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Whittingham wma bow hunting

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 Looking to hunt whittingham wma in late October. Is it good hunting, is it over hunted. Not looking to cause problems with any locals just giving it a try with a friend of mine this fall for a few days. Any info would be great.

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hunt there during the october bear hunt, you can at least take a pic with susan kohl or the new york teacher nut job if you dont get any thing.

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I live down the rd.. pass by between prime time and dark every night.

I haven't seen a deer since August and there was only like 2 every now and then.

I talk to hunters if they are packing their truck while I'm passing by after dark, and they all seem to see the same thing...0 deer and a few bears.

 

Seen 1 guy dragging a doe out a few days ago...

 

 

 

http://www.jerseyjaystaxidermy.com

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These guys are located at the SW end of the WMA:

 

http://www.appalachianbowmen.org

 

Might want to shoot them an email with your questions.  I don't hunt there, so that's one less fat guy you have to worry about, but I've ridden past it on my bike, and it looks like good land.  It's smaller, only 1,930 acres, and I would assume it gets a good amount of pressure.

 

Definitely try to scout it and learn the land a bit.  You might glass a few stands and know where avoid, and you'll also be able to pick up some deer signs and find a good spot of your own.

 

http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/pdf/wmamaps/whittingham.pdf

 

State map.  Kind of crappy, but a good start.

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We have talked to the conservation officer for the area already, just curious if its another public land spot that's hammered to death, we live in new Hampshire where the deer hunting is terrible, like to have some fun bow hunting is all.

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be better off in greenwood state forest, will see more deer

really, whittingham not that good then?  This state is terrible we just want to have an oppurtunity to hunt and see some deer. 

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Here is my honest no BS assessment. I live a mile from the Fredon section, off rt 618, and also the section that extends south on rt 519 including the water dog training area.

 

Phenomenal looking deer property, but maybe once or twice a year, do I ever see deer on it.  It gets hammered mostly during 6 day - lots of different gangs drive it.

The best chance to have any shot of decent bowhunting would be late October leading up to before Small Game opens - from that point until 6 day - all the fields and first several hundred yards of woods are scoured daily by hunters and bird dogs, so what few deer live on Whittingham, get pushed out to private lands or just in very deep into the heart of the WMA far enough from the small game hunters.  Last season, I did some "in deep" scouting of the interior sections, and never saw so much available browse and acorns. What was missing were rubs, scrapes, trails, and scat.  

 

I hunt a lot of private land surrounding Whittingham, and the deer numbers (especially doe) are way down from where they were 10 years ago.

 

To cut to the chase - I could practically walk there to hunt deer and you couldn't pay me to.

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Here is my honest no BS assessment. I live a mile from the Fredon section, off rt 618, and also the section that extends south on rt 519 including the water dog training area.

 

Phenomenal looking deer property, but maybe once or twice a year, do I ever see deer on it.  It gets hammered mostly during 6 day - lots of different gangs drive it.

The best chance to have any shot of decent bowhunting would be late October leading up to before Small Game opens - from that point until 6 day - all the fields and first several hundred yards of woods are scoured daily by hunters and bird dogs, so what few deer live on Whittingham, get pushed out to private lands or just in very deep into the heart of the WMA far enough from the small game hunters.  Last season, I did some "in deep" scouting of the interior sections, and never saw so much available browse and acorns. What was missing were rubs, scrapes, trails, and scat.  

 

I hunt a lot of private land surrounding Whittingham, and the deer numbers (especially doe) are way down from where they were 10 years ago.

 

To cut to the chase - I could practically walk there to hunt deer and you couldn't pay me to.

sounds like its time to look elsewhere, thank you for the no BS asessment   

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I passed whittlingham parking lot on Sunday last week. 13 trucks there, and all were baiting For Bear. Corn bags and 5 gallon buckets packed in the backs. Bear season negates a quality hunt and as soon as small game opens in Nov any reasonable hunting experience is done.

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out of all the state land I think you chose the worst one possibly. south jersey seems to hold more deer now. if you go before gun season you will brobably have it to your self. 5 to 10 years ago I would of said the opposite and said stay north

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We have talked to the conservation officer for the area already, just curious if its another public land spot that's hammered to death, we live in new Hampshire where the deer hunting is terrible, like to have some fun bow hunting is all.

 

I'm heading up to Pittsburg, NH in Nov to walk around in search of deer.  I feel you pain.  It's more of a hiking trip than deer hunting.  The moose population is also down, they've moved into Canada and ME.  One theory I heard was because of the ticks.  It was causing high mortality on the calves and spreading disease.  Warm winters to blame.

 

I grew up in Nashua.

