Whitetail Hunting Harrisburg PA

See below for local resources for wihitetail hunting in Harrisburg, PA and get access to hunting scents, whitetail bowhunting, aiming points, whitetail hunting packages, and whitetail hunting techniques, as well as advice and content on whitetail hunting accessories and whitetail hunting seasons.

Dick's Sporting Goods
(717) 652-3174
Colonial Commons Shopping Center
Harrisburg, PA
 
Bass Pro Sports
(717) 565-5200
3501 Paxton Street
Harrisburg, PA
Hours
Mon - Sat 9:00 AM - 9:00 PMSun 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Foster Joseph Sayers Dam
(570) 962-2500
306 RAILROAD ST.
Beech Creek, PA
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing; Winter Sports

Beltzville Lake
(610) 377-0438
2145 Pohopoco Dr
Lehighton, PA
Other Activties
Biking; Boating; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Picnicking; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing; Winter Sports

Allegheny National Forest
(814) 723-5150
222 Liberty Street
Warren, PA
Other Activties
Auto Touring; Biking; Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Historic & Cultural Site; Horseback Riding; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Off Highway Vehicle; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing; Winter Sports

Dick's Sporting Goods
(717) 766-8377
Hampden Commons
Mechanicsburg, PA
 
Woodcock Creek Lake
(814) 763-4422
22079 St. Hwy. 198
Saegertown, PA
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing; Winter Sports

Erie National Wildlife Refuge
(814) 789-3585
11296 Wood Duck Lane
Guys Mills Pa 16327, PA
Other Activties
Auto Touring; Fishing; Hiking; Historic & Cultural Site; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Visitor Center; Wildlife Viewing

Loyalhanna Lake
(724) 639-9013
440 Loyalhanna Dam Road
Saltsburg, PA
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing; Winter Sports

Crooked Creek Lake
(724) 763-3161
114 Park Main Road
Ford City, PA
Other Activties
Boating; Camping; Fishing; Hiking; Horseback Riding; Hunting; Interpretive Programs; Picnicking; Recreational Vehicles; Visitor Center; Water Sports; Wildlife Viewing; Winter Sports

The Art Of Stalking Whitetails

Still hunting for whitetails is, I'm convinced, a matter of character. No one technique is more effective than another, rather, some hunters are better suited to one style than another and so they're more adept at it.

For instance, I can't sit still long enough to let my morning coffee cool. Ask me to sit still in a tree stand for more than half an hour and I'll have whittled every branch within reach down to toothpicks. Because of this restlessness, I've never done well hunting from a tree stand.

Similarly, while rattling, calling and a number of other techniques can be extremely productive for others, they do little for me.

I still hunt because the technique suits me like a favorite wool sweater. And, in the three decades since I stumbled across my first living, breathing whitetail, I've refined, modified and tweaked my skills to the point where still hunting has become second nature. The fine tuning process continues, because there's something to be learned from every encounter with a wild, smart whitetail, but these days, I enjoy whitetail hunting more than ever before and that's saying a lot.


The trick is to spot the deer before they spot you.

In large part, that enjoyment stems from the gratification derived from every successful outing, gratification counted not just in the number of deer tagged, but also in those passed up. During the first two decades of my three decades as a deer hunter I made all the classic mistakes of a greenhorn -- I sat up past midnight arguing the virtues of my favorite calibers, I hunted in clothing ill-suited for the conditions, I relied on a basic sense of direction to keep from getting lost and I counted on my young eyes to spot whitetails, no matter how far. And I took the first legal whitetail that crossed my path, certain that it would be my only chance of the season.

But once started, the learning curve takes a steady and steep upswing and, with it, the number of whitetails encountered. Taking the first legal deer is no longer critical because it is likely not the only one spotted during the course of an outing. During the course of the last decade or so, I've come to the conclusion that successful still-hunting depends, in large measure on technique, but also partly through pre-season preparation and partly through being properly equipped. Leave out any one of these elements and the two others are compromised as well.

Pre-Season Training
I start to prepare for the deer season in early September by paying frequent visits to a local game farm which has a small herd of whitetails in a wooded enclosure. By watching wander in and out of cover, by trying to spot them when they're bedded down in brush, I train my eyes to pick up the flick of a tail, the turn of an ear, the glint off an antler tine or just a small patch of fur through the bushes. It's a basic truth that the more deer you look at before the season, the more you see during the season.

For the bowhunter, pre-season practice is an acc...

