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FINAL 2024-25 HUNTING & TRAPPING SEASONS ADOPTED

04/13/2024

HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to the 2024-25 hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits.

Modifications for the 2024-25 seasons include:

  • For black bear, the October muzzleloader season will be shortened to three days to reduce harvest rates on female bears and thereby promote stabilization of the bear population.
  • In Wildlife Management Units 4A, 4D and 5A, an extended firearms season for antlerless deer will be held from Jan. 2 to Jan. 20, running concurrently with the final two weeks of the flintlock and late archery seasons within those WMUs. Chronic Wasting Disease is present in these WMUs and the extended seasons are being offered to help meet deer harvest goals there.
  • Mentored hunters of all ages will be eligible to hunt in the early October pheasant season segment, known best as the Junior Hunt.
  • For wild turkey, fall season length will be increased in 11 Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) and WMU 5A, which was previously closed to fall hunting, will be opened for a three-day season. Season length will be reduced in WMUs 3D and 4C.
  • For furbearers, WMU 2D will be opened to bobcat hunting and trapping. Also, the fisher trapping season will be increased by one week in all WMUs open to fisher harvest. This will allow concurrent fisher and bobcat trapping seasons.
  • If pheasant hunting within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area (WPRA) is opened again, it will be open to all hunters. Potential season dates and bag limits will be determined later this year, following data collection within the WPRA.

The Game Commission also announced 1,186,000 antlerless deer licenses will be allocated statewide for 2024-25, which is up from the 1,095,000 licenses allocated for 2023-24.

Allocations by Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) are as follows, with the allocation from the previous license year appearing in parentheses. WMU 1A – 46,000 (46,000); WMU 1B – 37,000 (37,000); WMU 2A – 46,000 (46,000); WMU 2B – 53,000 (53,000); WMU 2C – 93,000 (88,000); WMU 2D – 102,000 (86,000); WMU 2E – 54,000 (52,000); WMU 2F – 55,000 (49,000); WMU 2G – 37,000 (35,000); WMU 3A – 21,000 (21,000); WMU 3B – 34,000 (32,000); WMU 3C – 40,000 (40,000); WMU 3D – 41,000 (41,000); WMU 4A – 61,000 (61,000); WMU 4B – 60,000 (46,000); WMU 4C – 53,000 (32,000); WMU 4D – 77,000 (77,000); WMU 4E – 61,000 (54,000); WMU 5A – 40,000 (40,000); WMU 5B – 67,000 (60,000); WMU 5C – 79,000 (70,000); and WMU 5D – 29,000 (29,000).

Meanwhile, 140 elk licenses (65 antlered, 75 antlerless) were allocated across three 2024-25 elk seasons. For the one-week general season to run Nov. 4-9, 30 antlered and 38 antlerless tags have been allocated. In the archery season open only in select Elk Hunt Zones, to run from Sept. 14-28, 16 antlered and 11 antlerless licenses are available. And there are 19 antlered and 26 antlerless licenses available for the Dec. 28-Jan. 4 late season.

Antlerless deer and elk license allocations are based on scientific data and tailored to meet population objectives within each WMU and Elk Hunt Zone.

Antlerless licenses for 2024-25 again will be sold over the counter and online, but there are some changes to the sales schedule and process this year.

First, when 2024-25 general hunting licenses go on sale to Pennsylvania residents at 8 a.m. on Monday, June 24, antlerless licenses for only three Wildlife Management Units – WMUs 1B, 2G and 3A – will be sold.

On Thursday, June 27 at 8 a.m., antlerless licenses for the remaining 19 WMUs will go on sale to residents. Residents seeking licenses in any of these WMUs won’t need to wait in line for them; they’ll be guaranteed to get one, as long as they buy before 7 a.m. on Monday, July 8 – when the resident-only portion of the first round of sales ends.

Licenses for WMUs 1B, 2G and 3A will to be sold on a first come, first serve basis until the allocation is exhausted. There may be licenses available in these WMUs beyond June 27, but hunters aren’t guaranteed to get one. The guarantee only applies in the other 19 WMUs.

Once the nonresident portion of the first round begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 8, all remaining antlerless licenses will be sold on a first come, first serve basis until the allocated number of licenses is exhausted.

These changes should work in tandem to reduce wait times for hunters buying their licenses. By opening antlerless license sales initially in the three WMUs that are likely to sell out the fastest, and taking the others out of the mix, demand during the first three days will be channeled and surely will decrease overall. And by guaranteeing an antlerless license to a hunter in any other WMU, it largely eliminates the need to stand in line.

Further details about this process are outlined in a previous news release.

All elk licenses will be awarded by lottery, and hunters must apply separately for all seasons they wish to be eligible to hunt. Each application costs $11.97, meaning a hunter can enter all three drawings for $35.91. Individuals can be drawn for a maximum of one elk license per license year.

The deadline to apply is July 14.

 

FINAL 2024-25 HUNTING SEASONS AND BAG LIMITS

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license – Sept. 14-28 (6 daily, 18 in possession limit after first day).

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Sept. 14-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-29; Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 28, 2025 (6 daily, 18 possession).

RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 19-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-29 and Dec. 16-24 (2 daily, 6 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license – Oct. 5-19 (4 daily, 12 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 19-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-29; Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 28, 2025 (4 daily, 12 possession).

PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license, and all mentored hunters, regardless of age – Oct. 12-19 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male and female pheasants may be taken in all WMUs. There is no open season for taking pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, except as authorized by executive order.

