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Old January 5, 2006, 06:19 AM   #1
Join Date: July 19, 2005
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 48
Varmint Hunting

I've been browsing through the threads and seeing alot of things about varmint hunting(squirrels, groundhogs, and rabbits and stuff) as well as seeing things about pest bird hunting(like crows,and pigeons).

I have never hunted before but own several rifles. I have a Marlin .22 and was thinking about starting with the small critters before going to deer and turkeys.

The question i have is what gear do i need, where is the best to hunt these animals, and any preparations i should take. I live in a small rural town about 50 miles outside of Pittsburgh and hunting out of my backyard isnt an option because of the proximity of my neighbors. However i can go about 200 ft from my house and be in the woods. There is also state gamelands about a mile from my house.

What areas am i allowed to hunt these animals at and would a .22 caliber rifle be sufficient?
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Old January 6, 2006, 02:19 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 8, 2005
Location: Covington, GA
Posts: 10
When I lived up around New Castle, PA, we would go groundhog hunting at different peoples farms. Just get out and look around and find a nice farm that has some decent fields and ask the land owner if they would mind if you could hunt groundhogs on their land. Most farmers will not mind as ground hogs can cause havoc for tractors and horses/cows. A 22 should be go out to atleast 100 yards. Once you get started groundhog hunting, you may want to get yourself a gun that'd reach out alittle further and alittle more accurate, but the 22 should suffice for now.

I miss going groundhog hunting, I liked it better than any other kind of hunting.
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Old January 6, 2006, 05:23 AM   #3
Join Date: July 19, 2005
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 48
well what are the laws concerning varmint hunting? could i go pretty much anywhere to do it?
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Old January 6, 2006, 01:00 PM   #4
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,165
Your state official wildlife agency folks can provide the best answers. They probably publish a booklet with all the rules and regulations for any sort of hunting of whatever type, along with what you can't do.

Most states are pretty liberal about varmints and pests.

You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old January 6, 2006, 07:09 PM   #5
Join Date: December 13, 2005
Posts: 82
i would also take a class on hunter saftey!!
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Old January 6, 2006, 11:09 PM   #6
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Join Date: December 21, 2005
Posts: 256
There's some great advice here.

Minimally, you'll (probably) need to be licensed for small game, which will require a hunters safety class. You mentioned squirrels and rabbits. In most states these are game animals and not varmints so bag and possession limits likely apply, as well as season dates.

As for where to hunt: TYPICALLY (though certainly not always), federal land such as forest service land and BLM land are legal to hunt on. Some state land in your neck of the woods might also be legal.

My suggestion to you is to take hunters safety first. You will need it for a license anyways, and it's a good refresher if nothing else.

Second, study your Department of Wildlife's regulations. Download them off the internet or pick up a packet from your local sporting goods store or the regional office. This may also be a place where you can check for land that is legal to hunt.
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Old January 7, 2006, 04:41 AM   #7
Join Date: July 19, 2005
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 48
Thanks guys, i will be sure to enlist in a hunter's safety course. Especially since i am new to hunting.

I also will look into the state department of wildlife brochures and everything.

thanks again and this is why i think the firing line are the best firearms forums out there.
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