Game Commission Approves Hunting Regulation Changes

At the recent Pennsylvania Game Commission quarterly meeting in April, commissioners finalized the 2021-22 hunting seasons and bag limits and approved a few other changes, including an extension to the Deer Management Assistance Program application deadline, a removal of the limit on antlerless tags, and a return to the concurrent deer firearms season.

The commission approved a statewide, 14-day concurrent antlered and antlerless rifle deer season, which includes the Saturday opener and Sunday again this season. Antlerless tag allocation will be reduced in many wildlife management units in conjunction with this change, except in areas with established high levels of chronic wasting disease or where the deer populations are increasing. 

The three Sundays will remain this season, all three once again falling in November. But the commission voted to expand hunting small game during the three Sundays. Pennsylvania Farm Bureau advocated against the species expansion.

Elk licenses were increased to 187 total, 56 antlered and 131 antlerless, as a response to increased conflict between elk and agriculture in the past year.

The deadline to apply for DMAP permits was extended from May 1 to July 1, giving landowners more time to enroll their property in the program.

The board also voted to allow the use of digital hunting licenses, which will utilize Pennsylvania’s new online licensing system. Hunters will not have to carry a paper license and can instead show a digital version on their phone. Harvest tags will still be physical printed tags, however.

The board also approved a measure that allows hunters ‘unlimited’ antlerless tags. The same process of applying in rounds for antlerless tags will remain, with over-the-counter sales beginning in early September for hunters to purchase more. One hunter is now allowed to hold up to six unfilled antlerless tags at a time. Once a tag is filled, hunters may purchase another, as long as there are tags available within the WMU.

The additional species that can now be hunted on Sundays vary by each Sunday where hunting is allowed and, in some cases, by WMU.

Sunday, Nov. 14

Bear (archery) 2B, 5B, 5C & 5D

Deer (archery)

Squirrels

Ruffed Grouse

Rabbit

Pheasant

Bobwhite Quail

Groundhogs

Raccoons

Opossum

Skunks

Weasels

Porcupines

Sunday, Nov. 21

Bear (firearm)

Bear (archery) 2B, 5C, 5D

Deer (archery) 2B, 5C, 5D

Squirrels

Ruffed Grouse

Rabbit

Pheasant

Bobwhite Quail

Groundhogs

Raccoons

Opossum

Skunks

Weasels

Porcupines

Nov. 28

Bear (firearms) 1B, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D

Deer (firearms)

Raccoons

Opossums

Skunks

Weasels


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