2014

2013-14 Hunting/Trapping Seasons Receive Preliminary Approval in Pennsylvania

Many seasons will start later in coming license year.

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for 2013-14 license year. The package includes allowing qualified adult mentors to transfer one Deer Management Assistance Program antlerless deer permit to a youth they are mentoring as part of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.

Hunters and trappers – particularly those setting vacations for this fall and winter – also are advised that several seasons will open or run about a week later in the 2013-14 license year to accommodate calendar swings – related to the timing of Thanksgiving – that occur about every seven years.

Other modifications proposed for the 2013-14 seasons include: changes to fall turkey seasons in several Wildlife Management Units; an earlier start to the junior and regular squirrel seasons; four changes to extended bear hunting opportunities; increased daily and season bag limits for beavers in certain WMUs; the addition of WMUs 3A, 3D and 4E to the list of WMUs open for fisher trapping; and a return of the statewide snowshoe hare hunting season with a shortened season in WMUs 3B, 3C and 3D.

Another proposed change is to eliminate the extended regular firearms season in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D. Only the Special Regulations Area counties – Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties – will retain the extended regular firearms season.

The public may offer comments on all proposed 2013-14 seasons and bag limits, as well as other Board actions, between now and the Board's next meeting, April 14-15, at which time the Board is scheduled to finalize seasons and bag limits for 2013-14. 

Also, the Board will receive staff recommendations for antlerless deer license allocations for the 22 WMUs at its April meeting.  Deer harvest estimates for the 2012-13 seasons will be available in mid-March.

Following are several articles on meeting highlights. 

BOARD OPTS TO RETAIN SPLIT RIFLE DEER SEASONS

The Board of Game Commissioners gave adopted a slate of deer seasons for 2013-14 that retains the split, five-day antlered deer season (Dec. 2-6) and seven-day concurrent season (Dec. 7-14) in 11 Wildlife Management Units.  The list includes (WMUs) 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3B, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E. The package also retains the two-week (Dec. 2-14) concurrent, antlered and antlerless deer season in WMUs 1A, 1B, 2B, 3A, 3D, 4A, 4C, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D.

Hunters with Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) antlerless deer permits may use them on the lands for which they were issued during any established deer season, and will continue to be permitted to harvest antlerless deer from Dec. 2-14 in WMUs 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3B, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E. Fees for DMAP permits are $10.70 for residents and $35.70 for nonresidents.

To expand offerings of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, the Board also adopted allowing an adult mentor to transfer a DMAP antlerless deer license to a Mentored Youth Hunting Program participant.

The Board retained the antler restrictions in place for adult and senior license holders since the 2011-12 seasons. It remains the "three-up" on one side, no 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 junior license holders, disabled hunters with a permit to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active duty military on leave.

BOARD VOTES TO EXPAND BEAR SEASONS

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today proposed four changes to the 2013 extended bear seasons lineup designed to make it easier for hunters to understand.

The Board retained expanded bear seasons in the state's most urban Wildlife Management Units – WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D – and allowing the harvest of black bears with a bear license during all deer seasons from September through early-December, which were first adopted as part of the 2012 seasons. The extended bear season dates for 2013 are:

  • Sept. 21-Nov. 16 in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, for archery only;
  • Oct. 5-Nov. 16 in WMUs 5B, for archery only;
  • Oct. 19-26 in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D, for muzzleloaders only;
  • Oct. 24-26 in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D, for any legal sporting arm for juniors and seniors, disabled person permit holders to use a vehicle as a blind and resident active duty in armed services; and
  • Dec. 2-14 in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D.

The 2013 statewide bear seasons are the statewide five-day archery bear season (Nov. 18-22); and the four-day statewide bear season that will open on Saturday, Nov. 23, and then continue on Monday through Wednesday, Nov. 25-27. 

Extended bear seasons have been proposed as follows:

  • Dec. 4-7 in WMUs 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E; and
  • Dec. 2-7 in WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D.
  • Dec. 2-14 in WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D.

BOARD MOVES TO CHANGE UP FALL TURKEY SEASONS

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to fall turkey seasons for 2013 and spring gobbler dates for 2014. A population decline has become apparent in WMU 1B, and to be consistent with guidelines for setting fall season length outlined in the Turkey Management Plan, the second week of the season was eliminated. Also, 2013 marks the third year of the hen harvest rate and survival  rate study. The study design calls for switching from a two-week fall season to a three-week season for 2013 and 2014 in Study Area 1 (WMUs 2C, 2E, 4A, 4B, and 4D), and switching from a three-week season to a two-week season in Study Area 2 (WMUs 2F and 2G). Simultaneously increasing the season in Study Area 1 and shortening the season in Study Area 2 will allow the Game Commission to detect differences in harvest rates within study areas,  and improve wild turkey management.

The fall season dates for 2013: WMU 1B, Nov. 2-9 and Nov. 28-30; WMU 2B (shotgun and bow only), Nov. 2-22, and Nov. 28-30; WMUs 1A, 2A and 2D, Nov. 2-16, and Nov. 28-30; WMUs 2C, 2E, 4A, 4B and 4D, Nov. 2-22, and Nov. 28-30; WMUs 2F and 2G, Nov. 2-16, and Nov. 28-30; WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E, Nov. 2-22, and Nov. 28-30; and WMU 5A, Nov. 5-7. WMUs 5B, 5C and 5D will remain closed for the fall seasons. 

