State Game Lands stag

What the PA State Game Lands Mean for the Outdoorsman

State game lands are most commonly associated with hunting, but in Pennsylvania, the existence of the PA state game lands provides benefits not just to hunters but to all outdoorsmen. While outdoorsmen can enjoy certain hunting and trapping privileges, they can also enjoy wildlife protection and viewing along with general recreational benefits which are key to our scenic state. Here’s more on what the PA State Game Lands mean for the outdoorsman.

State Game Lands stag


Opportunities for hunting game of all sizes exist in Pennsylvania. Whether you are trying to hunt big game such as deer, black bear, wild turkey or elk or small game like pheasant or rabbit, the PA state game lands provide fertile ground for all of your hunting endeavors. Check out the interactive map of PA state game lands provided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission that allows users to explore aerial photographs, topographic base maps, Wildlife Management Units and more.


State game lands have made trapping furbearers a more efficient and relatively safer hobby for all trappers. Trapping has been an element of human culture every since our prehistoric days, so it’s important to keep that tradition alive in a regulated manner today. Trappers in Pennsylvania have the opportunity to trap fox, coyote, beaver, raccoon, skunks, weasels and more due to the efforts of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Wildlife Protection

Contrary to popular belief, state game lands serve to protect wildlife, not harm it. The PA state game lands enable the Pennsylvania Game Commission and wildlife conservationists to monitor the movement and prevalence of wildlife in the area and to regulate the hunting of certain wildlife as needed. For more than 100 years, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has existed to manage and protect wildlife, to manage wildlife habitat and to educate the public on wildlife and safe hunting practices. State game lands provide a platform for the game commission to implement its mission throughout the state.

Wildlife Viewing

Amazing wildlife viewing opportunities are available as a result of the measures the Pennsylvania Game Commission has taken to protect wildlife in the area. Bird watching is particularly exciting during migration and breeding seasons in Pennsylvania. There are more than 400 species of birds documented in the state which is nearly half the known total of birds in North America as a whole. The bald eagle, a national favorite, is making a comeback in Pennsylvania. The chances of seeing a bald eagle in the wild are now greater than they have been in Pennsylvania for the past 100 years.

Due to the conservation efforts of the PA Game Commission, there is also a unique opportunity to view elk in Pennsylvania. Any outdoorsman can appreciate the beauty of elk in their natural environment. While you may spot elk by chance while exploring the great outdoors, Elk Country offers Pennsylvania’s premier elk viewing location. It is home to the largest elk herd in the Northeastern United States and also features exhibits, trails, kids’ activities and more.

Pennsylvania entices outdoorsmen from near and far to enjoy not just our state game lands but also our beautiful landscape in its entirety. There are opportunities for hunting, trapping, fishing, boating, horseback riding and more – all within driving distance of The Settlers Inn. Our lodge in the Pocono Mountains offers the perfect starting point for your outdoor adventure in Pennsylvania, hunting or otherwise. Book your stay at The Settlers Inn today!

Photo courtesy of Brian Tillotson.