Pennsylvania’s fall archery deer season opens this Saturday throughout the Commonwealth, and represents the beginning of big game hunting seasons in the state. Statewide archers can hunt antlered or antlerless deer from Oct. 1 to Nov. 12, and the late statewide archery deer season runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 16.
However, bowhunters who purchased and received antlerless deer licenses to hunt in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D (5C and 5D are comprised of areas which include Lehigh, Northampton, Bucks, Berks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Chester and Delaware Counties. 2B is Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.) were able to begin their season on Sept. 17-Sept. 30, for antlerless deer only. Hunters in these three urbanized WMUs also have extra antlerless deer hunting opportunities from Nov. 14-Nov. 26. Bowhunters also may take antlered and antlerless deer in these units from Dec. 26-Jan. 28.
Those participating in the state’s archery deer seasons can file their harvest reports through one of three methods to the Pennsylvania Game Commission: postage-paid postcards, online and through a toll-free telephone system.
- Postage-paid postcards are included in the annual hunting digest for those hunters who choose to mail in their report cards.
- To report a deer harvest online, go to the Game Commission’s website.
- Hunters using the toll-free telephone reporting system can call the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) number, which is 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681). Those using the toll-free number to submit a harvest report will receive a confirmation number, which they should write down and keep as proof of reporting. Callers should have their Customer Identification Number (hunting license number) and field harvest tag information with them when they call, and they should speak clearly and distinctly when reporting harvests, especially when providing the Wildlife Management Unit number and letter.
Hunters may report one or more harvests in a single online or telephone session. Responses to all harvest questions are required.
Hunters and trappers are reminded that they still are required to display their licenses in the middle of the back as has been done for many years. The Game Commission is supporting legislation to remove the statutory requirement that licenses be displayed, and thereby allow hunters to place their hunting license in their wallet with other ID. However, until such time as the General Assembly removes this statutory requirement, hunters and trappers will need to continue to display their licenses.
Note: tree-stands and climbing devices that cause damage to trees are unlawful to use or occupy unless the user has written permission from the landowner. Treestands – or tree steps – penetrating a tree’s cambium layer cause damage, and it is unlawful to construct or occupy constructed tree-stands on State Game Lands, state forests or state parks.
Hunters are reminded of a new regulation that limits the placement of portable hunting treestands and blinds from two weeks before the opening of the first big game season to two weeks after the close of the last big game season within each respective Wildlife Management Unit, excluding the spring gobbler season. As approved, hunters will be able to place their treestands on State Game Lands two weeks prior to the archery deer season, and then have to remove the stands two weeks after the late flintlock deer seasons.
Hunters need to remember that locating a treestand on State Game Lands does not reserve a hunting area. The first person to arrive in a certain spot has the right to hunt that area.