posted on December 15, 2004 00:00
HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Hunters who haven't had enough
time outdoors yet and love to hunt in cold weather have a mixed bag of big and
small game hunting seasons awaiting them the day after Christmas. They include
three deer hunting seasons, as well as seasons for snowshoe hares, ruffed
grouse, cottontails, pheasants, grouse, furbearers and waterfowl.
The statewide late archery and flintlock muzzleloader deer seasons, and
late antlerless deer season for Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 2B and 5C run
concurrently from Dec. 27 to Jan. 15. New this year is the late antlerless
deer season in WMU 5D that runs from Dec. 13-18 and from Dec. 27-Jan. 29.
The small game seasons are as follows: squirrel, Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27 to
Feb. 5; ruffed grouse, Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27 to Jan. 15; rabbit, Dec. 13-23
and Dec. 27 to Feb. 5; and snowshoe hare, Dec. 27 to Jan. 1. In addition, male
and female pheasant hunting will be available from Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27 to
Feb. 5 in WMUs 1A, 1B, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A and 4D.
Hunters who participate in any of these seasons must have a general
hunting license, which provides Pennsylvania hunting privileges through June
30, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Depending on the deer
season hunters are participating in, they also must meet additional licensing
and fluorescent orange requirements. Any hunter carrying a sporting arm during
the deer seasons must have an unused deer harvest tag.
All antlerless deer taken by hunters in the late archery and special
regulations area antlerless seasons must be tagged with an unused WMU-specific
antlerless deer license harvest tag or a Deer Management Assistance Program
(DMAP) antlerless deer permit harvest tag. Flintlock muzzleloader season
participants may harvest an antlerless deer with either a WMU-specific or
DMAP-specific antlerless deer license/permit or general hunting license deer
harvest tag. Buck hunting in the late seasons is governed by antler
restrictions and limited to only bowhunters and flintlock muzzleloader hunters
who possess an unused general hunting license deer harvest tag.
During the flintlock season, only single-barrel long-guns with a flintlock
ignition system are permitted. The firearm must be an original or reproduction
of a gun used prior to 1800, which is .44 caliber or larger, with iron, open
"V" or notched sights (fiber-optic inserts are permitted). A flintlock
ignition system consists of a hammer containing a naturally-occurring stone
which is spring-propelled onto an iron or steel frizzen, which, in turn,
creates sparks to ignite a gunpowder. Flintlock hand guns are not permitted.
Flintlock muzzleloader hunters may use "any single projectile."
Pennsylvania's first flintlock season was held in 1974, the same year the
flintlock muzzleloader deer license made its debut. During the season, held
over three days on 37 different State Game Lands, 65 deer - including four
bucks - were taken. In 1977, the season expanded to include 60 different State
Game Lands and hunters reported harvesting 866 deer. The season went statewide
in 1979, and hunters reported taking 2,459 deer.
Flintlock hunters also have the option to use crossbows as part of the
late flintlock season. Those flintlock hunters who choose to use a crossbow
have the option of using any unused antlered deer tag as an either sex tag
anywhere in the state.
Hunters are reminded that firearms limitations for special regulations
counties - Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia -
remain in effect for the extended antlerless season in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D.
Those restrictions do not apply to those portions of Beaver, Berks, Butler,
Lehigh, Northampton, Washington and Westmoreland counties contained in WMUs
2B, 5C and 5D. These firearms hunters may choose to use a rifle, shotgun or
Hunters using archery or muzzleloader licenses, and hunting with those
special sporting arms, are not required to wear fluorescent orange clothing
while afield, but are encouraged to do so where the seasons overlap with late
season firearms deer hunters. Special regulations area hunters must wear 250
square inches of fluorescent orange clothing, unless they possess an archery
or muzzleloader license and are hunting with a bow or flintlock.
The Game Commission will release 8,820 pheasants in five regions of the
state for the late pheasant season. Pheasant releases for the late season
take place just before Christmas to maximize their recreational value to young
and veteran small game hunters home for the holidays and for those who will
hit the fields on Saturdays.
