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Ground Zero: Pennsylvania's Record Bucks

Ground Zero: Pennsylvania's Record Bucks

Boone and Crockett harvest records reveal the best places in Pennsylvania to harvest a giant whitetail in 2018.

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Check out this video to learn how to manage your small track of land to bag your trophy buck.

CLARION COUNTY

At first glance, Clarion County does not seem to fit the mold for top end trophy buck hunting. To begin with, it is near the middle of the state. This is not where we should expect to find good trophy buck hunting. It is largely wooded, though with considerable farmland in parts of the county.

Clarion County is the home of Cook Forest State Park. Renowned for its tall, old growth forest, it is also known for numerous, but small, whitetails. This situation has changed somewhat since that reputation was earned, but still, this is not where a trophy buck hunter should focus.

When stalking a trophy buck here, take a close look at the farmland areas. Several mid-size state game lands are scattered in the northern part of the county. Two are shared with other counties. SGL No. 24 is shared on the northern border of the county with Forest County. SGL No. 45 is shared along the stair-step northeastern border with Venango County. Like most Clarion County state game lands, it lies alongside U.S. Route 322. Starting at the eastern county border these are SGL No. 74, SGL No. 72, SGL No. 63 and SGL No. 45.

SGL No. 330, is one of only two Clarion County state game lands south of Interstate Route 80. SGL 330 has an area of 2,255 acres of reclaimed strip mines. This situation has created some of the finest state game lands. SGL No. 266 is just 496 acres.

Combined state game lands area for those in or partly in Clarion County is about 24,800 acres. The advantage of having several smaller state game lands is that they become parts of surrounding landscapes with intermingling deer.

This is a county where a visiting hunter may be able to gain access to private land. All it takes is knocking on doors and asking politely and making a positive impression.

Unfortunately, on the downside, there is a dark side to hunting deer in Clarion County. CWD has been detected in a neighboring county. The southeast corner of Clarion County is now in Disease Management Area 3. It is imperative that hunters who take deer in Clarion County in that small corner east of Route 28 follow proper procedures. Check the Pennsylvania Game Commission web site for details at pgc.pa.gov.




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