Skip Navigation LinksMedia > Game Commission Details

Media > Game Commission > Details

04/24/2018

FINAL HUNTING AND TRAPPING SEASONS APPROVED

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for the 2018-19 license year.

A list of all seasons and bag limits appears at the end of this news release.

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 838,000 antlerless deer licenses statewide, which is up from the 804,000 licenses allocated for 2017-18. Allocations by Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) are as follows, with the allocation from the previous license year appearing in parentheses: WMU 1A – 48,000 (52,000); WMU 1B – 37,000 (35,000); WMU 2A – 49,000 (50,000); WMU 2B – 58,000 (60,000); WMU 2C – 44,000 (31,000); WMU 2D – 63,000 (55,000); WMU 2E – 27,000 (22,000); WMU 2F – 23,000 (24,000); WMU 2G – 30,000 (25,500); WMU 2H – 6,000 (7,000); WMU 3A – 22,000 (20,000); WMU 3B – 29,000 (30,000); WMU 3C – 38,000 (42,000); WMU 3D – 25,000 (25,000); WMU 4A – 38,000 (30,000); WMU 4B – 26,000 (26,000); WMU 4C – 30,000 (29,000); WMU 4D – 34,000 (34,000); WMU 4E – 32,000 (27,500); WMU 5A – 23,000 (22,000); WMU 5B – 58,000 (57,000); WMU 5C – 70,000 (70,000); and WMU 5D – 28,000 (30,000).

Hunting licenses for 2018-19 go on sale in mid-June and become effective July 1. After hunters purchase a general hunting license, they may apply for antlerless deer licenses based on staggered timelines, which will be outlined in the 2018-19 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest to be made available online.

The board also voted to issue 125 elk licenses (26 antlered, 99 antlerless) for the 2018 hunt.

The licenses again will be awarded by lottery, and the deadline to enter the drawing is July 31.

Elk applications cost $10.90, and only one application may be submitted each license year.

Other modifications approved for the 2018-19 seasons include: extending the statewide archery deer season to Monday, Nov. 12 to include the Veterans Day holiday; eliminating the hen pheasant restriction in WMUs 2A, 2C, 4C, and 5B; implementing a new four-day extended black bear firearms season in WMUs 4A and 5A; increasing from four days to six days the length of the extended black bear firearms season in WMU 3A; extending hunting hours for mourning doves from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset in all season segments; and opening WMUs 4B and 4C to fisher trapping.

Several highlights pertaining to the 2018-19 seasons follow.

 

SPLIT FIREARMS DEER SEASONS ADOPTED

The Board of Game Commissioners adopted a slate of deer seasons for 2018-19, implementing a split, five-day antlered deer season (Nov. 26-Nov. 30) and seven-day concurrent season (Dec. 1-8) in 20 Wildlife Management Units. The list includes WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A and 5B. The package also retains the two-week (Nov. 26-Dec. 8) concurrent, antlered and antlerless deer season in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D.

Hunters with Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) antlerless deer permits may use the permits on the lands for which they were issued during any established deer season, and will continue to be permitted to harvest antlerless deer from Nov. 26-Dec. 8 in 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A and 5B. Fees for DMAP permits are $10.90 for residents and $35.90 for nonresidents.

DMAP permits also may be transferred to Mentored Hunting Program participants.

The board has retained antler restrictions for adult and senior license holders since the 2011-12 seasons. It remains the “three-up” on one side, not counting a brow tine, provision for the western Wildlife Management Units of 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2D, and the three points on one side in all other WMUs. Those exempt from these antler restrictions are mentored youth hunters, junior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active-duty military on leave.

Once again this year, the commissioners gave final approval to concurrent hunting of antlered and antlerless deer in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D during most seasons, with the first segment of the archery season to run from Sept. 15 to Nov. 24 in those WMUs.

 

2018 ELK HUNT, BY THE NUMBERS

In total, 125 elk licenses – 26 antlered, 99 antlerless – have been allocated for 2018-19.

Licenses are available in a new Elk Hunt Zone, EHZ 14, which is comprised of 86-percent public land including Kettle Creek State Park. Six tags are allocated within EHZ 14.

EHZ 7 again will receive no license allocation in 2018-19. This zone covers a few square miles around the Elk Country Visitor Center and the Game Commission’s viewing areas.