A breakdown of counties receiving pheasants for late season hunting is:
Northwest Region - Butler, 500 birds; Clarion, 500; Crawford, 500 birds;
Jefferson, 500; Lawrence, 500 birds; Mercer, 160 birds; and Venango, 160.
Southwest Region - Armstrong, 300; Cambria, 300; and Indiana, 320; and
Northcentral Region - Centre, 250; Clearfield, 300; Elk, 200; Lycoming,
150; Tioga, 300; and Union 150.
Southcentral Region - Bedford, 200; Blair, 600; Fulton, 200; Huntingdon,
600; Juniata, 50; Mifflin, 100; and Snyder, 80.
Northeast Region - Bradford, 250; Carbon, 130; Lackawanna, 150; Luzerne,
220; Monroe, 200; Pike, 230; Susquehanna, 140; Wayne, 130; and Wyoming, 150.
For a complete listing of areas where pheasant stockings are planned,
visit the Game Commission's website (http://www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on
"Hunting & Trapping," then choose "PGC's Pheasant Program," and scroll down to
the "Pheasant Release Sites" section.
Furbearer seasons also continue through the winter months. Furbearer
hunting includes: red and gray foxes, until Feb. 19, including Sundays;
raccoons, until Feb. 19; bobcats, for those with special permits, until
Feb. 19; skunks, opossums and weasels, until June 30; and coyotes until
June 30, including Sundays.
Furbearer trapping includes: beavers, Dec. 26-March 31 (bag limits depend
on WMU); minks and muskrats, until Jan. 8; raccoons, skunks, opossums, foxes
weasels and coyotes, until Feb. 19; and bobcats, for those with special
permits, until Feb. 19.
Dove hunters also will have late season opportunities when dove season
reopens Dec. 27 to Jan. 1. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to
sunset, and the daily limit is 12.
Waterfowl hunters have a bevy of hunting opportunities to pursue in
December and January. Canada goose hunters have the following upcoming or
ongoing seasons: Atlantic Population Zone North, until Jan. 14, daily limit is
three, and Jan. 15-Feb. 15, daily limit is five; Atlantic Population Zone
South, until Jan. 20, daily bag limit is three, except on State Game Land 46
(Middle Creek) where the limit is one; Southern James Bay Canada Goose Hunting
Zone, until Dec. 30, daily bag is two, and Jan. 15 to Feb. 15, daily bag is
five; and Resident Canada Goose Zone, until Feb. 15, daily bag is five.
(Note: due to a typo, this year's waterfowl season brochure incorrectly stated
that the late Canada goose season for the Southern James Bay population season
ended on Dec. 31. The correct date is Dec. 30.)
Canvasbacks may be hunted in the Lake Erie Zone until Jan. 4; in the
Northwest Zone until Dec. 31; and in the South Zone until Dec. 29. All other
ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers may be hunted as follows: Lake Erie
Zone, until Jan. 4; North Zone, until Dec. 31; Northwest Zone, until Dec. 31;
and South Zone, until Jan. 14.
There is a daily limit of six ducks, and it may not exceed more than four
mallards, including two hens; one black duck; one pintail; one mottled duck;
one fulvous tree duck; two wood ducks; two redheads; one canvasback; four
scoters; and three scaup. The daily limit for coots is 15 and mergansers,
In addition to a regular Pennsylvania hunting license, persons 16 and
older must have a Federal Migratory Bird and Conservation Stamp, commonly
referred to as a "Duck Stamp" to hunt waterfowl. Regardless of age, they also
must have a Pennsylvania Migratory Game Bird License to hunt waterfowl and
other migratory birds, including doves, woodcock, coots, moorhens, rails and
snipe. All migratory game bird hunters in the United States are required to
complete a Harvest Information Program survey when they purchase a state
migratory game bird license. The survey information is then forwarded to the
For more information, visit the Game Commission's website
(http://www.pgc.state.pa.us), and scroll down the home page to "Hot Topics"
then click on "Waterfowl Brochure."
SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission
Web Site: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us