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November 06, 2006

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Why Pennsylvania Hunters Can’t Shoot

There are two reasons I have a song in my heart and a spring in my step this morning. First, I don’t have to fly anywhere for 9 weeks. Second, on the way to work, I saw a non-functioning Bentley about to be lifted aboard a flat truck. A quarter of a million dollars worth of automobile broken down at the side of the road, with Fords and Toyotas zipping by. Wonderful.

But I digress. I have nothing against Pennsylvania hunters. I know a number of very capable ones, and we have three right here in the office who know what they’re doing. But for years, whenever I hunted in Wyoming, I’d hear stories about Pennsylvania hunters—guys who came out where the coyote howls and the wind blows free dressed in checkered red and black wool, carrying a .30/06 autoloader. And, of course, they couldn’t shoot worth a damn.

So I let it go at that. Pennsylvanians don’t do well in Wyoming. However, this past week, I was hunting in South Carolina, and heard exactly the same thing. One evening, as a dozen Secessionists and a couple of misplaced Yankees gathered around a fire to watch deer being weighed and skinned, one of the Confederates said:

“Y’all heah ‘bout the Pennsylvania hunter?”

And everyone smiled, because they knew what was coming.

Apparently, in this particular plantation, one hunter missed a record number of shots at deer, and another blew a dead-easy shot at the local LEGENDARY MONSTER BUCK who was standing in an open field, 60 yards away, broadside, looking at him. Both people were from Pennsylvania.

And what I want to know is, how far does this go? Are there Pennsylvania hunter stories in Kansas? Oregon? San Francisco? Well, no, not San Francisco. Is Hillary involved somehow? Is there a coverup? Who knows?


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In 2003 I was hunting a farm in Clarke County, VA. The owner was a dyed-in-the-wool southerner. Charming, funny, chewed tobacco like a 1980's Atlanta Brave and felt yankees couldn't shoot worth a damn. One particular comment that stuck was - "I know you're a Yankee, so I gotta ask, you ever seen a deer? I had a guy from Pennsylvania on this here farm in 2000, I coulda sworn he took a shot at one of my cows."

I think "Pennsylvania" serves as a surrogate for "Yankee".


Penn State Hunters. Yeah, they’re a strange breed, especially coming up to Western New York to hunt deer. Two Items that may lend credence to the blog.

1. Saw a Penn State Hunter come into Court on violating a posted sign. When judge asked why he didn’t ask permission the Penn State Hunter responded He did have permission to hunt. “See? Here’s my non-resident license giving me permission to hunt anywhere in New York.”

2. 2005 opening day deer season a bunch of Penn State hunters where on the 200-acre Mennonite farm next to my land. With the first 15-minutes of the season, I heard 20-shots come from that farm section. I lost count after 40-shots from this section before noon. Don’t know how much blood was drawn.

BTY—I hunted and shot SC. SC people are keen shotgunners and handgunners, but they don’t seem to know much about rifle shooting.
Whatever.... SC hunters and shooters do have Class though. Nice to see this nowadays.


I think my dad has some Penn. blood. Half the time he fills the air around a deer with lead. Sometimes I think he shoots more hunting than in practice.


It may have to do with their Quaker heritage. How good could a pacifist be with a gun, anyway?

Ralph the Rifleman

Sorry boys.
The only group of Penn hunters I knew were darn good shots.

Man from Pennsylvania

You should hear whwat we say about you!!!

Anyway, I used to hunt on a farm in Centre County, PA, where the famrer would paint the sides of his cows and goats orange every year. Not because of Pennsylvania hunters, mind you, but because of New York "hunters" (NYH).

Turns out that one year an NYH shot one of his cows, "even thoufh it was a doe". So, the next season he painted his cows, only to have one of the NYH guys shoot one of his goats, "even though it was just a spike".

There may be a few of us PA hunters that miss, but atleast we can identify what we are pursuing.

BTW, the pa hunters with the 30/06 autoloaders probably shoot awful out west because they are not used to the autoloaders. You see, they are illegal to hunt with here in PA.

