer can be found. After polling a variety of local hunting aficionados, here are the region’s top four places to hunt publicly for deer.

1. Montour Project, Exchange.
Perhaps the biggest outdoor secret in the region, the Montour Project is a vast expanse of prime hunting land located in the rural Washingtonville area. More than 4,000 acres with the perfect combination of woodlands, food plots, fence rows and well-maintained habitat is accessible via nine parking lots on a variety of back roads mostly near the small town of Exchange.
Owned and managed by the PPL Montour group, you can plan your hunting excursion by picking up maps of the region at the PPL Montour Preserve. No treestands are allowed.

2. State Game Lands 252, Allenwood.
Located in Lycoming and Union counties, the 3,000-acre State Game Lands 252 is an old army ordnance depot that was abandoned and turned over to the PGC. What was once a mostly cleared area with ammunition bunkers has now grown up into brushy fields and woodlots surrounding a number of swampy ponds.
The area can be hiked easily along the many flat, abandoned roadways throughout the game lands. The region is one of the most diverse and expansive of the state’s game lands. See the map for more information.

3. State Game Land 84, Dornsife
Located along the Line Mountain, these game lands run in a narrow band west from Dornsife all the way to the Taylorsville area through the Weiser State Forest.
The terrain and habitat combine to make prime whitetail hunting although numbers can fluctuate. This is the preferred public hunting stomping grounds for outdoors writer Ken Maurer.

4. State Game Lands 201, Mifflinburg
Accessible along Route 304 between Mifflinburg and the small town of Penns Creek, this game lands offers large tracts of farmland broken up by woodlands and fence rows. Food plots on and near these lands offer plenty for the local deer herd and a variety of habitats gives the deer herd plenty of cover.
As with any hunting location, it is suggested that hunters scout out the region prior to opening day to search for deer signs.

Where are your favorite Central Pennsylvania hunting hotspot?

~ by zaktansky on November 19, 2014.

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