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Pennsylvania Hunting


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#1 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 08:48 AM

While replying to Hatchet Jacks recent post I got to thinking (danger, danger, danger) about our PA laws and our hunting habits.
I have hunted in PA since 1955 and for many years accepted as normal many things but since hunting in other states found PA to be somewhat unique in a number of ways. For instance here in PA we cannot use a semi auto rifle for any type of hunting but we can use a semi auto shotgun for small game, turkey and duck or goose hunting.
A very unique requirement here in PA that I had accepted as normal is the requirement that we must wear our hunting and fishing license exposed. The hunting license must be worn on an outer garment in the center of the back. The fishing license just has to be worn exposed and most pin it to their hats.
Something else I found out to be unique but commonplace in PA is No Sunday hunting with only a few exceptions such as coyote and crows although Sunday fishing is completely legal.
A somewhat common hunting procedure in PA especially for deer and bear is an organized drive or push with drivers, flankers and watchers. I have not found this method of hunting in many other state I have hunted. When this type of hunting is employed a roster of hunters must be made in two copies one of which must be posted at camp or gathering point of the hunt and one carried by the huntmaster.
For many years our muzzleloader hunting was done only with flintlock rifles and except for a week in october each year where any type of muzzleloader can be employed that is still the case.
These are only a few of what I have found to be unique and there are more but I would like to hear what your state requires or disallows.
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#2 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:33 PM

While replying to Hatchet Jacks recent post I got to thinking (danger, danger, danger) about our PA laws and our hunting habits.
I have hunted in PA since 1955 and for many years accepted as normal many things but since hunting in other states found PA to be somewhat unique in a number of ways. For instance here in PA we cannot use a semi auto rifle for any type of hunting but we can use a semi auto shotgun for small game, turkey and duck or goose hunting.
A very unique requirement here in PA that I had accepted as normal is the requirement that we must wear our hunting and fishing license exposed. The hunting license must be worn on an outer garment in the center of the back. The fishing license just has to be worn exposed and most pin it to their hats.
Something else I found out to be unique but commonplace in PA is No Sunday hunting with only a few exceptions such as coyote and crows although Sunday fishing is completely legal.
A somewhat common hunting procedure in PA especially for deer and bear is an organized drive or push with drivers, flankers and watchers. I have not found this method of hunting in many other state I have hunted. When this type of hunting is employed a roster of hunters must be made in two copies one of which must be posted at camp or gathering point of the hunt and one carried by the huntmaster.
For many years our muzzleloader hunting was done only with flintlock rifles and except for a week in october each year where any type of muzzleloader can be employed that is still the case.
These are only a few of what I have found to be unique and there are more but I would like to hear what your state requires or disallows.


I think you have hit on something. Over the years on this forum and others that PA hunters spend some time on that their posts are different than others and I think it's mainly because of the laws in PENN. It's like the no hunting on Sunday law. I think it's out dated. That should be an individual issue of choice in my humble opinion. Why not a Monday not to hunt? I know why -I'm just being facetious. That effects opinions through out the State you live and hunt in and reflects in opinions and code of ethics too. And that's not a bad thing - they just need to be updated. IMHO.

"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#3 Spirithawk

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:04 PM

Here are a few regs that I can think of off hand here in Missouri;

If not filled, you can use your regular Firearms Deer Tag for Muzzleloader Season.

Deer Fireams Season is broken up into sections. In order; Urban 10/9/09 -10/12/09,Youth 10/31/09 - 11/1/09, Firearms 11/14/09 - 11/24/09, Antlerless 11/25/09 - 12/6/09 and Muzzleloader 12/19/09 - 12/29/09 (Muzzleloader use to be in Nov. but changed this year. It sorta swapped places with Antlerless)

Any Muzzleloader, firing just one projectile per discharge, and .40 or larger is legal during Muzzleloader Season. Scopes are allowed but no laser sights allowed during any hunting season.

Absolutely no baiting during hunting season at all! If you are even found hunting in an area that had been baited, though you are not aware of it, you can still be fined. You can put out bait before season but it must be removed a minimum of 10 days before hunting. Minerals and food plots are ok.

Crossbows can be used Firearms Season but can only be used Archery Season with a Disabled Hunter Permit.

Also we have the antler point restrictions in many counties, mostly the northern half of the state.

