Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - 36

APRIL COMMISSIONERS MEETING

Changes in store for 2019-20
Moving the opening day of the firearms deer season to the Saturday following Thanksgiving will shorten the
late November turkey season to two
days - Thursday and Friday - where the
season is held.
The early segments of small-game
seasons also will close on Friday to accommodate the Saturday deer opener.
Additionally, several new opportunities await hunters and trappers in the
2019-20 license year.
The mid-October muzzleloader and
special firearms deer seasons have been
expanded to include bears statewide.
The statewide archery bear season
has been increased to two weeks and will
occur after the muzzleloader and special
firearms bear seasons.
Extended bear seasons also have been
expanded from four days to seven in most
Wildlife Management Units (WMUs)
where they are held.
The late archery and flintlock deer
seasons have been extended by more
than a week, and will end in 2020 on the
Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
A September archery season and a
January antlerless season for elk have
been created. The elk license allocation
totals 142, including 32 antlered licenses.
All licenses will be awarded by lottery,
and separate applications are required
for each drawing.
WMU 4B will open to bobcat hunting
and trapping in 2019-20, and WMU 4A
will open to fisher trapping. The length
of the fisher season also was extended
by three days to end Jan. 5.
The season limit on beavers will be
increased from 20 to 40 in WMUs 2A
and 2B.
And porcupine season will be reduced
in length by about 10 weeks statewide.
These and other 2019-20 seasons
and bag limits will be detailed in full in
the 2019-20 Pennsylvania Hunting &
Trapping Digest, to be provided free to
all license buyers.

36

opener cited logistical concerns with
traveling to their hunting camps during
the Thanksgiving weekend.
The commissioners also were split
on the issue.
Commissioner James Daley, who
represents the Game Commission's
District 1, made an amendment to
retain the opening day as the Monday
after Thanksgiving, Dec. 2. And
Commissioners Tim Layton, District 4,
and Michael Mitrick, District 6, voted
with Daley in support of the Monday
opener.
The rest of the board voted for the
Saturday opener, with the 5-3 tally
carrying the vote. And the final list
of 2019-20 seasons and bag limits
that included a Saturday opener was
approved by 7-1 margin, with Daley
voting against.
Commissioner Brian Hoover, who
represents District 8, and who voted
for the Saturday opener, said that the
level of support or opposition to move
varied from one part of the state to the
next. Hoover said, in his region, there
was little opposition to the move, and
Commissioner Stanley Knick Jr., said
the same of District 7.
Hoover said he also feels a Saturday
opener in which more hunters
can participate is good for hunter
recruitment, which is a big part of why
it was proposed in the first place.
"We need to look to the future
concerning our hunters and bringing
in more youth," Hoover said.
The commissioners said the Game
Commission in the coming year will
track the response to a Saturday opener
through license sales, deer harvest and
comments about the change.



Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019

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Pennsylvania Game News - June 2019 - Contents
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