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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Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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