Pennsylvania Hunting Seasons 2023-2024 [Updated Schedule!]

The hunting seasons in Pennsylvania are the best times to harvest large and small game. The Pennsylvania Game Commission schedules many hunting seasons, youth hunt days, and special seasons for various firearms and hunting methods, including conventional firearms, archery, and muzzleloaders. You’ll find some of the best deer hunting on the East Coast in the state of Pennsylvania.

We set out to provide the best resource possible on Pennsylvania’s hunting seasons for 2023-2024. Learn about the season’s dates, rules, and bag limits, as well as licensing requirements and useful links. The information presented in today’s guidance will appeal to you. Let’s get started.

Pennsylvania Hunting Seasons
Pennsylvania Hunting Seasons

Pennsylvania Hunting Season 2023

In Pennsylvania, whitetail deer hunting is quite popular. Opening day is treated as an unofficial holiday in the state, and schools are closed on that day.

Deer Season

PA Deer SeasonHunting DatesLocation
Archery (Antlered)Sept. 16-Nov. 11,
Sunday Nov. 12,
Nov. 13-18,
Sunday Nov. 19,
Nov. 20-24 and
Dec. 26-Jan. 27, 2024
WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D
Archery (Antlerless)Sept. 16-Nov. 11,
Sunday Nov. 12,
Nov. 13-18,
Sunday Nov. 19,
Nov. 20-24 and
Dec. 26-Jan. 27, 2024
WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D
Archery (Antlered)Sept. 30-Nov. 11,
Sunday Nov. 12,
Nov. 13-17 and
Dec. 26-Jan. 15, 2024
Statewide
Archery (Antlerless)Sept. 30-Nov. 11,
Sunday Nov. 12,
Nov. 13-17 and
Dec. 26-Jan. 15, 2024
Statewide
Muzzleloader (Antlerless)Oct. 14-21Statewide
Special Firearms (Antlerless)Oct. 19-21Statewide
Regular Firearms (Antlered and Antlerless)Nov. 25, Sunday Nov. 26 and
Nov. 27-Dec. 9
Statewide
Antlered or Antlerless FlintlockDec. 26-Jan. 15, 2024Statewide
Antlered or Antlerless FlintlockDec. 26-Jan. 27, 2024WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D
Regular Firearms (Antlerless Extended)Dec. 26-Jan. 27, 2024WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D
Antlerless (Military Bases)Hunting permitted on days established by the U.S. Department of the ArmyHunting permitted on days established by the U.S. Department of the Army

Elk Season

Elk SeasonHunting DatesLimit
Elk, ArcherySept 16-30, 20231 elk /license year
Elk (Antlered)Oct 30-Nov 4, 20231 elk /license year
Elk (Antlerless)Oct 30-Nov 4, 20231 elk /license year
Elk, LateDec 30-Jan 6, 20241 elk /license year

Deer Bag Limit: One antlerless deer may be taken with each valid antlerless license. 1 antlered deer per hunting license year.

Squirrel Season

Squirrel SeasonHunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
Red, Gray, Black and Fox Squirrel Combined SeasonSept 9 - Nov 11, 2023618
Sunday, November 12, 2023618
Nov 13-18, , 2023618
Sunday, November 19, 2023618
Nov 20-24, 2023618
Dec 11-23, 2023618
Dec 26, 2023-Feb 29, 2024618

Squirrel (Junior Hunt)

Hunting Season for Junior Hunters who Qualify, with or without the Necessary License:

Squirrel Season (Junior)Hunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
Red SquirrelsSept. 9-23, 2023618 after first day
Gray SquirrelsSept 9-23, 2023618 after first day
Black SquirrelsSept 9-23, 2023618 after first day
Fox SquirrelsSept 9-23, 2023618 after first day

Ruffed Grouse Season

Ruffed GrouseHunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
Ruffed Grouse SeasonOct 14 - Nov 11, 202326
Sunday, November 12, 202326
Nov 13-18, 202326
Sunday, November 19, 202326
Nov 20-24, 202326
Dec 11-23, 202326

Rabbit Season

Rabbit SeasonHunting SeasonDaily LimitPossession Limit
Rabbit (Cottontail)Oct 14 - Nov 11, 2023412
Sunday, November 12, 2023412
Nov 13-18, 2023412
Sunday, November 19, 2023412
Nov 20-24, 2023412
Dec 11-23, 2023412
Dec 26-Feb 29, 2024412

Rabbit (Junior Hunt)

Rabbit Season (Junior Hunters)Hunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
Rabbit (Cottontail)Sept 30 - Oct 14, 2023412

Hare Season

Hares SeasonHunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
Snowshoe Rabbits or Varying HaresDec 26, 2023-Jan 1, 202413

Note: Statewide, the hare (Snowshoe Rabbits) or varying hare hunting season runs from December 26, 2023, to January 1, 2024. The holding limit is three hares, and the daily restriction is one hare.