PHEASANT: Oct. 26-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-29; Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 28, 2025 (2 daily, 6 in possession). Male and female pheasants may be taken in all WMUs. There is no open season for taking pheasants in Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas, except as authorized by executive order.

BOBWHITE QUAIL: Sept. 2-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-29; Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-March 31, 2025. No limit. There is no open season for the taking of bobwhite quail in the Letterkenny Army Depot Bobwhite Quail Recovery Area.

HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES: Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2025, statewide (1 daily, 3 possession).

WOODCHUCK (GROUNDHOG): July 1-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-29 and Dec. 16-June 30, 2025. No limit.

CROW: Aug. 22-March 23, 2025, on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. No limit.

STARLING AND ENGLISH SPARROW: No closed season, except during the regular firearms deer season. No limit.

WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): WMUs 1A, 2G, 3A, 4A, 4B and 4D  Nov. 2-16; WMUs 1B, 3D, 4C and 4E – Nov. 2-9; WMUs 2A, 2F, 3B and 3C – Nov. 2-16 and Nov. 27-29; WMUs 2B, 2C, 2D and 2E – Nov. 2-22 and Nov. 27-29; WMUs 5A and 5B – Nov. 2-5; 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 hunters 16 and under – April 26, 2025. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt. Hunting hours end at noon.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): May 3-31, 2025. Daily limit 1, season limit 2. (Second spring gobbler may be only taken by persons who possess a valid special wild turkey license.) From May 3-17, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon; from May 19-31, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Sept. 21-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24 and Nov. 25-29. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMU 5B): Oct. 5-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17 and Nov. 18-22. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A): Oct. 19-Nov. 9. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 24-26. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 24-26, Junior and Senior License 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. 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. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (Statewide): Nov. 23; Sunday, Nov. 24; and Nov. 25-26. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4E and 5A): Nov. 30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-Dec. 7. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D): Nov. 30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-14. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

ELK, ARCHERY (Antlered or Antlerless): Sept. 14-28. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.

ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Nov. 4-9. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.

ELK, LATE (Antlered or Antlerless): Dec. 28-Jan. 4, 2025. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 21-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-29 and Dec. 26-Jan. 25, 2025. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit. One antlered deer per hunting license year.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct. 5 -Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-22 and Dec. 26-Jan. 20, 2025. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERLESS MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 19-26. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERLESS SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 24-26. 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 or permit.

DEER, REGULAR FIREARMS (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Nov. 30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-14. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 26-Jan. 20, 2025. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer may be taken with a general license antlered deer harvest tag, and an antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Dec. 26-Jan. 25, 2025. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer may be taken with a general license antlered deer harvest tag, and an antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERLESS EXTENDED REGULAR FIREARMS (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Dec. 26-Jan. 25, 2025. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERLESS EXTENDED REGULAR FIREARMS (WMUs 4A, 4D, and 5A): Jan. 2, 2025-Jan. 20, 2025. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

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 or permit.

 

FINAL 2024-25 FURBEARER HUNTING SEASONS

COYOTE: No closed season. No limit. 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.

FOX: Oct. 26-Feb. 22, 2025. No limit. Sunday hunting permitted.

RACCOON: Oct. 26-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-Feb. 22, 2025. No limit.

OPOSSUM, STRIPED SKUNK and WEASEL: No closed season, except during the firearms deer season. No Sunday hunting with the exceptions of Nov. 17, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1. No limits.

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Jan. 11-Feb. 5, 2025. One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

PORCUPINE: Oct. 12-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-29; Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 1, 2025. (3 daily, season limit of 10).

 

FINAL 2024-25 TRAPPING SEASONS

MINK and MUSKRAT: Nov. 23-Jan. 12, 2025. No limits.

COYOTE, FOX, OPOSSUM, RACCOON, STRIPED SKUNK and WEASEL: Oct. 26-Feb. 23, 2025. No limits.

COYOTE and FOX, CABLE RESTRAINTS (Statewide): Dec. 26-Feb. 23, 2025. No limits. Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

BEAVER (Statewide): Dec. 21-March 31, 2025 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 21-Jan. 12, 2025. One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

FISHER (WMUs 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 21-Jan. 12, 2025. One fisher per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

RIVER OTTER (WMUs 1A, 1B, 2F, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4E): Feb. 15-22, 2025. One river otter per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

 

FINAL 2024-25 FALCONRY SEASONS

SQUIRRELS (combined): Sept. 2-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-March 31, 2025 (6 daily, 18 possession).

BOBWHITE QUAIL Sept. 2-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-March 31, 2025 (No limit).

RUFFED GROUSE Sept. 2-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-March 31, 2025 (2 daily, 6 possession).

COTTONTAIL RABBIT Sept. 2-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-March 31, 2025 (4 daily, 12 possession).

SNOWSHOE OR VARYING HARES Sept. 2-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-March 31, 2025 (1 daily, 3 possession).

PHEASANT (Male or Female combined): Sept. 2-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-March 31, 2025 (2 daily, 6 possession).

MINK, MUSKRAT, FOX, OPOSSUM, RACCOON, STRIPED SKUNK and WEASEL Sept. 2-Nov. 16; Sunday, Nov. 17; Nov. 18-23; Sunday, Nov. 24; Nov. 25-30; Sunday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 2-March 31, 2025 (No limits).

No hunting on Sundays with the exceptions of Nov. 17, Nov. 24 and Dec. 1.

 

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

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