HARRISBURG – This is clearly a year of change so far as the 2010-11 hunting seasons approved by the Pennsylvania Game Commission board of game commissioners at its quarterly meeting Tuesday, April 20.

Drawing the most attention of sportsmen are the changes to the deer and black bear season, but changes have also been made for small game hunting and the fall turkey and spring gobbler seasons. In addition, preliminary approval was given to the long-rumored Wild Pheasant Recovery Area for the Hegins Valley area of western Schuylkill County.

This year, the number of Wildlife Management Areas having a split five-day antlered and seven-day concurrent antlered and antlerless deer season has doubled from four to eight. From Monday, Nov. 29, through Friday, Dec. 3, antlered deer only will be legal in WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E, with concurrent hunting opening Saturday, Dec. 4 and continuing Monday-Saturday, Dec. 6-11.

Two other changes eliminate the two-week antlerless deer season held following the close of the regular firearms season leading up to Christmas in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, and to run a concurrent antlered/antlerless deer season for late-season archery hunters in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D from Monday, Dec. 27, through Saturday, Jan. 29. Last year, the concurrent late season was held for flintlock muzzleloader hunters, but not bowhunters.

Hunters with DMAP antlerless deer permits may use them on the lands for which they were issued during any established deer season, and will continue to be permitted to harvest antlerless deer from Nov. 29-Dec. 11 in WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E.

Here are the 2010-11 approved seasons and bag limits:

2010-11 ADOPTED HUNTING SEASONS

SMALL GAME

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license, and mentored youth – Oct. 9-15 (6 daily, 12 in possession limit after first day).

SQUIRRELS, Red, Gray, Black and Fox (Combined): Oct. 16-Nov. 27; Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27-Feb. 5 (6 daily, 12 possession).

RUFFED GROUSE: Oct. 16–Nov. 27, Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27-Jan. 22 (2 daily, 4 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail) Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license: Oct. 9-16 (4 daily, 8 possession).

RABBIT (Cottontail): Oct. 23-Nov. 27, Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27-Feb. 26 (4 daily, 8 possession).

PHEASANT: Special season for eligible junior hunters, with or without required license – Oct. 9-16 (2 daily, 4 in possession). Male pheasants only in WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B. Male and female pheasants may be taken in all other WMUs. There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas in any WMU.

PHEASANT: Male only in WMUs 2A, 2B, 2C, 4C, 4E, 5A and 5B – Oct. 23-Nov. 27. Male and female may be taken in all other WMUs – Oct. 23-Nov. 27, Dec. 13-23 and Dec. 27-Feb. 5 (2 daily, 4 in possession). There is no open season for the taking of pheasants in any Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas in any WMU.

BOBWHITE QUAIL: Oct. 23-Nov. 27 (4 daily, 8 possession). (Closed in WMUs 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D.)

HARES (SNOWSHOE RABBITS) OR VARYING HARES: Dec. 27–Jan. 1 (1 daily, 2 possession).

WOODCHUCKS (GROUNDHOGS): No closed season, except: Sundays; during the antlered and antlerless deer seasons; and during legal hunting hours of the spring gobbler turkey season.

CROWS: July 2-April 10, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. No limit.

STARLINGS AND ENGLISH SPARROWS: No closed season, except during the antlered and antlerless deer seasons and during legal hunting hours of the spring gobbler turkey season. No limit.

BIG GAME

WILD TURKEY (Male or Female): Wildlife Management Units 1A, 1B and 2A (Shotgun and bow and arrow) – Nov. 13-19 and Nov. 25-27; WMU 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow) – Nov. 6-19 and Nov. 25-27; WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 4A, 4B and 4D – Nov. 13-19 and Nov. 25-27; WMUs 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C and 4E – Nov. 6-19 and Nov. 25-27; WMU 5A – Nov. 16-18; WMUs 5B, 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): Special season for eligible junior hunters, with required license, and mentored youth – April 23, 2011. Only 1 spring gobbler may be taken during this hunt.