If disabled you can get a Right To Hunt From A Stationary Vehicle Permit which allows you the use of any wheeled vehicle to get you to your hunting spot. But you must use it respectfully. No tearing up the creeks, must stick to access roads in Wildlife Areas, and must be stopped to shoot from, ect. Also, in Wildlife Areas you must first notify the Ranger in charge that you have said permit and he can tell you no if he so chooses.

I also might add that Here in Missouri you'd best read the manual before every season because they've been changing the rules as often and fast as they change their socks and they have rules hidden in there that you need to be an attorney to find and understand them! For instance, say you have a vehicle licensed in another state for buisness reasons. They then consider you a resident of that state though you actually live here. Gets pretty complicated. They tried to get a law passed recently to start charging Land Owners for Land Owner Permits, which previously had ALWAYS been free. Went over like a lead balloon! They claimed they needed the income, even though we pay a fortune for tags while just accross the line in Ark. $25 pays for a full years hunting rights on every species you can hunt and they are doing just fine financialy wise!

The following is all the new stuff this year;

What’s New for 2009
To provide better management and quality hunts, methods and seasons may be restricted on some conservation areas and some area regulations may have changed from last year. Also, new areas have been added.
The Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permit and the Youth Antlerless Deer Hunting Permit are no longer available; however, resident and nonresident youth may purchase deer and turkey hunting permits at reduced costs. Youth Deer & Turkey Hunting Permits purchased during the 2009 spring turkey season remain valid for the 2009 fall firearms deer and turkey hunting seasons.
Youth must be at least 6 years old to receive landowner permits.
Reduced-cost nonresident landowner permits are no longer available.
The antlerless portion of the firearms deer season is immediately after the November portion. The order of the muzzleloader and antlerless portions have been reversed.
When mentoring a firearms hunter who is not hunter-education certified and not hunting on a landowner permit, all mentors, including landowners on their own land, must be at least 18 years old and hunter-education certified unless they were born before Jan. 1, 1967.
Qualifying nonresident students may purchase resident permits, except lifetime permits.
Areas included in the urban zone portion of the firearms deer season no longer follow county lines.
New areas with an antler-point restriction include Ste. Genevieve County and the portions of Cass and Jefferson not included in the new urban deer zones.
The portion of Franklin County in the St. Louis urban deer zone is no longer under an antler restriction.
Archery antlerless deer permits may be used in Cape Girardeau County.
Air-powered guns may be used during firearms managed deer hunts.

Edited by Spirithawk, 26 May 2009 - 05:24 PM.


#4 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:07 PM

Norm what about the rule that you have to place a yellow sticker on your gun that says Be Safe and it must be in a place where you can see it while aiming.
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#5 Spirithawk

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 06:12 PM

Norm what about the rule that you have to place a yellow sticker on your gun that says Be Safe and it must be in a place where you can see it while aiming.



Yep, forgot that one. Blame it on old age. :lol: It applies only to your shotguns during Spring and Fall Turkey Seasons. It's purpose is to remind a person to make very sure of their target before pulling the trigger. A lesson well thought of during any Firearms Season! I wouldn't oppose having to put the stickers on all firearms during the Firearms Deer Seasons as well. Think it would be a great idea in fact. They're small, yet very visible, don't hurt the finish of the firearm and easily peel off after season's over. They're also free and you can pick them up where you buy your license. If it saved just one life then it would be well worthwhile. In fact I just sent them an email suggesting it. :D

Edited by Spirithawk, 26 May 2009 - 06:33 PM.


#6 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 07:23 PM

Oh Air Rifles/pistols are not legal to hunt with in PA as far as I can recall. I know that some states allow carrying a handgun while archery hunting but not in PA. We also must wear blaze orange to hunt everything but spring turkeys and during our Flintlock season. Even to hunt groundhogs you must wear at least a hat of blaze orange but having a couple of people aim their rifles my way I wear the hat and a vest of orange. On the lake where I fish for crappies there is a min length of 9 inches. Of the 50 or so I caught only a couple were legal to keep although many were between 8 and 9 inches. For most of PA you cannot bait with anything within 30 days of the season. If bait is found the game protecter can ban hunting within 1/4 mile of that location although it is legal to hunt in or near a grain field. The use of turkey blinds is legal in PA but you cannot build one from rocks, logs, branches etc. We are permitted to turkey hunt in the fall with a rifle. Of course we can also use a manually operated shotgun, muzzleloader shotgun or rifle and archery equipment.
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#7 Phil