The elk license allocations by hunt zone follow: EHZ 1, no tags, but it is open to all hunters; EHZ 2, 27 tags (2 antlered); EHZ 3, 7 tags (2 antlered); EHZ 4, 7 tags (2 antlered); EHZ 5, 6 tags (3 antlered); EHZ 6, 9 tags (2 antlered); EHZ 7, 0 tags; EHZ 8, 9 tags (2 antlered); EHZ 10, 13 tags (2 antlered); EHZ 11, 4 tags (2 antlered); EHZ 12, 20 tags (3 antlered); EHZ 13, 8 tags (2 antlered); and EHZ 14, 6 tags (2 antlered).

 

FALL TURKEY SEASON CHANGES APPROVED

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to fall turkey seasons for 2018 and spring gobbler seasons for 2019.

The board for the second consecutive year approved a conservative, midweek fall turkey season in Wildlife Management Unit 5B.

All recommendations on fall turkey season length are made in accordance with guidelines in the Game Commission’s Wild Turkey Management Plan.

The fall season in WMUs 1A, 2A, 4A and 4B will be one week (Oct. 27-Nov. 3), plus a three-day Thanksgiving season (Nov. 22-24).

In WMU 1B, the season will remain one week (Oct. 27-Nov. 3), with no Thanksgiving season.

In WMU 2B (shotgun and bow only), the season will run from Oct. 27-Nov. 16 and Nov. 22-24.

In WMU 2C, the season will be Oct. 27-Nov. 16 and Nov. 22-24.

In WMUs 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4D and 4E, the season will be Oct. 27-Nov. 10 and Nov. 22-24.

In WMU 5A, the season will be from Nov. 1-3.

In WMU 5B, the season will be from Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

And in WMUs 5C and 5D, the season will remain closed for the fall seasons.

For the 2019 spring gobbler season, which will run from April 27-May 31, the board continued with legal hunting hours to reflect the following: from April 27-May 11, legal shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise until noon; and from May 13-31, hunters may hunt all day, from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

The board approved holding the one-day Spring Gobbler Youth Hunt on April 20, 2019, which will run from one-half hour before sunrise until noon. All junior license holders and Mentored Youth Hunting Program permit holders can participate in this special half-day hunt, as well as the other spring season dates.

 

2018-19 HUNTING SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license, and mentored youthSept. 29-Oct. 13 (6 daily, 18 in possession limit after first day).

 

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Oct. 13-Nov. 24; Dec. 10-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 28 (6 daily, 18 possession).

 

RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 13–Nov. 24 and Dec. 10-24 (2 daily, 6 possession).

 

RABBIT (Cottontail) Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license: Sept. 29-Oct. 13 (4 daily, 12 possession).

 

RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 13-Nov. 24, Dec. 10-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 28 (4 daily, 12 possession).

 

PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required licenseOct. 6-13 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male pheasants only in WMUs 4E and 5A. Male and female pheasants may be taken in all other WMUs. There is no open season for taking pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, except within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, as authorized by executive order.

 

PHEASANT: Oct. 20-Nov. 24, Dec. 10-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 28 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male pheasants only in WMUs 4E and 5A. Male and female pheasants may be taken in all other WMUs There is no open season for taking pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, except within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, as authorized by executive order.

 

BOBWHITE QUAIL: Oct. 13-Nov. 24, Dec. 10-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 28 (8 daily, 24 possession).

 

HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES: Dec. 26–Jan. 1, in all WMUs (1 daily, 3 possession).

 

WOODCHUCKS (GROUNDHOGS): No closed season, except on Sundays and during the regular firearms deer seasons. No limit.

 

CROWS: July 1-April 14, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. No limit.

 

STARLINGS AND ENGLISH SPARROWS: No closed season, except during the antlered and antlerless deer season. No limit.

 

WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): WMU 1B – Oct. 27-Nov. 3; WMU 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow) – Oct. 27-Nov. 16 and Nov. 22-24; WMUs 1A, 2A, 4A and 4B, – Oct. 27-Nov. 3 and Nov. 22-24; WMUs 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4D and 4E– Oct. 27-Nov. 10 and Nov. 22-24; WMU 2C – Oct. 27-Nov. 16 and Nov. 22-24; WMU 5A – Nov. 1-3; WMU 5B – Oct. 30-Nov. 1; WMUs 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING.

 

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with required license, and mentored youth – April 20, 2019. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt.

