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Muzzleloader Bear Season - lawful sporting arms

As we approach the beginning of the muzzleloader bear season, the Game Commission reminds hunters that those pursuing bears with a muzzleloader must leave any archery tackle behind, even if they have a valid archery license and deer tag in addition to their bear license. However, those eligible to participate in the special firearm deer and bear seasons on October 24 -26th, are permitted to use other approved sporting arms, enabling those hunters to be in possession of both a rifle and archery equipment when hunting bear or antlerless deer. We recognize and apologize for the confusion stemming from the overlap of multiple seasons and the addition of the first ever October muzzleloader bear season. If the Board of Commissioners continues authorizing the muzzleloader bear season in future years, the Board may revisit the question of which sporting arms an individual may be in possession of during the overlap of the bear season with archery season. For more information on seasons please check the Hunting & Trapping Digest, which is available online at

What's up with Sunday hunting?

The prohibition on Sunday hunting is in state law, and the Game Commission does not have the authority to change it. The Board has passed a resolution encouraging the General Assembly to give the Game Commission the authority to determine for which species Sunday hunting should be lawful, however, no legislation has passed.  You can follow the progress of Senate Bill 147, which would remove the prohibition here:

The Game Commission supports increased hunting opportunities on Sundays, however the bill has not yet become law and the current prohibition remains in effect. If there are any changes we will make every effort to let our hunters know.