A buddy and I are looking to take our 2 sons for a Backpack deer hunt when Firearms season starts. We are looking to go somewhere in Central PA, trying to get in areas that will be remote to others, more for the adventure part of it. Possibly, you have some advice from your experience for which Locations to look into. We are out of state, so everything will be new to us.We just started a bit of this kind of hunting last year in PA as preparation for a western hunt. Looks like we’ll be doing it again locally with everything going on travel wise. I’m ready to roll, hardly even disappointed.
I can be pretty hard to get far enough away from anywhere to make it worth backpacking. I'd look at areas of the Sproul and Susquahanaock state forest. Be preparade because by that time of the year the weather can be down right nasty.A buddy and I are looking to take our 2 sons for a Backpack deer hunt when Firearms season starts. We are looking to go somewhere in Central PA, trying to get in areas that will be remote to others, more for the adventure part of it. Possibly, you have some advice from your experience for which Locations to look into. We are out of state, so everything will be new to us.
That’s a pretty sweet set up... I do the same thing w my Lone Wolf. It feels great for about 10 minutes. Ha, then it’s all guts if you’re going uphill.I’m blessed to have access to private land where I can tag a decent buck most years if I do my part, but I really love the whole backpacking/camping/hunting/mountains experience, so I’ve been trying to kill a buck with my recurve in the backcountry. I had one at 25 yards from an improvised ground blind last weekend, but I didn’t have a clean shot and he knew something was up. I wouldn’t even have drawn on him on private, but he seemed like a trophy back there! As long as you’re in it for the whole experience, you’ll always have fun.
I plan on taking my climber back to try again soon. It looks heavy but it’s really not that bad:
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I did a cape skin on the ground and when you have to do it at the bottom of a rhododendron gully thats a perfect V-shape with no flat surface... its is quite a challenge hahaI do this in VA every year with success. It’s stressful on the first trip but it gets easier. Don’t overpack is my main suggestion. Minimize everywhere you can as the weight of a whitetail on the way out gets rough sometimes. I do suggest a millennium tree seat as it’s comfortable for all day sets and a great seat around the fire at nights. I also sacrifice some weight for a small gambrel and pulley system because who likes to try to cape skin one on the ground? And I can’t stand not being able to get a mature whitetail pulled up by myself without having blood head to toe View attachment 190953 View attachment 190957 View attachment 190958
This is an awesome story man very motivating! I made this post last year and ended up tagging my first archery buck on public but it was only a day hunt. After getting some experience last season, and slowly building a decent backpack hunting gear list, this 2021 season myself and a good friend from texas are doing a backpack rut hunt with our bows! Super excited. And your story gives me hope to find mature bucks back in the deep woodsIn 2018 I backpacked into land in North Central Arkansas for a rut hunt. I was successful and bagged a very very old 9 point that scored 118". I did a euro mount and the taxidermist said that the deer was one of the oldest deer he's ever worked with. So there's some food for thought. I bagged him on the second day.
What I learned on my solo DIY hunt.
1. I wasn't prepared.
2. My pack sucked for a overnight backpack hunt. I have a post in "long range whitetail pack" in the whitetail section. I packed in 4 miles and hunted about 500 yards the first day and packed 4 miles early the next morning to get setup. I was toast.
3. OnX maps is amazing. Download more than enough maps, and bring a paper map.
4. A layout plan for your pack and what you need.
5. Be prepared to quarter up and pack out a deer. This was the first time I've done it and now I prefer it.
6. Expect it to rain. It rained the day I took my buck. I was semi wet on the hunt. My shelter and sleeping bag was dry. If I wouldn't of tagged out on the second day the 3rd day would of gave me a whole new set of issues with a wet pack and hunting clothes. I used army wet weather gear, which worked somewhat.
7. Pack the best lightweight food you can get. I brought a few MRE's and a few canned foods. I actually cached some canned foods up in the mountains, therefore they should still good for this year.
8. Get a jetboil.
9. Have a plan for water. I used a life straw, but its not enough.
10. You need trekking poles. It's not a need its a absolutely must have.
11. Practice setting up your camp. This will give you an idea of what you need or don't need.
12. You need a big pack and a small pack. A big pack to get everything in and a little one to take your stand to your spot. I used a tree saddle and sticks. I'm looking at the Kifaru and exo packs that I can swap out big backs for little ones.
13. Solar charger for your phone.
14. Be physically ready, it isn't going to be easy.
15. Be mentally ready for isolation.
16. Bright flashlights
I want to add that the mental part is a big part of it. I was constantly telling myself this is getting dangerous, what if this happens, maybe you shouldn't go that far away, just hunt closer to the truck, this isn't worth it, you can't keep packing around these mountains in the dark, what if you slip down a bluff, what if you step on a snake, what if you step in a hole and break your leg, what if all your flashlights stop working, and etc. I was doing constant mental check ins and coming back to the reality that I'm okay.
I'm planning on a hunt this year in Arkansas and hopefully one in WV.
The take away of the adventure is I was able to achieve a heightened sense of awareness that I haven't been able to experience since I cam home from Iraq. Every step, you have to ensure your safety and avoid complacency. You could be dying in a matter of seconds if you decide to get careless with a knife or hurry through down the mountain. It's you, God, the mountain, and the beasts of the earth. The success of this trip wasn't measured by antlers and tape, it was measured by effort and grit. Once I left the mountain and returned from the trip I had a awesome sense of achievement. I felt alive. I earned my buck and conquered the mountain.
With a few years of tough luck in the NM draw we have been looking at making the trek to Arkansas to do a hunt similar like this. Looked at options in NE and OK but their tags seem a little expensive. Found AR and for a couple hundred bucks they give you a pile of tags.
Ether this fall or in 2021 we are going to try a trip with burros into the western side of AR. About a 12 hour drive from ABQ. Looking at wilderness areas as well. Likely will be looking for bear as well. Does anyone know what bears would be focused on during the dear rifle season? Oak?
These pictures are so awesome!