Pheasant Season

Pheasant SeasonHunting SeasonDaily LimitPossession Limit
Regular SeasonOct 21-Nov 11, 202326
Sunday, November 12, 202326
Nov 13-18, 202326
Sunday, November 19, 202326
Nov 20-24, 202326
Dec 11-23, 202326
Dec 26, 2023-Feb 29, 202426

Pheasant Junior Hunt

Pheasnt (Junior)Hunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
PheasantOct 7-14, 202326

Note: All WMUs permit the taking of both male and female pheasants. Except for the Central Susquehanna Wild Pheasant Recovery Area, which is permitted by presidential order, there is no open season for hunting pheasants in wild pheasant recovery areas.

Quail Season

Quail SeasonHunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
Bobwhite QuailSept 1-Nov 11, 2023No limitNo limit
Sunday, November 12, 2023No limitNo limit
Nov 13-18, 2023No limitNo limit
Sunday, November 19, 2023No limitNo limit
Nov 20-24, 2023No limitNo limit
Dec 11-23, 2023No limitNo limit
Dec 26, 2023-Mar 30, 2024No limitNo limit

Note: The Letterkenny Army Depot Bobwhite Quail Recovery Area does not have a bobwhite quail open season.

Woodchuck Season

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, can be pursued from July 1, 2023, to June 29, 2024, which is a lengthy hunting season. There is no restriction on how many woodchucks a shooter may acquire or capture in a single day.

WoodchuckHunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
Woodchuck (Groundhog)July 1-Nov 11, 2023No LimitNo Limit
Sunday, November 12, 2023No LimitNo Limit
Nov 13-18, 2023No LimitNo Limit
Sunday, November 19, 2023No LimitNo Limit
Nov 20-24, 2023No LimitNo Limit
Dec 11, 2023-June 29, 2024No LimitNo Limit

Crow Season

SeasonSeason DatesBag Limit
CrowAug 24, 2023 - March 24, 2024
(Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun only)
No limit

Sparrow Season

Sparrow SeasonSeason DatesBag Limit
Starling & English SparrowNo closed season, except during regular firearms deer seasonNo limit

Turkey Season

Turkey SeasonHunting DatesBag Limits
Wild Turkey (Male or Female)
WMU 2BOct 28-Nov 17, 20231 Turkey all combined seasons
WMU 2BNov 22-24, 20231 Turkey all combined seasons
WMUs 1A, 1B, 4A, 4B, 4D and 4EOct 28-Nov 4, 20231 Turkey all combined seasons
WMUs 2A, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4COct 28-Nov 11, 20231 Turkey all combined seasons
WMUs 2C, 2D and 2EOct 28-Nov 11, 20231 Turkey all combined seasons
WMUs 2C, 2D and 2ENov 22-24, 20231 Turkey all combined seasons
5BOct 31-Nov 2, 20231 Turkey all combined seasons
WMUs 5A, 5C and 5DCLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING1 Turkey all combined seasons
Spring Gobbler (Bearded bird only)27-Apr-24Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt
Spring Gobbler (Bearded bird only)May 4-31, 2024Daily limit 1, season limit 2

Note:

  • It is only permitted to capture bearded birds; licenses are needed.
  • Hunting hours end at noon.
  • During the first two weeks of the season, only one spring gobbler may be taken; a second bird needs a special authorization. Depending on the date, hunting hours change.

Bear Season

Bear SeasonHunting DatesLimit
Archery (WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D)Sept 16-Nov 11, 20231
Archery (WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D)Sunday, November 12, 20231
Archery (WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D)Nov 13-18, 20231
Archery (WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D)Sunday, November 19, 20231
Archery (WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D)Nov 20-24, 20231
Archery (WMU 5B)Sept 30-Nov 11, 20231
Archery (WMU 5B)Sunday Nov 12, 20231
Archery (WMU 5B)Nov 13-17, 20231
Archery (WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C-2H, 3A-3D,Oct 14-Nov 4, 20231
4A-4E and 5A)
Muzzleloader (Statewide)Oct 14-21, 20231
Special Firearms (Statewide)Oct 19-21, 20231
StatewideSaturday, November 18, 20231
StatewideSunday, November 19, 20231
StatewideMonday, November 20, 2023
StatewideTuesday, November 21, 2023
(WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4E, and 5A)Saturday, November 25, 20231
(WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4E, and 5A)Sunday, November 26, 20231
(WMUs 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4E, and 5A)Nov 27-Dec 2, 20231
(WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C, and 5D)25-Nov1
(WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C, and 5D)26-Nov1
(WMUs 2B, 5B, 5C, and 5D)Nov 27-Dec 9, 20231

