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Article by: Beau Martonik

My father, Joe Martonik, has found consistent success by still-hunting along former logging roads that wind through old clear-cuts. During the rut, he has used his deer call and rattling antlers to convince more than one mature buck to get up from its bed and come charging in for a fight.

The PA Wilds region of northern Pennsylvania is home to a ton of public hunting land and is mostly made up of endless timber and topography. Pennsylvania public lands tend to get a bad reputation for being overcrowded with other hunters, but I’ve come to realize that this isn’t always the case.

Using the OnX Hunt online app or their app for your phone (save 20% off on the onX Hunt app by using code EMW), I can find overlooked public land areas or areas further away from roads that allow hunters to enjoy the big woods uninterrupted. Terrain features such as saddles, points of ridges and draws are highlighted and marked with a pin as areas to check out when scouting and/or hunting. Whether you have time to scout these areas beforehand or you are “going in blind,” by hunting the area for the first time and without scouting, you can find success if you know what to look for. To take it a step further, I look at the different types of vegetation and how they correlate with terrain as part of creating a hunting plan when entering a new area.

Read the two blog posts about using terrain and vegetation features to hunt big woods mountain bucks below.

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