For flintlock and bowhunters who fail to fill their back tags today on the final day of the statewide seasons, they still have two more weeks to hunt regionally in Wildlife Management Units 5C and 5D.
As in previous years, properly licensed flintlock and bowhunters may continue to hunt in these WMUs during the extended period for both antlered and antlerless deer. Those hunting in these WMUs for antlerless deer with inline muzzleloaders and centerfire firearms, however, must posses an antlerless permit for each deer taken and hunting is limited to the five Special Regulations counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia.
These regulations are also in effect for WMU 2B in western Pennsylvania. In that WMU the use of modern firearms – which inline muzzleloaders classified – for antlerless deer is limited to Allegheny County.
Previously, modern firearms were also legal during this extended season in portions of Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh and Northampton counties located in WMU 5C counties and portions of Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties located in WMU 2B. All of WMU 5D is comprised of Special Regulation counties.
PGC board of game commissioners secretary Brian Hoover of Glenolden, who serves as Southeast Region commissioner, said the use of modern firearms for antlerless hunting during the extended two-week season had a negative effect on the overall population of the deer herd. This revised regulation for the Special Regulations counties is designed to address the problem in those areas where there is an over population of deer and the area most effected by deer-human conflict.
"In order to continue the goals of our deer-management program, we want to continue providing expanded opportunities in the areas of the state that require longer seasons to reduce the population of the deer herd closer to our goals," Hoover said. "This year, however, it is important hunters familiarize themselves with the new regulations."
Because of the new regulations hunters are advised to familiarize themselves with the special-regulations antlerless deer season by referring to Page 56 of the "2013-14 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest" provided with the purchase of a hunting license or the PGC website at www.pgc.state.pa.us. This information contains a breakdown of both legal sporting arms and ammunition that are permitted and other regulations that apply during the extended late season.
Also eligible to participate in antlerless-only hunting in the Special Regulation counties are those who posses a Deer Management Assistance Program permit. Those hunting with a DMAP permit, however, may hunt only in the specific area for which it was issued, but not within the entire WMU that area is located.
There also are different fluorescent orange requirements during the extended season for flintlock, bow and rifle hunters. Firearms hunters are required to wear fluorescent orange, and they must wear at all times a minimum of 250 square inches on the head, chest and back combined and that it be visible from 360 degrees.
Flintlock and bowhunters are not required to wear fluorescent orange, but are encouraged to do so because of the overlap with the antlerless firearms deer season.