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 05:36 AM

They have recently changed the no carrying of a handgun ruling during archery season. If you have a Concealed Carry (protection) permit then you may be the pocession of a handgun. If you only have a "Sporting permit" then its unlawful. Not sure if the couple of hunters found shot to death in 2 state game land parking areas a couple seasons ago prompted this change but I'd bet money on it.
Norm, if we haven't harvested an antlered buck by late flintlock season and have a muzzlerloader license we can use the tag for a doe or legal buck. What's weird is that late archery runs concurrently with late flintlock but archers can't use their buck tag for a doe......but maybe that's because they already had a 6 week long early season for either sex vs. a 1 week "antlerlees only" season for the muzzlestuffers?
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#8 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 09:00 AM

Something else that I did not know about PA until I hunted in other states is when you purchase a hunting license in PA you can hunt in the regular firearms season for a buck anywhere in the state and also can hunt turkeys both spring and fall and small game. You can even hunt varmints without purchasing another tag or license. You must purchase an archery permit, a muzzleloader permit a bear permit, a doe permit and a furtaker permit to hunt in those respective seasons. This is not necessarily the case in other states.
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#9 Hatchet Jack

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:19 PM

I think every state has their little quirks on rules. In Indiana I've watched the firearms rules evolve over the years. For many years there was no rifle hunting for deer - period. However, you could hunt varmints with virtually anything. The reason? Rifles are dangerous in open spaces because the bullets carry farther. Ever been to Wyoming? LOL.

Anyway, now Hoosier firearms hunters may hunt with rifles chambered for pistol cartridge ammo (because the bullets are slower?). Apparently, no one in Indiana has read any scientific studies regarding ricochet - in short, shotgun slugs are more dangerous than any rifle cartridge after a ricochet - by far the most frequent reason for down-range accidents.

Now, for a little devil's advocate. I like the idea that states have the right to regulate game laws as they see fit. I shudder to think what it would be like if Washington DC mandated game laws for our states. The game laws are weird and inconsistent - yes - but WE own them. WE can change them. WE can get involved with our DNR, go to town-hall meetings and petition for change through our state organizations (like the Indiana Bowhunters Association here in Indiana). If game laws were federal they would all say the same thing - NO HUNTING. Still, through the Endangered Species Act, the Feds can royally screw up an ecolsystem thousands of miles away - ask Wyoming about their wolves.
"The Lord bless and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace." Num 6:24-26

#10 Spirithawk

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 02:03 PM

I can remember back when I first started deer hunting. You had to apply for a permit to kill a doe. Then only that one single doe. Then they changed it to where you could shoot a doe the last two days of season. Next change, you could buy an "Any Deer Permit" allowing you to shhot either a buck or a doe. Next change, you could buy an "Any Deer Permit" plus for $7 buy a bonus doe permit. Now, in many counties, you can buy your "Any Deer Permit" and an almost unlimited amount of bonus doe tags at $7 apiece. It's interesting looking back at the changes over the years. Deer were almost extinct in Missouri back in the 40's and 50's. If you saw one it was worthy of being written up in the local newspaper. Here your "Any Deer Permit is good state wide but your "Antlerless Permit" is only good in the zone you requested it for.

Edited by Spirithawk, 27 May 2009 - 02:08 PM.


#11 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:57 PM

Here in PA we used to have and still do have a 2 week firearms buck season where you can hunt anywhere in the state. There was a separate 3 day doe season following the 2 week buck season. As I recall though you had to apply for a doe tag in the county you wanted to hunt. The problem with that was there are no county lines to identify when you were out in the woods. Over the years the buck and doe seasons were conducted in the same timeframe. The PGC also designated Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) the boundaries are roads, and streams and the like so you can know the boundaries. Something else that is sort of unique in PA is we have a separate Game Commission and a separate Fish and Boat Commission and a separate Dept of Natural Resources. As far as I know our various commisions do not receive any PA budget monies. The game Commission gets its money from license sales, fines, timber sales on state game lands, leases to coal, gas and oil, and several other sources but none from the general funds.
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#12 Spirithawk

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 09:27 PM

In Missouri we have areas devided up into units too, same as in PA. Highways, county lines, rivers and such designate the borders. Some to designate antler restriction areas, some the number of does you're allowed to buy bonus tags for and some for just the Urban Does Only Season which is only in a few areas. Looks like here the MDC is looking for more and more ways to get money from us. Increasing license fees at every chance they get and looking for other ways as well. People here are getting a bit fed up with it.




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