HARRISBURG – While the majority of the members on the Pennsylvania Game Commission board of game commissioners wanted a reduction of antlerless allocations for the areas they represent at the spring meeting to set 2010-11 seasons and bag limits, Southeast Region commissioner Greg Isabella supported the increase for Wildlife Management Unit 5C.
"Perhaps, more than any area of the state, there is a deer problem in WMU 5C," Isabella said. "I understand many of the deer are on private land and government-controlled land where hunting is prohibited, but many landowners who post their land will allow hunting if hunters ask permission.
"My suggestion to anyone who is looking to take some deer for their freezer is that they buy some antlerless permits for 5C and visit some landowners. I know this is difficult for people to understand in some areas, but they will find there is no shortage of deer in 5C."
Beginning a week from today, hunters get their first opportunity to take some of those deer when the early antlerless archery season is held, Sept. 18-Oct. 1, in 5C and the two other Special Regulation areas – 5D, which is Philadelphia County, and 2B in western Pennsylvania.
Hunters are permitted to purchase over the counter unlimited antlerless permits for Special Regulation areas, and Isabella was correct in his assessment that WMU 5C being able to handle the demand. This year, it received an allotment of 121,960, and more than 48,000 remained late this week.
Last year, 5C received an antlerless allotment of 113,000, and hunters took an estimated 23,200 antlerless deer. Of those deer, an estimated 8,920 were taken by archery hunters.
This year's statewide archery season for antlered and antlerless deer opens Saturday, Oct. 2, and extends through Saturday, Nov. 13. Statewide, the late archery season will be held concurrent with the flintlock muzzleloader season from Monday, Dec. 27, through Saturday, Jan. 15.
It remains legal for archery hunters trying to take an antlered deer during the statewide season to also carry a muzzleloader to take an antlerless deer during that statewide season, which will be held Saturday-Saturday, Oct. 16-23. From Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 21-23, Junior and Senior License holders, Disabled Person Permit holders and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in U.S. Armed Services and U.S. Coast Guard may hunt antlerless deer with any firearms.
In addition to the upcoming early 12-day antlerless archery season in 5C, it has two other extended seasons. Archers will be able to hunt antlerless deer from Monday-Saturday, Nov. 15-27, and antlered and antlerless deer after the late statewide season from Monday-Saturday, Jan. 17-29.
As a reminder, PGC executive director Carl Roe stated that crossbows are legal in all archery seasons – including the statewide bear season, Monday-Friday, Nov. 15-19. After much debate, crossbows were approved last year by the board of game commissioners, however, comments and questions received by agency personnel indicate some hunters are still confused over the regulation.
Crossbows must have a minimum drawn weight of at least 125 pounds, and bolts must be equipped with broadheads that have an outside diameter of at least
Inches, a minimum of two cutting edges on the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface and not exceed three inches in length. Also, scopes are legal to use as sighting systems on crossbows.
Hunters may use illuminated nocks affixed at the aft end of an arrow or bolt to aid in tracking or locating after being shot. Transmitter-tracking arrows, however, are illegal.
Treestands and climbing devices that cause damage to trees are unlawful to use or occupy unless the hunter has written permission from the landowner. It is also unlawful to construct or occupy constructed treestands on State Game Lands, state forests or state parks.