Plenty of winter hunting chances remain
A light coating of snow is not enough to keep this beagle from sniffing out a hot trail during a winter rabbit hunt.
With this being the final day of the statewide flintlock muzzleloader and late archery deer seasons, some hunters are already looking ahead to the opening of spring gobbler season, Saturday, April 27.
There is no reason to rush the arrival of the final major season of the 2012-13 license year, as hunting still has weeks remaining this winter. For those with the proper tags, deer hunting continues in Wildlife Management Units 5C and 5D until Saturday, Jan. 26, and small game hunting for several species are in season until Saturday, Feb. 23.
Deer hunters with WMU 5C or 5D antlerless or DMAP permits may hunt antlerless deer using any legal sporting arm, or they may hunt during an extended flintlock muzzleloader and late archery deer season for antlered or antlerless deer until January 26. During the extended season, antlered deer may be taken only by flintlock muzzleloader hunters and bowhunters who possess an unused general hunting license deer tag - which may also be used for an antlerless deer.
Flintlock muzzleloader hunters and bowhunters are not required to wear fluorescent orange, but are encouraged to do so when hunting in WMUs 5C and 5D when moving because conventional firearms will be in use by antlerless hunters. Those hunting with conventional firearms in those WMUs must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange.
Statewide, small game seasons are open for the following species: ruffed grouse, January 26; and squirrel and rabbit, February 23. In addition, hunting for ringneck and hen pheasants is open in WMUs 1A, 1B, 2B, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4D, 5C and 5D until February 2.
Furbearer hunting seasons are open for red and gray foxes, including Sundays, until February 16, and for raccoons until February 16. Those with bobcat permits may hunt in designated WMUs listed in the "Hunting and Trapping Digest" until February 5.
There is no closed season for coyotes, other than during any big game season - including spring gobbler - unless they are taken while hunting big game. Coyotes may be taken with a hunting or furtaker license and without wearing orange.
Waterfowlers may hunt Canada, white-front and snow geese in the Atlantic Population Zone until January 26. This year's snow goose conservation hunting season in the Atlantic Population Zone opens Monday, Jan. 28, and continues through Friday, April 26.
For the snow goose conservation season, hunters must obtain a free special permit, which is available on the Pennsylvania Game Commission website at http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/.
In addition to a regular Pennsylvania hunting license, hunters 16 and older must have a Federal Migratory Bird and Conservation Stamp, commonly referred to as a "Duck Stamp" to hunt waterfowl. Regardless of age, hunters also must have a Pennsylvania Migratory Game Bird License to hunt waterfowl and other migratory birds, including doves, woodcock, coots, moorhens, rails and snipe.