Game Commission releases details on expansion for Sunday hunting, deer season changes

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Changes could be coming to Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania as well as for antlerless deer hunting.

The Board of Game Commissioners held its first meeting of the year Saturday, giving preliminary approval to hunting and trapping seasons as well as limits for harvesting.

There could be expanded Sunday hunting opportunities this year. The proposal would allow hunting for other species during archery deer and firearms bear seasons, including small game. Migratory game birds and wild turkey would still be excluded.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners held its first meeting of 2021, giving *preliminary* approval to hunting...

Posted by Pennsylvania Game Commission on Saturday, January 23, 2021

Hunters across the state could be allowed to apply for and receive additional antlerless deer licenses, provided a hunter holds no more than four unfilled tags at a time. If the measure is adopted, hunters would still have to mail antlerless license applications to county treasurers. Over-the-counter sales would begin in early September and hunters could pick up a fourth antlerless license in areas where there are some remaining. There would be no limit on the total number of antlerless licenses a hunter could buy in a license year.

The board introduced a plan to eliminate the use of rifles for fall-turkey hunting in response to declining turkey populations. The game commission said rifles are responsible for 33% of the fall-turkey harvest.

There was also a proposal introduced that would allow for hunting antlered and antlerless deer at the same time throughout the entire firearms season across the entire state. If the proposal is adopted, the number of antlerless licenses would be reduced to reflect the additional five days of hunting.

Steps were taken to allow digital licenses in Pennsylvania. The process was started at the meeting to allow eLicenses to be carried in the field as an alternative to carrying a paper license. Harvest tags would still be physically issued.

These and other measures will be voted on at the board’s meeting in April.