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Pennsylvania Deer Hunting Laws And Safety Tips

It is the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday and most residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania know what that means.  The statewide general firearms hunting deer for deer starts today and will run through Saturday, Dec. 13, except for Sunday, Dec. 7.  The Pennsylvania Game Commission has released some reminders on safety and also laws and regulations which are in effect.  Follow them in order to make this deer hunting season not only fun but safe.

If you are injured in a hunting accident contact a qualified personal injury lawyer near you today for a freel legal consultation. 

In many parts of the state, properly licensed hunters may take either antlered or antlerless deer at any time during the season. In other areas, hunters may take only antlered deer during the season’s first five days, with the antlerless and antlered seasons then running concurrently from the first Saturday, Dec. 6, to the season’s close.

Wildlife Management Units 4A and 4C have seen changes this year. They now are among those wildlife management units where only antlered deer may be taken from Dec. 1 to Dec. 5.WMU 4A includes parts of Bedford, Fulton, Franklin, Huntingdon and Blair counties. WMU 4C includes parts of Columbia, Luzerne, Carbon, Lehigh, Berks, Schuylkill, Lebanon and Dauphin counties.

Each hunter must wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on his head, chest and back combined. An orange hat and vest will satisfy the requirement.

For safety, non-hunters who might be afield during the deer season and other hunting seasons might also want to consider wearing orange at this time.

Hunters during the statewide firearms season can harvest antlered deer if they possess a valid general hunting license, which costs $20.70 for adult residents and $101.70 for adult nonresidents.

Each hunter between the ages of 12 and 16 must possess a junior license, which costs $6.70 for residents and $41.70 for nonresidents.

Hunters younger than 12 must possess a valid mentored youth hunting permit and be accompanied at all times by a properly licensed adult mentor, as well as follow other regulations.

Mentored hunting opportunities also are available for adults, but only antlerless deer may be taken by mentored adult hunters.

To harvest an antlerless deer, a hunter must possess either a valid antlerless deer license or a valid permit. For mentored hunters, the mentor must possess a valid tag that can be transferred to the mentored hunter at the time of harvest.

In addition to regular antlerless licenses, two types of permits can be used to take antlerless deer. The Deer Management Assistance Program, or DMAP permit, can be used only on the specific property for which it is issued.

The Disease Management Area 2 permit, which was created to reduce antlerless deer populations in the lone area of the state where chronic wasting disease has been detected in free-ranging deer, can be used only in DMA 2, which encompasses about 1,600 square miles within Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon and Fulton counties.

Meanwhile, regular antlerless deer licenses can be used only within the wildlife management unit for which they’re issued.

A valid tag must be affixed to the ear of each deer harvested before that deer is moved. The tag must be filled out in ink by the hunter.

Within 10 days of a harvest, a successful hunter is required to make a report to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Harvests can be reported online at the commission’s website, by clicking on the blue “Report a Harvest” button on the home page. Harvests also can be reported by mailing in the postage-paid cards inserted into the 2014-15 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, or successful hunters can call 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681) to report by phone. Those reporting by phone are asked to have their license number and other information about the harvest ready at the time they call.

Mentored youth hunters are required to report deer harvests within five days. And hunters with DMAP or DMA 2 permits must report on their hunting success, regardless of whether they harvested deer.

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