Moving from WA to PA

sneaky

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Looks like I am moving to PA this summer from Washington. Washington has been amazing as far as outdoor activities are concerned. Rivers,lakes,ocean,deer,bear, and elk are all things I’ve enjoyed here. Haven’t had time yet to research much in PA but from what I’ve seen it’s pretty much just a whitetail show. For guys out that way what do you guys do for elk and bear hunting? Thanks in advance.
They have huge black bears in PA. Drawing an elk tag is about the same odds of you drawing an east side bull tag in WA lol

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Rob960

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Whitetail is king with bear right behind. The bear population is very healthy and the sizes can be incredible. For fishing Trout reigns, but many are also into Musky and Smallmouth bass. Being in Pottstown (closer to Philly than you think) Catfish is great on the Schuylkill River. Flatheads pushing 5#'s+.
 

ZAK13

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There's lots to do in PA, deer, bear, elk ( if you get a tag), lots of good fishing.
 

Fullfan

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Hour from filthadelphia, is still way to close. Good luck with that. As for elk, we drive to idaho.
 

.204smokechaser

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My Dad was a Washington Resident for 60+ years and moved to PA a few years ago after retiring. He hasn’t had troubles finding good hunting, fishing, and most importantly gun clubs. He shoots 2 times a week. Get yourself involved in gun clubs and you’ll make buddies quick.
 

PNWGATOR

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i lived within an hour of Philly once. Did it for a year. Only positive part of the experience was the diversity of the cuisine. Wish you all the best and hope you find the silver lining.

P.S. Those fish up north are lake run rainbows...#notrealsteelhead. 😬
 

Zak406

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I have lived in pa my whole life. Deer hunting is great. The bucks are getting bigger and bigger. Bear are tough to find without proper scouting but that’s not to say they are not here you just have to look for them. Pheasant season is put and take but it runs from around oct 17 until February. You can hunt coyotes year round. We have some grouse and wood cock. There is a elk season but getting a tag is pretty hard start applying this year for points. We hunt from early September (due to we’re im located ) until the end of January for multiple species including

Duck
Pheasant
Grouse
Wood cock
Bear
Deer
Coyote
Fox

Fishing is good as well we trout and bass fish mostly through the summer. You can as we do also hunt rattle snakes in the summer during certain months.
 

Muddler

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I’m also pretty big into steelhead, looks like the northwest side of the state. Rivers and creeks that dump into the lake up there seem to be about the only place in the state ?
Yeah you'll need to get up around Erie to fish for steelhead. Basically any trib feeding one of the Great Lakes. Don't discount tribs in OH and NY as well.

But forewarning, the crowds can be absurd. Shoulder to should type stuff. And some of the people don't exactly use good etiquette. You can have a hole to yourself and someone will still come fish right next to you. Week days are your best bet to fish with fewer people and also when it starts to get colder and later in the season.
 

BeastOfTheTrees

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Here in Wa I’m use to seeing multiple bear in a day. It’s all back country 4000-7000’ in the cascade mountains. It’s also open for several months starting August 1st and we can use any weapon for the whole season.
Forget seeing them until it’s time to kill one. I spent 25 days in the Allegheny NF this year chasing bruiser bucks. Didn’t see a single bear. Found sign but rarely. There are great bears though. I’ll post a video of one close to my town.
 
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Spoonman

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i lived within an hour of Philly once. Did it for a year. Only positive part of the experience was the diversity of the cuisine. Wish you all the best and hope you find the silver lining.

P.S. Those fish up north are lake run rainbows...#notrealsteelhead. 😬
Yeah I figured as much for the Great Lakes steelhead. It will be a huge adjustment. Fishing on the coast for wild steelhead here in Washington is pretty kick ass. I walk plenty of river miles each trip out in search of a spot all to myself and the chance at a 20lb steelhead smashing my spoon in a tail out! I’m sure none of that is possible over there but just would like a chance at catching something close to a steelhead.
 

RMM

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Here in Wa I’m use to seeing multiple bear in a day. It’s all back country 4000-7000’ in the cascade mountains. It’s also open for several months starting August 1st and we can use any weapon for the whole season.
I've been most productive in the archery/muzzleloader season. The property I hunt is boom/bust for bears. Each year I've killed a bear the property has been covered up in beech nuts. I've actually killed two bears with a bow and one with a muzzleloader in the same food plot that's surrounded by beech trees.
 

CJ19

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Put in some time in the suburbs outside that philly/chester area. That part of the state is not for me as there are some complete shit areas but also some really beautiful areas too. It will undoubtly take work but if you can find a farm or decent size estate that will let you hunt, the results can be worth it. When talking with land owners stress archery only and how respectful of their property you will be. Suburban deer hunting in pittsburgh and philly areas is proven to produce big bucks. Unbelievably high deer numbers and giant bucks are definitely there.

For bears, turkeys, and big woods deer, i would head to literally any other part of the state to hunt public land. Tons of public land, some good, some not. You ll just have to figure out the spots you like and where you can avoid crowds. Big woods deer can be really hard to hunt.

Also second the opinion that the after xmas flintlock season is a really fun time to hunt and it offers something a little different for people.
 

elkyinzer

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I'd say in many regards you are in for a tremendous hunting/fishing culture shock, but there are still some world-class opportunities to be had if you put in some windshield time. Near you, deer hunting the suburbs can be amazing, but it's all about finding access to private. Get used to claustrophobic properties if you play that game, often like 5-10 acres or less. It's a totally different type of hunting and one that frankly I don't care for at all, but it can be incredibly productive.

