If you haven’t filled your buck or doe harvest tags during the past deer hunting seasons, you’ll get another opportunity during the post-Christmas deer season. But that’s provided you hunt with archery or flintlock muzzleloader, or firearms in selected counties.
The archery and flintlock deer hunting season for both antlered and antlerless deer re-opens Dec. 26 and runs until Jan. 18 statewide. For those hunting in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, the season continues to Jan. 23.
If you have remaining antlerless tags, the extended firearms season runs Dec. 23 – Jan 23 in Allegheny, Bucks, Chester and Philadelphia counties.
And for you upland hunters, the Pennsylvania Game Commission will hold a late season pheasant stocking. Both male and female pheasants will be stocked on Dec. 22 and 23 and the birds may be hunted after stocking but not on Christmas day. The season will reopen on Dec. 26. The only exception to this is there’s no hunting in the state’s two Wild Pheasant Recovery Areas.
Keep in mind that even though hunters may hunt immediately after the pheasants are released, and if encountering a stocking truck, the PGC reminds hunters that the area around the truck is established as a safety zone hence it’s unlawful to discharge a firearm within 150 yards of a PGC vehicle if its occupants are releasing pheasants.
According to the PGC, more than 218,000 pheasants are allocated for this statewide late season release. To learn about what tracts are being stocked visit the interactive stocking map and pheasant-allocation breakdowns at www.pgc.pa.gov.
As a reminder, the PGC says that except for senior lifetime license-buyers who bought their lifetime hunting or combination licenses prior to May 13, 2017, hunters need a pheasant permit in addition to their general hunting license. For adults and non-exempted senior hunters, the permit costs $26.90. For junior hunters and mentored permit holders under 17, the permit is free.
When going afield, all safety and regulations apply such as wearing 250 square inches of fluorescent orange. That, plus the pheasant daily limit is two with a possession limit of six.
With snow on the ground, these late season hunts make for a great time to be afield and in the woods.
Well it won’t be long before anglers will be able to walk on water…. for ice fishing that is.
Our tackle shop reporters have not heard of any ice action which, despite cold temperatures, having 10 inches or more of snow atop the ice merely provides an insulation that prevents ice from forming.
We’ll keep you posted when ice fishing action kicks off, most likely on Pocono Mountain waters before local waters like Leaser Lake and Ontelaunee Reservoir.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.