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Whitetail Hunting Primer - 20 Things Every Deer Hunter Should Know

Most of us cut our teeth deer hunting. The fact is, whitetails are favored among sportsmen because they are abundant, accessible and a challenge to hunt. North, south, east and west, hunters of all ages pursue this enchanted ungulate each fall. Despite the wealth of information available in all sorts of media - whitetailed deer remain among the most mysterious animals known to hunters; and if you're fortunate enough to take a true trophy of the species well, that's an accomplishment. From biology to strategy, following are 20 things every deer hunter should know before entering the woods.

Often Invisible/Sometimes Vulnerable
Savvy hunters know that trophy whitetails don't get big by being stupid. Virtually invisible through most of the year, they only become vulnerable when called to breed.

Average Size
Body sizes and weights vary depending on local variations in the herd and area-specific game management practices. For instance, hunt the western Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and you'll see some of the biggest whitetails on the continent. There, an average mature buck will weigh in around 275 lbs. The largest can top out at over 400 lbs. live weight.

Shed Antlers
An integral part of a buck's annual lifecycle is the shedding of old antlers and growing of new ones. The shedding process begins a few weeks after the rut. In the northern states and provinces, some bucks begin to drop their antlers as early as mid-December, but most will shed by the end of February. The further south you go, these prime times will be offset a few weeks.

Antler Growth
New antler growth begins immediately after the previous set is shed. By spring, velvet antler growth is visible and by the end of summer growth is nearly complete. Generally by the end of August or beginning of September, velvet is shed and bucks begin to polish their newest set of antlers in preparation for the upcoming rut.

Ideal Habitat
Adaptable, whitetailed deer thrive in a wide range of biomes across North America. From coulee environments to river bottom flats, foothills, and even some mountainous regions, whitetails can be found wherever good cover and nutrient-rich food is available. That said, agricultural and forest fringe areas laced with either deciduous or mixed forest cover are favored habitats. Where there are poplar trees, willow scrub, oak trees and nearby cereal crops, chances are you'll find healthy whitetail populations.

Pre-Rut
In its most general sense, the metamorphosis from soft to hard antler is indicative of the beginning of the start of the pre-rut. Representative of this phase is a switch into inventory mode. As soon as deer shed their velvet, they become increasingly mobile. No longer fixed in their daily prolonged feeding, meandering, bedding, feeding patterns, they instinctively begin to monitor resident doe groups.

This is the time of year when bucks are keeping an eye on the does and assessing where they should focus their breedi...

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Whitetail Scents & Sensibility

"Always hunt into the wind" - Sage words of wisdom, this is perhaps the single most important tip any neophyte hunter learns at the outset of their hunting career. Deer rely heavily on their sense of smell. So it stands to reason that if we're to avoid detection, we should use the wind in our favor. Combine this with the appropriate use of scents or scent-blockers, and you're off to the races!

We've all experienced them; foiled hunts in which the deer we were after maneuvered downwind. By positioning themselves in the path of moving air currents, they capitalized on their most keen sense. Suddenly alerted to impending danger, they made a quick exit before we could take the shot. It was as though they hit an invisible wall, not only deterring them from their intended course, but repelling them altogether.

As a whitetail guide and outfitter, I'm frequently asked if I use commercial scents. As a rule, I offer this qualified response.

"Yes, I believe some work. Whether by chance or circumstance, I've witnessed the magnetic attraction of estrus scents firsthand. I believe cover-up scents and scent-eliminators have some value as well. However, I think any scent or cover-up that is incorrectly used, either too frequently, infrequently, or at inappropriate times and places, can actually repel animals."

How's that for a diplomatic answer!

An Acute Sense of Smell
As the most acute of the whitetail's senses, scent dictates virtually all of their behavior. Scent reception, interpretation, and deposit are key elements of a deer's most important mode of communication, particularly during the various stages of their annual rut cycle. It's no secret that hunters are learning to capitalize on this in a big way. One need only consider a simple anatomy lesson to recognize the important role scent plays in the world of the whitetail. Their multiple glands and prominent nose are key anatomical features. They urinate in scrapes and deposit glandular secretions on rubs and licking branches to communicate dominance and breeding readiness.

A whitetailed deer's sense of smell is many times greater than that of a human. Deer are capable of detecting odors at long distances, even hundreds of yards away, that we humans can't even identify at close range. Case in point, some hunters suggest that their clothing doesn't have an odor. A bold statement made by those who meticulously clean and store their hunting garb in sealed boxes or bags. Despite our best efforts, humans smell. To a deer, we small bad! More to the point, I'm not just suggesting we have a unique aroma. No, in fact, to a deer, we literally stink. Translated, that stink means just one thing - danger! Acknowledging this fact is the first step to solving the problem.

Given that we smell, we've come full circle. We have two options: the first is to use wind and thermals to our advantage; and the second is to use commercial scent or scent blocking products to combat our foul odor.

Using the Thermals...

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