SPRING GOBBLER (Bearded bird only): April 30-May 31, 2011. Daily limit 1, season limit 2. (Second spring gobbler may be only taken by persons who possess a valid special wild turkey license.) From April 30-May 14, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon; from May 16-31, legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

BLACK BEAR (Statewide) Bow and Arrow only: Nov. 15-19. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

BLACK BEAR (Statewide): Nov. 20, and Nov. 22-23. Only 1 bear may be taken during the license year.

ELK (Antlered or Antlerless): Nov. 1-6. Only one elk may be taken during the license year.

ELK, EXTENDED (Antlered and Antlerless): Nov. 8-13. Only one elk may be taken during the license year. Eligible elk license recipients who haven't harvested an elk by Nov. 6, in designated areas.

Elk, Special Conservation Tag (Antlered or Antlerless): Sept. 1-Nov. 6. One elk tag for one antlered or antlerless elk will be auctioned at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation annual banquet.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlerless Only) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 18-Oct. 1 and Nov. 15-27. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Oct. 2-Nov. 13 and Dec. 27-Jan. 29. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ARCHERY (Antlered and Antlerless) Statewide: Oct. 2-Nov. 13 and Dec. 27-Jan. 15. One antlered deer per hunting license year. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 2F, 3A, 3B, 3D, 4A, 4C, 5A, 5B, 5C and 5D: Nov. 29-Dec. 11. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER (Antlered Only) WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E: Nov. 29-Dec. 3. One antlered deer per hunting license year. (Holders of valid DMAP antlerless deer permits may harvest antlerless deer on DMAP properties during this period.)

DEER (Antlered and Antlerless) WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E, 2G, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E: Dec. 4-11. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS (Statewide): Oct. 21-23. Junior and Senior License Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Services or in the U.S. Coast Guard only, with required antlerless license. Also included are persons who have reached or will reach their 65th birthday in the year of the application for a license and hold a valid adult license, or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS MUZZLELOADER (Statewide): Oct. 16-23. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (Statewide): Dec. 27-Jan. 15. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERED OR ANTLERLESS FLINTLOCK (WMUs 2B, 5C, 5D): Dec. 27-Jan. 29. One antlered deer per hunting license year, or one antlerless deer and an additional antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, Antlerless (WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D): Dec. 27-Jan. 29. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

DEER, ANTLERLESS (Military Bases): Hunting permitted on days established by the U.S. Department of the Army at Letterkenny Army Depot, Franklin County; New Cumberland Army Depot, York County; and Fort Detrick, Raven Rock Site, Adams County. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.

FURBEARERS

COYOTES: No closed season. Unlimited. Outside of any deer or bear season, coyotes may be taken with a hunting license or a furtaker license, and without wearing orange. During any archery deer season, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting deer or with a furtaker license. During the regular firearms deer and any bear seasons, coyotes may be taken while lawfully hunting deer or bear, or with a furtaker license while wearing 250 square inches of fluorescent orange. During the spring gobbler season, may be taken by those with a valid tag and meet fluorescent orange and shot size requirements.

RACCOON and FOXES: Oct. 23–Feb. 19, unlimited.

OPOSSUM, SKUNKS & WEASELS: No closed season, except Sundays and during legal hunting hours of the spring gobbler season. No limits.

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4D and 4E): Dec. 18-Jan. 8. One bobcat per license year, but all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

2010-11 ADOPTED TRAPPING SEASONS

MINK and MUSKRAT: Nov. 20–Jan. 9. Unlimited.

COYOTE, FOXES, OPOSSUM, RACCOON, SKUNKS and WEASELS: Oct. 24–Feb. 20. No limit.

COYOTE and FOXES (Statewide) Cable Restraints: Dec. 26-Feb. 20. No limit. Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

BEAVER (Statewide): Dec. 26–March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4D and 4E): Dec. 18-Jan. 9. One bobcat per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

FISHER (WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E and 2F): Dec. 18-23. One fisher per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.