Pennsylvania: Final Sunday Hunting Dates for 2020 Set

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States & States Program Administrator

On April 6 and April 7, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners held a virtual meeting to discuss and finalize regulations for the 2020-2021 hunting seasons. The result of the meeting lead to numerous changes that will expand access and opportunity for the Keystone State’s sportsmen and women, but perhaps none more exciting than the finalization of the state’s first deer and bear hunting opportunities on Sundays in more than three centuries. 

As a result of this rulemaking, hunters this fall will be able to go afield on Sunday, Nov. 15 for archery deer hunting, Sunday, Nov. 22 for bear hunting during the bear firearms season, and Sunday, Nov. 29 for deer hunting during the firearms deer season. This rulemaking was the result of a decade-long legislative effort in which the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) was integrally involved alongside the bipartisan Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus and numerous conservation partners that eventually led to S. 147 (sponsored by Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Dan Laughlin and co-sponsored by Caucus Co-Chair Sen. Jim Brewster and many other Caucus members) being signed into law by Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Gov. Tom Wolf last November. 

Other rule changes which will bring enhanced access and opportunity for the state’s sportsmen and women include extending the deer archery season so hunters can take better advantage of peak rut activity; opening the squirrel season on a Saturday to provide additional opportunities for youth hunting; adding a week of additional opportunities for archery bear hunters; and adding additional opportunities for turkey, bobcat, river otter, and pheasant hunting or trapping in select Wildlife Management Units; among others. 

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A key component of the American System of Conservation Funding, the Pittman- Robertson Act directs excise taxes on firearms, ammo, and archery equipment to wildlife conservation. Since its inception in 1937 the Act has generated more than $12 billion towards conservation. However, there has been a loss of 5 million hunters in the past decade. One proposed solution to help fund conservation is to dedicate lottery proceeds for conservation purposes. Would you support this effort in your state?

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