Some stuff within a reasonable drive
-Good to great saltwater fishing in NY/NJ and DelMarVA. Bays, inshore, offshore, always something going on
-Best walleye fishing in the world in Lake Erie
-Good to great freshwater salmon fishing in Lake Ontario
-Lots of good wild trout and smallmouth bass fishing. Don't overlook smallies if you enjoy steelhead fishing, they are a blast
-A 1-4 hour drive from good public whitetail and turkey hunting in multiple states. Choose your adventure, mountain deer (generally less deer, less people) or broken farm country (more deer, more people). You can basically deer hunt half the year from September through February somewhere with a bow.
-Less than a day's drive to NY, NH, or Maine for all sorts of backcountry hunts that may be more reminiscent of certain parts of the western hunting experience. Lots of surprisingly remote stuff in PA, WV, VA too.

Elk is basically a once in a lifetime opportunity in PA, nothing to bank on by any means. Way less than 1% draw odds for resident bull tags. Your closest reasonable elk hunting is Colorado.

Good luck! Not a bad area down there for other stuff to do besides hunting if you can handle the traffic and assholes.
 

flatlanderhuffandpuff

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I’ll be northwest of Philly about a hour.
Sounds like the Lancaster area.

We go out west for elk but apply for the PA draw every year.

I hunt private land for whitetail, turkey but there is lots of public land and lots of public land hunters.

Apparently there is some really good waterfowl hunting on the Susquehanna but that's not my scene. I know I see huge flocks of Canadian geese fly over my house. We are right in the migration corridor.
 

Crghss

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If you fly fish there are some Fly only stretches that can be fun. As others have stated it’ll be hard to find private land that close to Philly.

Before I’d run to Erie or NY for Salmon/steelhead I’d go to the NJ or DE shore to fish.

Everything will be crowd what ever you do.
 

TheGreek

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Gun clubs, gun clubs, gun clubs, I bet there are about 50 different trap/skeet/sporting clays clubs within 50 miles of where you’ll be.
 
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Spoonman

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Sounds like the Lancaster area.

We go out west for elk but apply for the PA draw every year.

I hunt private land for whitetail, turkey but there is lots of public land and lots of public land hunters.

Apparently there is some really good waterfowl hunting on the Susquehanna but that's not my scene. I know I see huge flocks of Canadian geese fly over my house. We are right in the migration corridor.
Crowds will be something I’ll have to get us to or try and get away from them. Here in Washington it’s rare I see any other hunters on a bear trip.
Gun clubs, gun clubs, gun clubs, I bet there are about 50 different trap/skeet/sporting clays clubs within 50 miles of where you’ll be.
Never done any skeet shooting at all or waterfowl hunting. I may have to switch up what I hunt for and how I hunt in order to keep me going in the outdoors over there.

Bear hunting out here is normally 200-500 yard shots. Blacktail deer is all spot and stalk in rainy conditions that always gets my blood pumping. As far as elk I’m pretty sure everyone knows the routine on them. For me I chase them in muzzleloader season(beginning of October) on the coast. They are still very much in the rut and there are far fewer muzzleloader guys than archery or rifle guys.

From what I’ve researched and read over the last few days bear seems to be a luck thing and elk pretty much out of the question. Whitetail sounds fun but definitely would like to find my own little spot without competition and definitely not sure about the whole tree stand thing( have trouble sitting still).Also sounds like there are plenty of coyotes out there which I love hunting as well.
 

JesseC

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You're going to get spoiled rotten if you go steelhead fishing in the GL tribs. 20 fish days aren't unheard of. Yeah yeah yeah..... they're not real steelhead..... but hot damn, wouldn't you rather catch 20 instead of 2 in a whole season. You're probably getting out of washington just in time before the whole dang state is closed for steelhead.
 

camping1601

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Crowds will be something I’ll have to get us to or try and get away from them. Here in Washington it’s rare I see any other hunters on a bear trip.

Never done any skeet shooting at all or waterfowl hunting. I may have to switch up what I hunt for and how I hunt in order to keep me going in the outdoors over there.

Bear hunting out here is normally 200-500 yard shots. Blacktail deer is all spot and stalk in rainy conditions that always gets my blood pumping. As far as elk I’m pretty sure everyone knows the routine on them. For me I chase them in muzzleloader season(beginning of October) on the coast. They are still very much in the rut and there are far fewer muzzleloader guys than archery or rifle guys.

From what I’ve researched and read over the last few days bear seems to be a luck thing and elk pretty much out of the question. Whitetail sounds fun but definitely would like to find my own little spot without competition and definitely not sure about the whole tree stand thing( have trouble sitting still).Also sounds like there are plenty of coyotes out there which I love hunting as well.
I talked to a guy this year that has killed 6 bear and his friend 9. He said you have to take it very seriously to have regular success. This is probably why I've never killed one. I call it bear hiking.
 
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Spoonman

Spoonman

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I talked to a guy this year that has killed 6 bear and his friend 9. He said you have to take it very seriously to have regular success. This is probably why I've never killed one. I call it bear hiking.
Hahahahaha

Bear hiking sounds fun. A normal day of bear hiking for me is 10+ miles and 3000 feet of gain or more. Then when I get to my destination I see multiple bear. Find the one I want and make a stalk on it. Hard part is the pack out. 80-100lb pack for 10 miles or more is a ass kicker but we’ll worth it.

I definitely need to find a area that is bear rich there so I can put boots on the ground.
 
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