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Preliminary 2024-25 Hunting & Trapping Seasons Approved in Pennsylvania

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

Modifications proposed for the 2024-25 seasons include:

  • For black bear, the October muzzleloader season is proposed to be shortened to three days to reduce harvest rates on female bears and thereby promote stabilization of the bear population.
  • Pheasant hunting within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area (WPRA) is currently limited to youth participants drawn in a lottery. The agency has proposed to eliminate the age restriction and permit requirements and provide the Executive Director the authority to annually designate WPRAs to be opened to hunting and establish appropriate season date(s) and bag limits.
  • A proposal to include mentored hunters of all ages to be eligible to hunt in the early October pheasant season segment, known best as the Junior Hunt.
  • For wild turkey, fall season length changes are proposed for numerous Wildlife Management Units (WMU). Season length would be increased in 11 WMUs and WMU 5A, which was previously closed to fall hunting, would be opened for a 3-day season. Season length would be reduced in two WMUs (3D and 4C).
  • For furbearers, WMU 2D is proposed to be opened to bobcat hunting and trapping. Also, the fisher trapping season is proposed to be increased by one week in all WMUs open to fisher harvest. This will allow concurrent fisher and bobcat trapping seasons.
  • No changes are proposed for elk or white-tailed deer seasons. However, after-Christmas extended firearms seasons for antlerless deer might be recommended in April for up to five WMUs – 2C, 2E, 4A, 4D and 5A – where both Chronic Wasting Disease is present and antlerless licenses remained at the start of over-the-counter sales this year. Until 2023-24 deer harvest data is finalized, it won’t be known whether extended seasons will be recommended in any of these WMUs, because data could indicate harvest goals have been met and additional opportunity isn’t needed. If extended seasons are recommended by staff to the board, they would run there from Jan. 2 to Jan. 20, after a week of deer hunting open only to flintlock and archery hunters.

The public may offer comments on all proposed 2024-25 seasons and bag limits, as well as other board actions, between now and the board’s April meeting, when 2024-25 seasons and bag limits will be finalized, and antlerless deer license allocations will be determined.

The board is scheduled to meet April 12 and 13 at the Game Commission’s Harrisburg headquarters.

PROPOSED 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. 1; 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; 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. 5Nov. 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: 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: 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 (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.

PROPOSED 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).

PROPOSED 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.

PROPOSED 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.

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