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Pennsylvania archery deer season begins Oct. 1

From Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- Fall archery deer season opens Oct. 1, representing the beginning of big game hunting seasons in Pennsylvania.

Archers can hunt antlered or antlerless deer statewide from Oct. 1 to Nov. 12; the late statewide archery deer season runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 16.

However, bowhunters who purchased and received antlerless deer licenses to hunt in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D were able to begin their season on Sept. 17-Sept. 30, for antlerless deer only.

Hunters in these three urbanized WMUs also have extra antlerless deer hunting opportunities from Nov. 14 to Nov. 26. Bowhunters also may take antlered and antlerless deer in these units from Dec. 26 to Jan. 28.

Archery hunters may choose to use a long, recurve or compound bow or a crossbow. Bows must have a draw weight of at least 35 pounds; crossbows must have a minimum drawn weight of at least 125 pounds. Broadheads on either an arrow or a bolt must have an outside diameter or width of at least seven-eighths inches with at least two cutting edges on the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface, and shall not exceed three inches in length.

Those participating in the archery seasons are urged to take only responsible shots at deer to ensure a quick, clean kill. For most, thatís a shot of 20 yards or less at a deer broadside or quartering away. Archery and crossbow hunters should shoot at only deer that are within their maximum effective shooting range, the farthest distance from which a hunter can consistently place arrows or bolts into a pie pan-sized target.

Hunters may use illuminated nocks for arrows and bolts; they aid in tracking or locating the arrow or bolt after being launched. However, transmitter-tracking arrows still are illegal.

Treestands and climbing devices that cause damage to trees are unlawful to use or occupy unless the user has written permission from the landowner. Treestands or tree steps penetrating a treeís cambium layer cause damage, and it is unlawful to construct or occupy constructed tree-stands on State Game Lands, state forests or state parks.

Hunters are reminded of a new regulation that limits the placement of portable hunting treestands and blinds from two weeks before the opening of the first big game season to two weeks after the close of the last big game season within each respective Wildlife Management Unit, excluding the spring gobbler season.

As approved, hunters will be able to place their treestands on State Game Lands two weeks prior to the archery deer season, and then have to remove the stands two weeks after the late flintlock deer seasons.

Hunters can file harvest reports through by postage-paid postcards, online and through the  toll free telephone system.

Postage-paid postcards are always included in the annual hunting digest for those hunters who choose to mail in their report cards.

To report a deer harvest online, go to the Game Commissionís website at www.pgc.state.pa.us.  Hunters are reminded that failing to hit the Submit button will result in a harvest report not being completed.

Hunters using the toll-free telephone reporting system can call (855)724-8681.

Those using the toll-free number to submit a harvest report will receive a confirmation number, which they should write down and keep as proof of reporting. Callers should have their Customer Identification Number (hunting license number) and field harvest tag information with them when they call, and they should speak clearly and distinctly when reporting harvests, especially when providing the Wildlife Management Unit number and letter.

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