• The SH Membership has gone live. Only SH Members have access to post in the classifieds. All members can view the classifieds. Starting in 2020 only SH Members will be admitted to the annual hunting contest. Current members will need to follow these steps to upgrade: 1. Click on your username 2. Click on Account upgrades 3. Choose SH Member and purchase.
  • We've been working hard the past few weeks to come up with some big changes to our vendor policies to meet the changing needs of our community. Please see the new vendor rules here: Vendor Access Area Rules

Big Woods Scouting mountain terrain in PA

Dietter700

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
114
Location
Montgomery Co. Pa
Looking for some help . I'd like to see where "saddles" are in this map. I feel like in the PA mountains the saddle are not as distinct as other areas. This is very steep country but holds some decent hunting. I've hunted and scouted it over the last year. Just trying to break down this piece more and would like a second set of eyes. Anything stand out to you where deer would funnel .

Thanks in advance
 

Attachments

Dietter700

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
114
Location
Montgomery Co. Pa
I agree, I see write where you mean. Yeah that bench is large probably 10-15 acres or so . So where that bench necks down is more of a "funnel" in this type of woods correct?
 

Rangermatthews

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
135
Location
Chassel MI
The bid woods stuff I hunt I’m finding that everything revolves around scrapes. They end up being the hidden funnels that concentrate multiple bucks. The fewer scrapes you find the more important they become. Low density deer need a way to communicate and surprisingly they use the licking beaches all year round. Not sure if you have any marked on your map but if there is no ag they become super important. The last couple years I’ve put cameras on small barely noticeable scrapes and was amazed that all the bucks in the area would frequent them even in the middle of the day. Might be something for you to look for.
 

Dietter700

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
114
Location
Montgomery Co. Pa
That’s good to know. I have a camera on the steep side of that hill off the road over a scrape. I just put it out last December but got some decent bucks using it. It’s on an intersection of trials. There a scrape in the center of it .... I was thinking it’d be a solid place to sit near/over.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dougell

Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
53
There's definately saddles in that picture.I live in northcentral Pa and do all my hunting in the mountains on public land.Saddles are a good place to start,especially if a bench intersects the top of one.Try to avoid hunting low because the rising thermals will usually take your scent right to the deer,especially in the morning.Without putting boots on the ground,it's hard for me to tell you what's a good spot.One terrain feature I always look for in steep areas is small,steep ravines.When you find one,follow it up until it peters out.Right there you'll most likely find a natural funnel and I almost quarantee that you'll find trail.The key to hunting these areas is by learning how to identify preferred browse species,taking an inventory of what's growing and how the deer are impacting it.They have to have food and the food sources change constantly in the fall.A great spot one day can be a complete bust a week or two later.The deer herd in NC pa was greatly reduced 20 years ago and for good reason.The habitat has made huge strides in recovery since then and so have the deer.There's different animals today however.There's no pressure and more food for the deer but it's spread out more so they don't have to be on their feet searching.
 

dougell

Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
53
Where I hunt in the pa state forest I like to find edges of clearcuts and hardwoods. Especially when on ridges/ ridge points. Also they love to run the first or second bench from the top of the ridge or mountain.
That's exactly right on all counts.
 

Flee

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2019
Messages
301
I watching this thread. I’m a 2 Drive from the ANF and I have a buddy with a camp there. I’m wanting to do some truck camping and get away from the masses. I‘ve hunted a while now but new to getting serious about online scouting, trail cams, and then getting boots on the ground to tie it all together. I’ve found some good YouTube guys to gather knowledge as well.
 

Dietter700

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
114
Location
Montgomery Co. Pa
I watching this thread. I’m a 2 Drive from the ANF and I have a buddy with a camp there. I’m wanting to do some truck camping and get away from the masses. I‘ve hunted a while now but new to getting serious about online scouting, trail cams, and then getting boots on the ground to tie it all together. I’ve found some good YouTube guys to gather knowledge as well.
Cool man, sounds fun. What is ANF?
 

dougell

Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
53
I watching this thread. I’m a 2 Drive from the ANF and I have a buddy with a camp there. I’m wanting to do some truck camping and get away from the masses. I‘ve hunted a while now but new to getting serious about online scouting, trail cams, and then getting boots on the ground to tie it all together. I’ve found some good YouTube guys to gather knowledge as well.
If you really want to do well in the ANF,talk to some foresters and find out where they did some recent timber sales and then put the boots on the ground.Terrain features that you can see on a map are great but you have to know what's growing and where.Pa has two very distinct types of forst composition in the NC part of the state.You have oak/Hickory and northern Hardwoods and they have vastly different types of trees.There's parts of ANF where you can actually see them meet and it's very distinct.You won't find many oak trees in a northern hardwoods forest but you will find northern hardwoods species in some oak/hickory stands because they've out competeted the oak.If you're hunting in an area that's primarily oak,you have to watch the mast crop.It's tough during years of a huge mast crop because the deer are more spread out and they don't have to be on their feet searching.If there's a poor mast crop,check the ridge tops because those trees have not have been impacted by frost and may have acorns.If that's the case,you just found a gold mine.To have consistent success in the big woods,you have to know where the food sources are every month of the year and you have to know when to change locations because they change constantly from year to year and even week to week.When I scout new areas,I don't look for deer sign.I look at what's growing,what should be growing and how the deer are impacting it.If there's food,the deer will be there but they may not be there at that moment.When fall rolls around,I go back and check it over again.Constant scouting during the season is crucial because things change so rapidly.You have to know what the deer like to browse on and you have to be able to identify those species as small saplings.
 

dougell

Member
SH Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2019
Messages
53
The ANF used to be loaded with deer until the treehugger took the US forest service to court and pretty much halter all logging 20-30 years ago.When they did log,they were restricted on how much they could cut so the huge deer population would easily wipe everything out.Because of that,they had to fence every cut which did the deer no good.They have resumed some cutting and with less deer today,the habitat is really starting to recover.
 

backstrap19

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
278
The days of clearcuts are done in the ANF. most of the cuts now are "shelterwood" cuts, which don't regenerate with the cover that clearcuts used to. there is some good hunting in the ANF, but you sure do have to work for it. Luckily, I love the challenge. we should get a thread on here dedicated to ANF hunting! it could be endless.
 
Top