For the 2014 spring gobbler season, which is proposed to run from May 3-31, the Board continued the change in legal hunting hours to reflect the following: from May 3-17, legal shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise until noon timeframe; and from May 19-31, hunters may hunt all day, from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

The Board proposed holding the one-day Spring Gobbler Youth Hunt on April 26, 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 one-day hunt, as well as the other spring season dates.

PROPOSED 2013-14 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 youth – Sept. 7-13 (6 daily, 12 in possession limit after first day).

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Sept. 14-Nov. 30; Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 22 (6 daily, 12 possession).

RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 19–Nov. 30, Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Jan. 25 (2 daily, 4 possession). 

RABBIT (Cottontail) Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license: Oct. 12-19 (4 daily, 8 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 26-Nov. 30, Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 22 (4 daily, 8 possession).

PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license – Oct. 12-19 (2 daily, 4 in possession).  Male pheasants only in WMUs 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B.  Male and female pheasants may be taken in all other WMUs.  There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas in any WMU.

PHEASANT: Male only in WMUs 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B – Oct. 26-Nov. 30. Male and female may be taken in all other WMUs – Oct. 26-Nov. 30, Dec. 16-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 1 (2 daily, 4 in possession).  There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas in any WMU.

BOBWHITE QUAIL: Oct. 26-Nov. 30 (4 daily, 8 possession). (Closed in WMUs 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D.)

HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES: Dec. 26–Jan. 1, in all WMUs except WMUs 3B, 3C and 3D, where season will run from Dec. 26-28 (1 daily, 2 possession).

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

PORCUPINES: Sept. 1-March 31, except during overlap with the regular firearms deer season. Daily limit of three, season limit of 10.

CROWS: July 5-April 6, 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 1BNov. 2-9 and Nov. 28-30; WMU 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow) – Nov. 2-22 and Nov. 28-30; WMUs 1A, 2A and 2D – Nov. 2-16 and Nov. 28-30; WMUs 2C, 2E, 4A, and 4DNov. 2-22 and Nov. 28-30; WMUs 2F and 2GNov. 2-16 and Nov. 28-30; WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4ENov. 2-22 and Nov. 28-30; WMU 5ANov. 5-7; WMUs 5B, 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with required license, and mentored youthApril 26, 2014.  Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): May 3-31, 2014. 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 (Statewide) Archery: Nov. 18-22. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (Statewide): Nov. 23-27. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 4-7. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

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

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

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D) archery: Sept. 21-Nov. 16. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 5B) archery: Oct. 5-Nov. 16. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D) muzzleloader: Oct. 19-26. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D) special firearms: Oct. 24-26, 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. 4-9.  Only one elk may be taken during the license year. 

ELK, EXTENDED (Antlered and Antlerless): Nov. 11-16. Only one elk may be taken during the license year. Eligible elk license recipients who haven't harvested an elk by Nov. 6, in designated areas.

Elk, Special Conservation Tag (Antlered or Antlerless): Sept. 2-Nov. 9.  One elk tag for one antlered or antlerless elk will be auctioned at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlerless Only) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 21-Oct. 4, and Nov. 18-30.  One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Jan. 13-25. One antlered deer per hunting license year.  One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct. 5-Nov. 16 and Dec. 26-Jan. 11. One antlered deer per hunting license year.  One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 1A, 1B, 2B, 3A, 3D, 4A, 4C, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D: Dec. 2-14.  One antlered deer per hunting license year.  An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER (Antlered Only) WMUs 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3B, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E: Dec. 2-6. 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 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3B, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E: Dec. 7-14.  One antlered deer per hunting license year.  An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS (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, 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. 19-26.  An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license. 

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 26-Jan. 11.  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. 25.  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. 25. 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. 

PROPOSED 2013-14 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 furtakers license.

RACCOON and FOXES: Oct. 26–Feb. 22, unlimited.

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

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4C, 4D and 4E):  Jan. 21-Feb. 11.  One bobcat per license year, but all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

PROPOSED 2013-14 TRAPPING SEASONS

MINK and MUSKRAT: Nov. 23–Jan. 5. Unlimited.

COYOTE, FOXES, OPOSSUM, RACCOON, SKUNKS and WEASELS: Oct. 27–Feb. 23.  No limit.

COYOTE and FOXES (Statewide) Cable Restraints: Dec. 26-Feb. 23.  No limit.  Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

BEAVER (Statewide): Dec. 26–March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

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

FISHER (WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3D, 4D and 4E): Dec. 21-26. One fisher per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

PROPOSED 2013-14 FALCONRY SEASONS

SQUIRRELS (combined), BOBWHITE QUAIL, RUFFED GROUSE, COTTONTAIL RABBITS, SNOWSHOE OR VARYING HARE, RINGNECK PHEASANT (Male or Female combined): Sept. 1-March 31.  Daily and Field Possession limits vary.  (Migratory game bird seasons and bag limits for falconers will be set in accordance with federal regulations in August.)

No open season on other wild birds or mammals.  Waterfowl and Migratory Game Bird seasons will be established in accordance with Federal Regulations this summer. 

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive Game Commission news releases via e-mail, please send a note with your name, address, telephone number and the name of the organization you represent to: PGCNews@pa.gov

SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission



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