Hunting, Trapping Continue Through Winter

12/29/2012 7:00 AM

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Carl G. Roe, executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, is reminding hunters and trappers that they still have a mixed bag of seasons from which to choose after the conclusion of the statewide firearms deer season concludes on Dec. 8.

They include seasons for deer, snowshoe hare, ruffed grouse, squirrel, cottontail, pheasant, coyote, fisher, bobcat, beaver and other furbearers, crows, doves and waterfowl.

Small game seasons are open for squirrel and rabbit from now until Feb. 23; ruffed grouse until Jan. 26; and snowshoe hare until Jan. 1 in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 2G and 3A.

In addition, pheasants (males and females) will be open from now until Feb. 2 in management units 1A, 1B, 2B, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4D, 5C and 5D.

The statewide late archery and flintlock muzzleloader deer seasons run concurrently now until Jan. 12.

For deer hunters with WMU 2B, 5C or 5D, they can choose to hunt antlerless deer with any legal sporting arm from now until Jan. 26, or an extended flintlock muzzleloader deer season for antlered or antlerless deer from now until Jan. 26, or an extended archery season for antlered or antlerless deer Jan. 14-26.

Flintlock muzzleloader season participants may harvest an antlerless deer with a WMU license, DMAP permit, or a general hunting license deer harvest tag.

During the late season, antlered deer may be taken only by bowhunters and flintlock muzzleloader hunters who possess an unused general hunting license deer harvest tag.

Hunters using archery or muzzleloader licenses, and hunting with those special sporting arms, are not required to wear fluorescent orange, but are encouraged to do so, especially when hunting in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, where an antlerless season for limited-range firearms users will also be in progress.

Furbearer hunting seasons continuing through the winter months include: red and gray foxes until Feb. 16, including Sundays; raccoons until Feb. 16; and bobcats, in designated WMUs, from Jan. 15 to Feb. 5.

Furbearer trapping seasons include: beavers, now until March 31 (bag limits depend on WMU); mink and muskrats until Jan. 6; raccoons, skunks, opossums, foxes, coyotes and weasels until Feb. 17; and bobcats, in designated WMUs until Jan. 6.

Trappers also may use cable restraints for foxes and coyotes until Feb. 17, providing they have passed a mandatory cable restraint certification course.

Dove hunters also will have late season opportunities until Jan. 5. Hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, and the daily limit is 15 birds.

Waterfowl hunters have plenty of hunting opportunities to pursue from December into April. Hunters may take Canada geese and white-fronted geese during the following upcoming seasons: Atlantic Population Zone, until Jan. 26; Southern James Bay Canada Goose Hunting Zone, until Jan. 18; and Resident Canada Goose Zone, until Jan. 15 and Feb. 1-28.

The regular snow goose season runs until Jan. 26 in the Atlantic Population Zone, until Jan. 18 in the Southern James Bay Zone and until Feb. 28 in the Regular Population Goose Zone.

For the snow goose conservation hunt, hunters will need to obtain a free special permit in addition to other waterfowl-required federal and state licenses. Bag limits for the conservation hunt are 25 daily and no possession limit, and the season lengths for the conservation hunt are: Jan. 28-April 26 in the Atlantic Population Zone; Jan. 29-April 26 in the Southern James Bay Population Zone; and March 1-April 26 in the Resident Population Zone.

Ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers may be hunted in North Zone until Jan. 5, and in the South Zone through Jan. 15.

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