Sunday Hunt Expansion, Advanced Simultaneous Deer Hunting by Pennsylvania Game Comission
The Extended Sunday Hunt in Pennsylvania took another step forward on Saturday, as the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners approved the action as a proposed settlement.
If the council approves it again as final regulations at its April meeting, the species that can be hunted on 2 of 3 Sundays that state lawmakers allowed the commission to pass last year.
In addition to archery deer hunting, on Sunday November 14, hunters would be allowed to chase squirrel, grouse, rabbit, pheasant, groundhog, opossum, skunk, weasel , raccoon and porcupine.
And, on Sunday, November 21, in addition to the bear, they would be allowed to hunt squirrel, grouse, rabbit, pheasant, marmot, opossum, skunk, weasel, raccoon and porcupine.
After a long-standing recurring battle in the state legislature, the commission was allowed last year to set 3 Sundays on which hunting would be legal for the first time since before Pennsylvania became a state: one during archery season, one in firearm deer season and another Sunday chosen by the commission.
The commissions also have preliminary approved statewide simultaneous deer hunting with and without antlers throughout gun season.
It is proposed that the season opens on Saturday November 27. Deer hunting would also be permitted on Sunday, November 28, the only Sunday in gun season where deer hunting is permitted. The season would end on Saturday December 11.
According to David Stainbrook, supervisor of the commission’s deer and elk section, the move to a simultaneous season is not intended to increase the antlerless harvest.
He explained that the allocation of antlerless permits is the main tool for managing deer populations. If the concurrent seasons proposal is approved by council at the April meeting, the timberless permit allocation will be reduced accordingly to reflect the additional five days of hunting opportunities.
The antlerless allocation is based on the estimated number of tags required by hunters to harvest the number of deer needed to meet population goals within a wildlife management unit. If the season is extended by an additional 5 days, fewer marks will be needed to meet population targets than would have been required for a shorter season.