The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a slew of changes to the seasons and bag limits for the upcoming 2021-2022 hunting season at their virtual meeting on Jan. 23. Included in these changes are the expansion of species that would be allowed to be hunted on two of the authorized Sundays.
The board approved a measure that would expand the species allowed to be hunted on Sunday, Nov. 14 and Sunday, Nov. 21 to include most small game species, along with deer -archery and bear-firearms, which were allowed for the first time last season. The species to be added are squirrel, ruffed grouse, rabbit, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, woodchuck (groundhog), opossum, striped skunk, weasel, raccoon and porcupine. The Farm Bureau submitted comments opposing this change.
Also approved were a 14-day concurrent antlered and antlerless deer season, a move to allow hunters to apply for and carry extra antlerless tags, and an extension to the DMAP application deadline, all of which the Farm Bureau supports.
The ‘unlimited’ antlerless tag provision would allow hunters to purchase extra antlerless licenses over the counter starting on the second Monday of Sept. Hunters would be allowed to have four unfilled tags at a time, and could purchase more as they fill their tags, as long as there are tags still available. The PGC hopes to get more allocated antlerless tags filled during the hunting season with this change. The first three rounds of application would remain unchanged.
The board also approved an extension of the deadline for landowners to apply to enroll their properties in the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP). The annual deadline would be extended from May 1 to June 1.
All of the above changes are preliminary and would need to be approved at the next board meeting in April. Comments can be submitted to the board ahead of the meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org