Ed J

The only Pa hunters I know were in the 82nd Airborn with my brother. They have been out here to visit. they were pretty good shots.
There this rancher out of Cody Wy that one day he hear'd ruckus and he went over to see what was going on. He found his foreman in a discussion with a couple of Pa hunters he had let hunt his land. His foreman said to the hunters " you can have the elk, just let me get my saddle off of it first."


Having grown up in West Virginia, I thought I had witnessed some dreadfully moronic events while hunting and fishing; however, moving to PA proved that I was only partially right.

The first year we lived in Pittsburgh proved to be eye opening as far as hunting was concerned.

On the opening day of rifle season my wife and I were traveling on a four lane road in a residential section when the truck in front of us comes to a sliding stop from 60mph. After my wife managed to avoid rear ending the idiot, and after she finised uttering a line of pejoriatives, we realized that there was a rather nice buck standing in the front yard of a house across the four lane. I turned around and looked as we drove out of sight and I saw the guy reaching behind his seat for what I suppose was a gun.

In addition, that same year someone managed to shoot some poor women who was sitting in her car in her driveway not once, but twice. The person later turned himself in and claimed that he was shooting at a deer in a little patch of woods in the center of the sub-division.

I guess it is all do to the over consumption of Yeungling.


I'm not in San Francisco but I'm close. I know the two hunters that live in Frisco, I'll ask and get back to you.

Mr. and Mr. Hunter said they don't personally know Sean Penn. Sorry.



Finally, something to blame my problems on! My Dad was full-blooded Pennsylvanian.

No Pennsylvania jokes in Michigan, but there are some people who believe the guys from adjacent states to the south who were introduced to our area through salmon snagging and decided to return for hunting year after year have brought down the level of sportsmanship.
But you can't knock their marksmanship. A subsonic .22 round guided by spotlight is a tough shot.


This is all funny stuff - the story from the "Man from Penn" is hysterical. Sometimes when I hunt public land in VA - I want to paint myself orange.

Every state has their weirdo hunters - I grew up in NH and Vermonters were our Pennsylvanians.

A group of Vermonters were granted permission to hunt a friend's farm and throughout the season we would meet up with them every so often to see how their day was. One day, one of these "hippy hunters" said he got a great shot on a buck. My friend's father said, Is it out in the truck. the hunter said Yes - I'll show it to you once the film is developed.

Another in the group - launched a slug at a buck at 30 yards, dropped it - field dressed it - and then vomited when we helped him load it into the car.

He said, "I always get very emotional."

The pic of the buck was fantastic and a copy of it hangs onthe wall next to the actual buck that was harvested 2 days later by my friend - he was 11. And he didn't vomit...

Good times.


Go ahead and laugh, but Pennsylvania has over 1 million licensed hunters, more than any other state besides Texas. I grew up in PA, and my public high school closed for the first few days of deer season; every single student in my 6th grade class had to take the hunter safety course; and there are millions of acres of public land dedicated soley to hunting, not hiking, riding, camping or logging, but hunting. The fact is PA leads the country in the area of hunter's rights.

Ralph the Rifleman

Does PA have a Dove Season?
Voters here in MI, just voted one down! Just wonderin`

Petzal Fan

Petzal... In Pennsylvania we have similar jokes about hunters from New York City, especially outdoor writers.

Del Hutzell

My comment is that anyone who doesn't think pa.boys can't shoot doesn't know what the h they are talking about.shot for shot i would post my odds on men from pa. many reasons for that to say the least. so for those of you who believe that, I have a bridge for sale. interested, ?


FYI, us PA hunters are good shots. Most of us anyway, I can't speak for some of the amish hunters I have seen however. Autoloading rifles are illeagal to hunt with here, we do have dove a dove season, and my apologies to anyone crossed by a crazy Pennsylvanian with a gun. Most of us are decent folks.


