Pennsylvania, with its diverse wildlife and abundant natural resources, presents a wide range of hunting opportunities that cater to hunters of all levels and interests. Whether you’re into big game, small game, waterfowl, furbearers, or feral swine, you’ll find them spread across the 23 PA Hunting Zones or Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) that divide the state into distinct hunting zones.
Each WMU comes with its own set of regulations, seasons, and bag limits, carefully determined by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) based on scientific data and public input. An additional highlight is the 1.5 million acres of State Game Lands managed by the PGC, providing access to hunting, trapping, and other recreational activities.
For the upcoming 2023-24 hunting and trapping seasons, the PGC has approved some changes from previous years that hunters should be aware of:
- In WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D, the archery deer season has been extended by one week, now starting on Sept. 16 and concluding on Nov. 11.
- The antlerless deer season in WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D will now include the first six days of the firearms deer season.
- The antlered deer season has been reduced to seven days in WMUs 1A, 1B, 2A, 2F, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E.
- The antlerless deer season has been shortened to four days in WMUs 2G, 2H, 3E, and 5A.
- The elk season has been split into three distinct periods: archery (Sept. 16-30), general (Oct. 30-Nov. 4), and late (Dec. 30-Jan. 6). Hunters can apply for one, two, or all three seasons, but bonus points are season-specific.
- In all WMUs, squirrel season has been extended by two weeks, now starting on Sept. 16 and ending on Dec. 31.
- The ruffed grouse season will no longer be available in WMUs 4E and 5B due to low population levels.
- Except for WMU 5A, the rabbit season has been extended by one week, beginning on Oct. 14 and concluding on Feb. 28.
- Similarly, except for WMU 5A, the pheasant season has been extended by two weeks, now running from Oct. 14 to Feb. 28.
- Unfortunately, due to low population levels, the bobwhite quail season will be closed statewide.
- The woodchuck season, excluding WMU 5A, will now be open year-round.
These changes represent just a glimpse of what’s in store for the 2023-24 hunting seasons. To access more comprehensive details and information on other species and seasons, hunters should consult the official PGC website or refer to the Hunting in PA (2023-24) map, which offers an interactive tool to explore WMUs, State Forests, Game Lands boundaries, and more.
Hunting in Pennsylvania is steeped in tradition, dating back to the time of Native Americans and early settlers. It’s not only an opportunity to appreciate the great outdoors and connect with nature but also a way to contribute to wildlife conservation and management. Always remember to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the PGC, respect landowners and other users of public lands, and prioritize safe and ethical hunting practices. Happy hunting!
Direct links PA Game Lands PDF Maps below on pgc.pa.gov