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Seasons and Bag Limits

Sunday hunting: It is unlawful to hunt on Sundays except foxes, crows and coyotes. Other exceptions are included with species seasons below.

2020-21 Seasons & Bag Limits

Below are the seasons and bag limits for most hunting and trapping seasons for from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Small Game

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license, and mentored youth  Sept. 12-26 (6 daily, 18 in possession limit after first day).

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Sept. 12-Nov. 27; Dec. 14-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 27 (6 daily, 18 possession).

RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 17–Nov. 27 and Dec. 14-24 (2 daily, 6 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail) Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license: Oct. 3-Oct. 17 (4 daily, 12 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 17-Nov. 27, Dec. 14-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 27 (4 daily, 12 possession).

PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license  Oct. 10-17 (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 within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, as authorized by executive order.

PHEASANT: Oct. 24-Nov. 27, Dec. 14-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 27 (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 within the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, as authorized by executive order.

BOBWHITE QUAIL: Oct. 17-Nov. 27, Dec. 14-24 and Dec. 26-Feb. 27 (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 3-April 11, 2021, 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.

 

Big Game

WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): WMUs 1A, 2A, 4A, 4B, 4D and 4E – Oct. 31-Nov. 14; WMU 1B – Oct. 31-Nov. 7; WMU 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow only) and WMU 2C – Oct. 31-Nov. 20 and Nov. 25-27; WMUs 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4C– Oct. 31-Nov. 14 and Nov. 25-27; WMU 5A – Nov. 5-7; WMU 5B – Nov. 3-5; 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 youth – April 24, 2021. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): May 1-May 31, 2021. 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 1-15, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon; from May 17-31, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Sept. 19-Nov. 27. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (WMU 5B): Oct. 3-Nov. 14. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, ARCHERY (Statewide): Oct. 17-Nov. 7. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 17-24. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR, SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 22-24, 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 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. 21; Sunday, Nov. 22; and Nov. 23-24. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

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

BLACK BEAR (WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D): Nov. 30-Dec. 12. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

ELK, ARCHERY: Sept. 12-26.

ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Nov. 2-7. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.

ELK, LATE (Antlerless only): Jan. 2-9, 2021

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 19-Nov. 14; Sunday, Nov. 15; Nov. 16-27 and Dec. 26-Jan. 23, 2021. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct. 3-Nov. 14; Sunday, Nov. 15; Nov. 16-20 and Dec. 26-Jan. 18, 2021. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER REGULAR FIREARMS (Antlered only) WMUS 1A, 1B, 2A, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4E and 5B: Nov. 28; Sunday, Nov. 29; Nov. 30-Dec. 4. 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 REGULAR FIREARMS (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUS 1A, 1B, 2A, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4E and 5B: Dec. 5-12. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER REGULAR FIREARMS (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 2C, 2D,2E, 4A, 4B, 4D, 5A, 5C and 5D: Nov. 28; Sunday, Nov. 29; Nov. 30-Dec. 12. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS SPECIAL FIREARMS (Statewide): Oct. 22-24. 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 only, with required antlerless license or permit. 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, ANTLERLESS MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 17-24. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 26-Jan. 18, 2021. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (WMUs 2B, 5C, 5D): Dec. 26-Jan. 23, 2021. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license or permit.

DEER, ANTLERLESS EXTENDED REGULAR FIREARMS: (Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties): Dec. 26-Jan. 23. 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.

 

Waterfowl & Migratory Birds

Additional information in the Digest

DUCKS:

  • North Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 10-24, and Nov. 17 – Jan. 9.
  • South Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 17-24, and Nov. 17 - Jan. 16.
  • Northwest Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Oct. 10-Dec. 12, and Dec. 29-Jan. 2.
  • Lake Erie Zone: Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers, Nov. 2-Jan. 9.

Total Duck Bag Limits: 6 daily, 18 in possession of any species, except for the following restrictions: daily limit may not include more than 2 mallards including 1 hen mallard, 2 black ducks, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail, 1 mottled duck, 1 fulvous whistling duck, 4 eiders, 4 long-tailed ducks, and 4 scoters. Daily limit for scaup varies; see below. Possession limits are three times the daily limits.

Scaup Bag Limits:

  • North Zone: 1 scaup daily, Oct. 10-24 and Nov. 17-Dec. 17; 2 scaup daily, Dec. 18-Jan.9
  • South Zone: 1 scaup daily, Oct. 17-24 and Nov. 17-Dec. 24; 2 scaup daily, Dec. 25-Jan. 16
  • Northwest Zone: 1 scaup daily, Oct. 10-Nov. 25; 2 scaup daily, Nov. 26-Dec. 12 and Dec. 29-Jan. 2
  • Lake Erie Zone: 1 scaup daily, Nov. 2-24 and Dec. 18-Jan. 9; 2 scaup daily, Nov. 25-Dec. 17

Merganser Limits: 5 daily, 15 in possession (not more than 2 hooded mergansers daily, 6 hooded in possession).

Coot Limits: 15 daily, 45 in possession.