Furbearer Hunting Season

Coyote

SpeciesHunting DateLimits
CoyoteNo closed seasonNo limit

Note: Outside of big game seasons, a hunting license or a furtaker registration (no orange needed) is mandatory. when legally pursuing large game during big game seasons with a furtaker certificate.

Fox Season

SeasonHunting DatesLimit
FoxOct 21, 2023-Feb 17, 2024,
(Sunday hunting permitted)
No limit

Raccoon Season

SeasonHunting DatesLimit
RaccoonOct 21-Nov 11, 2023No limit
Sunday, November 12, 2023No limit
Nov 13-18, 2023No limit
Sunday, November 19, 2023No limit
Nov 20-25, 2023No limit
Sunday, November 26, 2023No limit
Nov 27, 2023-Feb 17, 2024No limit

Opossum, Striped Skunk and Weasel

SpeciesSeasonAllowed Sunday HuntingLimits
OpossumNo closed season, except during firearms deer season (No Sunday Hunting)Nov. 12, Nov. 19, and Nov. 26 allowedNo limits
Striped SkunkNo closed season, except during firearms deer season (No Sunday Hunting)Nov. 12, Nov. 19, and Nov. 26 allowedNo limits
WeaselNo closed season, except during firearms deer season (No Sunday Hunting)Nov. 12, Nov. 19, and Nov. 26 allowedNo limits

Bobcat Season

SpeciesBobcat
Season DatesJan. 6-31, 2024
LimitOne per license year
Hunting RestrictionsHunting allowed only with a permit obtained by licensed furtakers in WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E

Porcupine Season

SpeciesSeason DatesDaily LimitSeason Limit
PorcupineOct 7-Nov 11, 2023310
Sunday, November 12, 2023310
Nov 13-18, 2023310
Sunday, November 19, 2023310
Nov 20-24, 2023310
Dec 11-23, 2023310
Dec 26-Jan 27, 2024310

PA Trapping Season

SpeciesSeason DatesLimits
Mink and muskratNov. 18-Jan. 7, 2024No limits
Coyote, fox, opossum, raccoon, striped skunk and weaselOct. 21-Feb. 18, 2024No limits
Coyote and fox, cable restraints (Statewide)Dec. 26-Feb. 18, 2024No limits.
Beaver (Statewide)Dec. 16-March 31, 2024Limits vary depending on WMU
Bobcat (WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E)Dec. 16-Jan. 7, 2024One bobcat per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.
Fisher (WMUs 1B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E)Dec. 16-31, 2024One fisher per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.
River otter (WMUs 1A, 1B, 2F, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4E)Feb. 10-17, 2024One river otter per license year. Licensed furtakers may obtain one permit each.

Falconry Season

Falconry SeasonHunting DatesDaily LimitPossession Limit
BobcatDec 16-Jan 7, 202411
BeaverDec 16-March 31, 2024VariesVaries
FisherDec 16-31, 202411
River OtterFeb 10-17, 202411
Coyote, Fox, Opossum, Raccoon,Oct 21-Feb 18, 2024No limitNo limit
Striped Skunk, and WeaselDec 26-Feb 18, 2024No limitNo limit
Mink and MuskratNov 18-Jan 7, 2024No limitNo limit
Squirrels (combined)Sept 1-Nov 11, 2023
Nov 13-18, 2023
Nov 20-25, 2023
Nov 27, 2023-Mar 30, 2024
618
Bobwhite QuailSept 1-Nov 11, 2023
Nov 13-18, 2023
Nov 20-25, 2023
Nov 27, 2023-Mar 30, 2024
No limitNo limit
Ruffed GrouseSept 1-Nov 11, 2023
Nov 13-18, 2023
Nov 20-25, 2023
Nov 27, 2023-Mar 30, 2024
26
Cottontail RabbitSept 1-Nov 11, 2023
Nov 13-18, 2023
Nov 20-25, 2023
Nov 27, 2023-Mar 30, 2024
412
Snowshoe or Varying HaresSept 1-Nov 11, 2023
Nov 13-18, 2023
Nov 20-25, 2023
Nov 27, 2023-Mar 30, 2024
13
Pheasant (Male or Female combined)Sept 1-Nov 11, 2023
Nov 13-18, 2023
Nov 20-25, 2023
Nov 27, 2023-Mar 30 2024
26