I am a Penn hunter and I can personally attest that I know many guys who are a good shot. Actually, one guy who hunts out of my camp, radio tag - The Bald Eagle - can drop a deer running parallel to him through the woods at 150 yrds. I'd say it was luck if I didn't see the shots he has made time and again. Naturally you are going to have some poor shots, esp from the guys who pay bookoo bucks to hunt out in the Western States. They aren't true outdoorsmen, but rather guys who want to somehow gain the inate characteristics of what being a true outdoorsman is about. It can't be bought or learned...it runs in the blood. It is the insatiable appetite to find that monster and sit in a stand freezing your nuts for even that chance to say you saw the biggest buck of your life.
Some guys give Penn hunters a bad name - but they aren't the rule; they are the exception

The Great McGinnis

Ok boys, have any of the ones that don't think us Pennsylvanians can't ever even been hunting with us?? Doubt it. You have to also remember that there are MANY West Virginians and New Yorkers who migrate here, and aren't true Pennsylvanians. Now, I know there are a few morons as there is everwhere. But saying we all can't shoot is RIDICULOUS...buttholes. I'll put the guys I hunt with against any non-pro hunter from any other state anyday. We'll put a hurting on ya for sure. Now, that being said, RULE #1.- Never believe the stories you hear at hunting camp!! They are most likely either down right lies, or extreme exagerations... Besides, that "LEGENDARY MONSTER BUCK" was PROBABLY a four point and the folk from Wyoming wanted to impress the people from out of town. I hear they don't see too many other humans over there...

craig curtis

man i cant believe you guys from penn. arent a little miffed must be you all know when petzal is trying to get your goat !!! i think even hes smart enough to know that good shooters and idiots come from all over the country ,his birth town included . but id give it to him hes got it coming ! i think hes trying to figure out his geographical prowess ? or maybe theres some truth to the myth ??? Ralph whats wrong with these bone heads here in michigan our state is going to the tree huggers . and four more f^%#[email protected]! years of grandholm noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!


I don't know any penn. hunters but I can tell you for sure there are some real boneheads out in the deer woods in east texas. sight their rifles in on friday, the day before the season opens,-from the bench- and thats good enough. beleave me boys they're everywhere!

Ralph the Rifleman

To craig c-
Of my opinion, I cannot believe how "politically illiterate" some of these voters were about this election. Standing in line waiting to vote, and listening to liberals discuss issues, almost made me weep like a baby losing my blanket.
God help us with those damn Dems at the helm of congress!
I can understand ABORTION being a touchy subject, but voting down DOVE HUNTING?? Do not people understand WE are THE top of the food chain?...time to buy another gun, I can feel it in my bones...

Olen Grimes

I am a lifelong PA resident, and a hunter to boot. I am President and a member of a small hunting club, and every member can shoot fantastic. Go to my website, WWW.HUNTERSONLY.COM and you can see the results of some of that shooting, along with that of hunters from all over the US. I think there are non-shooters in every state, just ask !! Olen

craig curtis

amen ralph , the freaks from peta and other assorted antis ran so much bull commercials the warm and fuzzys came aout of the wood work to vote what a shame , michigan used to be such a proud to hunt state what happened ? it breaks my heart to see the majority swing so far . i pray that we can keep our heritage alive even with suckers at the poles . everyone have a nice opening day ,and i hope to get over their while im off ralph !!

Ed J

To Ralph and Craig C
I'm sitting in deer camp enjoying a mess of dove breast saute'd in a butter and secret spice mixture. man do they taste good. I don't understand why the voters vote it down. here in nd we've always been able to hunt them. a few years ago there was some people trying to get our legislature to pass a law against hunting doves. It never went anyplace. once Iwas talking to a lady who wanted to know why we wanted to shoot those song birds. We were in a KFC of all place . Go figure.


Many may think of PA hunters because there are more hunters from PA than from any other state. 1,300,000 last I knew. For years when western ranchers needed help with grizzly bears and wolves, they enlisted PA hunters, using Pennsylvania (NOT Kentucky) rifles. Though PA has its fair share of slobs, the reason they are poked fun at is because they are the deadliest shots out there. Most southers and westers are just afraid the Penn state boys will go out and shoot all the good game. By the way, that red and black checked wool suit is warm and as invisible to most game mammals eyes as the next best camo pattern. We have a name for it -- the Pennsylvania Tuxedo.

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