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out of all the state land I think you chose the worst one possibly. south jersey seems to hold more deer now. if you go before gun season you will brobably have it to your self. 5 to 10 years ago I would of said the opposite and said stay north

I think you mean central Jersey, South Jersey deer numbers are pretty low, and hunter numbers very high.  Seems like the central counties have the best deer hunting, although, I read all the time how no one is hunting these public lands up north. Can read it here, and other sites...no one out during bow season, not hearing any shots during gun season, plenty of deer on public lands, and some guys also post up some pretty big bucks they 'claim' came from public land up north. 

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I know when I drive through the pines on rt 539 I see deer all the time.

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I'm heading up to Pittsburg, NH in Nov to walk around in search of deer.  I feel you pain.  It's more of a hiking trip than deer hunting.  The moose population is also down, they've moved into Canada and ME.  One theory I heard was because of the ticks.  It was causing high mortality on the calves and spreading disease.  Warm winters to blame.

 

I grew up in Nashua.

Good Luck, this state is terrible hunting

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I would not say all public land "up north" is as bad as the WMAs...   There is a lot of public land - the one he selected probably now has the lowest deer densities when 15 years ago it may have been the highest. ...    "Unlimited Antlerless", string of brutal winters, abnormally high populations of coyotes and bears eventually take their toll - but man is still probably the #1 nemesis to the deer herd.

 

I know of a group of guys that come down to NJ from VT every year with bows with the sole purpose of "freezer filling" and do very well on northern public land - but it's not WMA or State land.  Not going to spot burn it for others either, but it's all there on the map.

 

The OP may also want to consider CT - I believe their seasons are as liberal if not worse as NJ.

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Good Luck, this state is terrible hunting

Maybe, but you might get one like this, killed in Wolfsboro, NH. 

wolfesboro.jpg

Edited by Nomad
  • Agree 2

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Deer herd in S. NH is better than in the north.  Anyplace south of Concord has a pretty decent season.  Another advantage in NH is that if the land isn't posted, you can hunt it even if it's private property.  So there's a lot of land that is available to hunt, and the pressure gets moved around a good amount.  When I grew up in Nashua, I never saw a single deer; not even a deer sign.  Now there are bears, turkey, and deer in Nashua and northern MA.

 

NJ northern public lands do get a lot of pressure, there's no doubt about that.  There are still deer out there, they're just harder to find and you need to put in a good amount of pre-season work to find their spots and travel routes.  If you don't put the time in scouting, chances are you won't see deer.

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I second what RGW said and will take it further and say you picked one of the most pressured states that has seen its herd drastically reduced in the last 5 years. Sorry if this comes across as not nice, just be being honest, if guys know where there are decent numbers of deer on public land they probably will not share that info on a public forum due to spot burn. Good luck this season.

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I've hunted NE Pa each year for the last few years and seen more deer in a day than I do in 2 weeks here on public land. Now, to be fair, most of my hunting there is private land in rifle season but in bow season the public land I've been to hasn't been too crowded, is probably closer to you and I believe the non resident license is cheaper. The plentiful NJ deer herds of a decade ago have been reduced by more than half, not what it used to be anywhere.

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NJ is not unique in any way; we are one of dozens and dozens of states that saw an unsustainable deer herd that has been, by design, cut about in half from its peak in the late 90s.  Posters here, as you will quickly find out, typically base their opinions on when they started hunting.  Old timers like me (51 with 41 years deer hunting) will tell you that northern NJ had few deer when we began and then we watched as the herds grew and grew to a point where instead of not seeing more than a couple does in a full day's sit, we saw dozens and shot one early in the day (late 90s into the early 00s).  Now the numbers are somewhere between those of the 70s and those of the late 90s.  Sustainable for our forests, but not enough for many of the hunters that only know huge herd numbers from the fairly recent past.  

 

My guess is that NJ's reputation out of state remains one where everyone thinks we still have way too many, but that is not the case.  Ungulates (deer, caribou, moose, elk, mulies, etc.) grown larger the further north you go, but their numbers also decrease overall.  That is a biological fact that deer nerds like Rusty can confirm :)  So you may find NJ's deer numbers excellent when compared to NH's deer numbers.  Our individual experiences are what drive our opinions, and often facts have little to do with our arguments in this area.  Nothing right now is a hotter topic in hunting than the decrease in whitetail deer numbers in nearly all states that they exist.  NJ is no different....  

  • Agree 1

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I started hunting in the late 80's about 88-89 and saw the herds of deer! In the 90's till now I've hunted at various WMA's Peaquest and Whittingham being the ones I hunted most, at whittingham during that time it was a common thing to see 30-40 plus deer in EVERY field at prime time! Same with peaquest, just tons of them but you could see the damage the deer where doing, there was no ground cover or any type of under brush, and the browse line was as clear as day, it was unreal. The numbers are way down now but there are still plenty to be found but now you gotta work for them! Would I like to see those numbers again? Hell yeah!! But I know it's not healthy for the deer or the woods, so I make do and still get my 2 a year, in some parts of the state on private land those numbers can still be found. But bucksnbows is right about this being better for both the deer and the woods, but still wouldn't mind a 3 deer limit!!lol

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