Hunting Regulations in Pennsylvania

  • PA General Hunting Regulations:
  • License:  Pennsylvania requires a regular hunting pass year-round. Hunters with flintlock muzzleloader licenses can hunt antlerless deer after Christmas. An average ticket allows one antlered deer per year. In all other seasons, a hunter must have an antlerless deer license or DMAP sanction to hunt or capture one deer per license or permit, up to six empty permits per hunter. Deer seasons require archery and muzzleloader permits. Junior and senior license users, guided youth, active-duty military, and disabled people can kill antlerless deer during Special Firearms season.
  • Deer Tagging: Pennsylvania hunters must write the capture month and day on deer ears with a ballpoint pen. Game commission workers can read the number on the tag until the deer is handled or hung. The tag rests on the head and gathers vital science data.
  • Deer Archery: Pennsylvania deer hunters can use long, recurve, compound, and crossbows with modern broadheads. Crossbows have enlarging lenses and red-dot sights. 7/8-inch wide and 3.25-inch long broadheads are required. Archery hunters cannot carry weapons without a license. They can bring muzzleloading guns year-round with archery, muzzleloading license, and bright orange. To gather scientific data, hunters must affix harvest tags to deer ears with the month and day of harvest and keep them there until processing or mounting.
  • Deer Firearms: Pennsylvania weapons deer seasons allow manually operated centerfire rifles, pistols, shotguns, and semi-automatic and single-projectile shotguns with all-lead, ball, or expanding rounds.Crossbows and long, recurve, or composite bows equipped with contemporary broadheads are permitted. October Antlerless Muzzleloader, Flintlock, and Special Deer Only Firearms Seasons offer a variety of guns and ammo.
  • Fluorescent Orange Requirements: All deer seasons, including extensions, in Pennsylvania require shooters to wear at least 250 square inches of conspicuous orange clothing on their heads, torsos, and backs. A Neon orange disguise works too. Archery seekers are encouraged to wear bright orange. Besides muzzleloaders, big-game hunters must wear neon orange during October antlerless muzzleloader deer season. Particular regulating areas may have brilliant orange regulations.
  • Turkey Blinds: All deer seasons, including extensions, in Pennsylvania require shooters to wear at least 250 square inches of conspicuous orange clothing on their heads, torsos, and backs. A Neon orange disguise works too. Archery seekers are encouraged to wear bright orange. Besides muzzleloaders, big-game hunters must wear neon orange during October antlerless muzzleloader deer season. Particular regulating areas may have promising orange regulations.
  • Requirements for Turkey Reporting and Tagging: Pennsylvania hunters can use plastic, nylon, canvas, cotton, or wooden turkey traps, not rocks, logs, or limbs. For concealment, the cover must surround the target. State game areas and Hunter Access assets must mark portable hunting nets. Pennsylvania hunters must tag and move birds promptly after hunting. The turkey’s leg should be tagged until it’s eaten or hung. Hunters must submit their catch to the Game Commission’s website, phone, or harvest card within ten days.
  • Turkey Live Decoys, Drives, and Electronic Calls: During Pennsylvania’s spring and fall turkey hunting seasons, artificial calls, driving, and live turkey decoys are prohibited.

Resources That Can Help

https://huntfish.pa.gov/ is the official state website.

FAQs related to Pennsylvania Hunting Seasons

Can I go hunting in Pennsylvania on my own property without a hunting license?

Without a license, you may hunt on your own property provided you have the landowner’s written permission and the land is linked to another land on which you are permitted to hunt.

When does Pennsylvania's rifle season end?

There are a few exceptions to this rule, including black bear hunting and deer hunting with an archery bow on Sundays, but otherwise, Pennsylvania’s normal firearms deer season finishes on December 11.

Can you go hunting on a Sunday in the state of Pennsylvania?

Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania is prohibited by law, with a few exceptions during certain hunting seasons.

When does Pennsylvania's deer season start?

Hunting seasons for deer in Pennsylvania start on different dates in different zones but may begin as early as September 18.

When is the earliest possible date for a bear hunt in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania’s bear hunting season begins on September 18 for bowhunters and on November 20 for gun hunters, depending on the zone.

Can I kill a deer on your private Pennsylvania property?

On private property or with the landowner’s consent, deer may be shot if the hunter has a valid hunting license. On the other hand, you must follow all laws and the wishes of the landowner. If you plan on hunting on private property, you need to ask for permission first.

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