 

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): April 27-May 31, 2019. Daily limit 1, season limit 2. (Second spring gobbler may be only taken by persons who possess a valid special wild turkey license.) From April 27-May 11, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon; from May 13-31, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

 

BLACK BEAR (Statewide) Archery: Oct. 29-Nov. 3. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

 

BLACK BEAR (Statewide): Nov. 17-21. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

 

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D): Nov. 26-Dec. 1. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

 

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D): Nov. 26-Dec. 8. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

 

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 1B, 2C, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A): Nov. 28-Dec. 1. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

 

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D) archery: Sept. 15-Nov. 24. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

 

BLACK BEAR (WMU 5B) archery: Sept. 29-Nov. 10. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

 

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D) muzzleloader: Oct. 13-20. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

 

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D) special firearms: Oct. 18-20, for junior and senior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active duty military.

 

ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Nov. 5-10. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.

 

ELK, EXTENDED (Antlered and Antlerless): Nov. 12-17. Only one elk may be taken during the license year. Eligible elk license recipients who haven’t harvested an elk by Nov. 10, in designated areas.

 

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 15- Nov. 24 and Dec. 26-Jan. 26, 2019. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. One antlered deer per hunting license year.

 

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Sept. 29-Nov. 12 and Dec. 26-Jan. 12. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Nov. 26-Dec. 8. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

DEER (Antlered Only) WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A and 5B: Nov. 26-30. One antlered deer per hunting license year. (Holders of valid DMAP antlerless deer permits may harvest antlerless deer on DMAP properties during this period.)

 

DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, 5A and 5B: Dec. 1-8. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

DEER, ANTLERLESS SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 18-20. Junior and Senior License Holders, Mentored Youth Permit Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Services or in the U.S. Coast Guard only, with required antlerless license. Also included are persons who have reached or will reach their 65th birthday in the year of the application for a license and hold a valid adult license, or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

DEER, ANTLERLESS MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 13-20. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 26-Jan. 12. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (WMUs 2B, 5C, 5D): Dec. 26-Jan. 26. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

DEER, ANTLERLESS EXTENDED REGULAR FIREARMS: (Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties): Dec. 26-Jan. 26. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

DEER, ANTLERLESS (Military Bases): Hunting permitted on days established by the U.S. Department of the Army at Letterkenny Army Depot, Franklin County; New Cumberland Army Depot, York County; and Fort Detrick, Raven Rock Site, Adams County. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

 

 

2018-19 FURBEARER HUNTING SEASONS

COYOTES: No closed season. Unlimited. Outside of any big game season (deer, bear, elk and turkey), coyotes may be taken with a hunting license or a furtaker license, and without wearing orange. During any big game season, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting big game or with a furtaker license.

 

RACCOONS and FOXES: Oct. 20-Feb. 16, unlimited.

 

OPOSSUM, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: No closed season, except Sundays. No limits.

 

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4C, 4D and 4E): Jan. 12-Feb. 6. One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

 

PORCUPINES: Sept. 1-March 30, 2019. (3 daily, season limit of 10).

 

 

2018-19 TRAPPING SEASONS

MINKS and MUSKRATS: Nov. 17-Jan. 6. Unlimited.

 

COYOTES, FOXES, OPOSSUMS, RACCOONS, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: Oct. 21–Feb. 17. No limit.

 

COYOTES and FOXES (Statewide) Cable Restraints: Dec. 26-Feb. 17. No limit. Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

 

BEAVERS (Statewide): Dec. 26-March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

 

BOBCATS (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 15-Jan. 6.

One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

 

FISHERS (WMUs 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 15-26. One fisher per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

 

RIVER OTTERS (WMUs 3C and 3D): Feb. 16-23, 2019. One river otter per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

 

 

2018-19 FALCONRY SEASONS

SQUIRRELS (combined) Sept. 1-March 30, 2019 (6 daily, 18 possession)

BOBWHITE QUAIL Sept. 1-March 30, 2019 (8 daily, 24 possession)

RUFFED GROUSE Sept. 1-March 30, 2019 (2 daily, 6 possession)

COTTONTAIL RABBITS Sept. 1-March 30, 2019 (4 daily, 12 possession)

SNOWSHOE OR VARYING HARES Sept. 1-March 30, 2019 (1 daily, 3 possession)

RINGNECK PHEASANTS (Male or Female combined): Sept. 1-March 30, 2019 (6 daily, 18 possession)

No open season on other wild birds or mammals.

Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird seasons to be established in accordance with federal regulations at a later date.

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

# # #

Share This

Search

Enter your search term

Search
× Cancel