 

CANADA GEESE (includes WHITE-FRONTED GEESE):

  • Resident Population Goose Zone (RP) All of Pennsylvania except for the Southern James Bay Population and the Atlantic Population zone. Sept. 1-25 (8-goose daily bag limit); and Oct. 24-Nov. 27, Dec. 14-Jan. 16, and Jan. 29-Feb. 20 (5-goose daily bag limit in latter 3 segments).
  • Southern James Bay Population Zone (SJBP) The area north of I-80 and west of I-79 including in the city of Erie west of Bay Front Parkway to and including the Lake Erie Duck zone (Lake Erie, Presque Isle and the area within 150 yards of Lake Erie Shoreline). Sept. 1-25 (5-goose daily bag limit, except in a portion of western Crawford County defined under the “Waterfowl season highlights” section in this news release); and Oct. 24-Nov. 27 and Dec. 21-Feb. 13 (3-goose daily bag limit in latter 2 segments).
  • Atlantic Population Zone (AP) The area east of SR 97 from Maryland State Line to the intersection of SR 194, east of SR 194 to intersection of US Route 30, south of US Route 30 to SR 441, east of SR 441 to SR 743, east of SR 743 to intersection of I-81, east of I-81 to intersection of I-80, south of I-80 to New Jersey state line. Sept. 1-25 (8-goose daily bag limit); and Nov. 21-27 and Dec. 21-Jan. 16 (2-goose daily bag limit in latter two segments).

Exception: Areas outside of the controlled goose hunting areas at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and State Game Lands 46 in Lebanon-Lancaster counties have a daily limit of one, and a possession limit of three during the regular Canada goose season. Areas inside the goose hunting areas at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and State Game Lands 46 have a season limit of one.

BRANT (All Zones): Oct. 10-Dec. 7. 2 daily, 6 in possession.

LIGHT GEESE (Snow Geese and Ross’ Geese):

  • Atlantic Population Zone:
    • Regular: Oct. 1-Jan. 23, 25 daily, no possession limit.
    • Conservation Hunt: Jan. 25 – April 23; 25 daily, no possession limit.
  • Southern James Bay Population Zone:
    • Regular: Oct. 13-Feb. 13; 25 daily, no possession limit.
    • Conservation Hunt: Feb. 15 – April 23; 25 daily, no possession limit.
  • Resident Population Zone:
    • Regular: Oct. 20-Feb. 20; 25 daily, no possession limit.
    • Conservation Hunt: Feb. 22 – April 23; 25 daily, no possession limit.

HARLEQUIN DUCKS, and TUNDRA and TRUMPETER SWANS: No open season.

JUNIOR WATERFOWL HUNTING DAYS:

  • Statewide: Sept. 19; Open to licensed junior hunters ages 12-16, when properly accompanied, for ducks, mergansers, gallinules and coots, and Canada goose as permitted. Same daily bag limits as regular season. Hunting hours to close at sunset
  • Junior, Veteran and Active Duty Military Days: In Lake Erie Zone; Oct. 24; in Northwest Zone, Dec. 19; in North Zone, Jan. 16; and in South Zone, Jan. 23. Open to licensed junior hunters ages 12-16, when properly accompanied; veterans (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code); and members of the Armed Forces on active duty, including members of the National Guard and Reserves on active duty (other than for training) for ducks, mergansers, gallinules and coots, and Canada goose as permitted. Same daily bag limits as regular season. Hunting hours to close at sunset.

DOVES: Sept. 1-Nov. 27, and Dec. 18-Jan. 2. 15 daily, 45 in possession.

WOODCOCK: Oct. 17-Nov. 27, and Dec. 14-23. 3 daily, 9 in possession.

COMMON SNIPE: Oct. 17-Nov. 27, and Dec. 14-23. 8 daily, 24 in possession

GALLINULES: Sept. 1-Nov. 20. 3 daily, 9 in possession.

VIRGINIA AND SORA RAILS: Sept. 1-Nov. 20. Bag limits by single species or in the aggregate; 3 daily, 9 in possession.

CLAPPER AND KING RAILS: No open season.

 

Furbearer Hunting

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. 24-Feb. 20, unlimited.

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

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Jan. 9-Feb. 3. One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

PORCUPINES: Oct. 10-Jan. 30, 2021. (3 daily, season limit of 10).

 

Trapping Seasons

MINKS and MUSKRATS: Nov. 21-Jan. 10. Unlimited.

COYOTES, FOXES, OPOSSUMS, RACCOONS, STRIPED SKUNKS and WEASELS: Oct. 25-Feb. 21. No limit.

COYOTES and FOXES, CABLE RESTRAINTS (Statewide): Dec. 26-Feb. 21. No limit. Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

BEAVERS (Statewide): Dec. 19-March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

BOBCATS (WMUs 2A, 2B 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 19-Jan. 10.

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, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E): Dec. 19-Jan. 3. One fisher per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

RIVER OTTERS (WMUs 1A, 1B, 2F, 3C and 3D): Feb. 13-20, 2021. One river otter per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

 

Falconry Seasons

SQUIRRELS (combined) Sept. 1-March 31, 2021 (6 daily, 18 possession)

BOBWHITE QUAIL Sept. 1-March 31, 2021 (8 daily, 24 possession)

RUFFED GROUSE Sept. 1-March 31, 2021 (2 daily, 6 possession)

COTTONTAIL RABBITS Sept. 1-March 31, 2021 (4 daily, 12 possession)

SNOWSHOE OR VARYING HARES Sept. 1-March 31, 2021 (1 daily, 3 possession)

RINGNECK PHEASANTS (Male or Female combined): Sept. 1-March 31, 2021 (2 daily, 6 possession)

 

No open season on other wild birds or mammals.

Seasons and bag limits for license year July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022 will be proposed at the January 2021 meeting of the Board of Game Commissioners.