April 9, 2019

PA rifle deer season to start earlier, run longer

HARRISBURG – State Game Commissioners moved the opening day up by two days, extending the season to 13 days. Modifications adopted for the 2019-20 seasons include: moving the opening day of the firearms deer season to the Saturday following Thanksgiving, creating a season that includes three Saturdays.

This could impact in particular the Delaware Valley School District, which has traditionally taken the Monday following Thanksgiving off because of high absenteeism.

Also approved by the commission were shortening to two days the late November turkey seasons to accommodate a Saturday firearms deer opener; expanding the mid-October muzzleloader and special firearms deer seasons to include bears statewide; increasing to two weeks the length of the statewide archery bear season and shifting it to the two weeks following the muzzleloader and special firearms bear seasons; expanding four-day extended bear seasons to seven days in most wildlife management units (WMUs) where they are held; expanding the late archery and flintlock deer seasons by more than a week, to end on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday; establishing a September archery season and a January antlerless season for elk hunters; expanding bobcat hunting and trapping seasons to WMU 4B; extending fisher trapping opportunity to WMU 4A; extending the fisher trapping season by three days to end Jan. 5; increasing the season limit on beavers from 20 to 40 in WMUs 2A and 2B; and reducing the length of the porcupine season by about 10 weeks statewide.

The commissioners also set the number of antlerless deer licenses to be allocated, as well as the number of elk licenses to be allocated for the coming license year.

The board voted to allocate 903,000 antlerless deer licenses statewide, which is up from the 838,000 licenses allocated for 2018-19.

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