HARRISBURG – In adopting seasons and bag limits for the 2013-14 hunting and trapping seasons the Pennsylvania Game Commission board of game commissioners took steps to address concerns dealing specifically with antlerless deer hunting at Monday's quarterly meeting.
Board secretary and first-year Southeast Region commissioner Brian Hoover made proposals to reduce the antlerless allocation in Wildlife Management Unit 4C and target "hot spots" in WMU 5C that were approved.
In 4C, 27,000 antlerless permits will be issued with the goal of increasing the size of the herd, rather than the 35,000 that agency staff suggested to continue stabilizing the herd; and during the month-long, post-Christmas flintlock season in 5C, rifles – including modern inline muzzleloaders and shotguns may be used to hunt antlerless deer only in the Special Regulations counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
This is being done to allow hunters to focus on reducing the herd in the highly populated Special Regulation counties and preserve the flintlock season in Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties. And while antlerless allocations have been reduced to 103,000 in 5C, that total is in line with the number that have been sold in recent years.
Also addressed was the diversity of the habitat within WMU 2G that has effected the density of the deer herd. As a result, WMU 2H now comprises the western portion of the WMU and has received 6,000 antlerless permits, and the eastern portion will remain WMU 2G and has received 28,000 to continue to stabilize the herd.
Statewide, a total of 839,000 antlerless permits were approved for over-the-counter sales. Allocations by WMU are: WMU 1A, 49,000; WMU 1B, 31,000; WMU 2A, 49,000; WMU 2B, 62,000; WMU 2C, 43,000; WMU 2D, 61,000; WMU 2E, 22,000; WMU 2F, 29,000; WMU 2G, 28,000; WMU 2H, 6,000; WMU 3A, 23,000; WMU 3B, 39,000; WMU 3C, 35,000; WMU 3D, 32,000; WMU 4A, 28,000; WMU 4B, 24,000; WMU 4C, 27,000; WMU 4D, 35,000; WMU 4E, 26,000; WMU 5A, 19,000; WMU 5B; 50,000; WMU 5C, 103,000; and WMU 5D, 18,000.
In addition to the antlerless allocations, Deer Management Assistance Permits will be available for private land owners. This year, qualified adult mentors may transfer one DMAP antlerless deer permit to a youth they are mentoring as part of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, as can also be done with an antlerless permit.
This year 86 elk licenses, comprised of 26 antlered and 40 antlerless, have been allocated. Allocations by Elk Hunt Zone are: EHZ 2 – 3 antlered, 10 antlerless; EHZ 3 – 2 antlered, 6 antlerless; EHZ 4 – 3 antlered, 2 antlerless; EHZ 5 – 4 antlered, 11 antlerless; EHZ 6 – 3 antlered, 12 antlerless; EHZ 7 – closed; EHZ 8 – 1 antlered, 1 antlerless; EHZ 9 – 1 antlered, 4 antlerless; EHZ 10 – 3 antlered, 5 antlerless; EHZ 11 – 1 antlered, 1 antlerless; and EHZ 12 – 5 antlered, 8 antlerless.
Hunters and trappers are advised that when planning fall and winter vacations that several seasons in the 2013-14 license year will open or run about a week later. This is because of calendar swings related to the timing of Thanksgiving that occur about every seven years.
A complete list of seasons and bag limits for 2013-14 is available on the PGC website at http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/.