Special Regulations Areas

Western Pennsylvania

  • All of Allegheny County is subject to special regulations.

Southeastern Pennsylvania

  • Special regulations apply to all of the following counties:
    • Bucks
    • Chester
    • Delaware
    • Montgomery
    • Philadelphia

Special Controlled Hunts

  • Special controlled hunts with special regulations take place at Ridley Creek and Tyler state parks.

Deer Regulations in Special Regulations Areas

In Special Regulations Areas, all counties are now integrated into the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) system. Seasons and antler restriction requirements are primarily based on these WMUs and general deer seasons. However, it's important to note that certain laws and regulations related to firearms and ammunition may still apply to specific counties within Special Regulations Areas.

Deer and Bear Season Regulations for Arms and Ammunition

The regulations for arms and ammunition during deer and bear seasons vary depending on the county. Here are the specific regulations:

Philadelphia County

  • Only bows and arrows, including crossbows, are allowed for hunting in Philadelphia County.

Remaining Counties

  • Manually operated rifles and handguns chambered for straight-walled centerfire cartridges are allowed for hunting in all counties except at Ridley Creek and Tyler state parks.
  • Muzzleloading long guns with a caliber of .44 or larger are permitted.
  • Manual or semiautomatic shotguns with a gauge of .410 or larger can be used when firing slugs.
  • Bows and crossbows are also allowed, with crossbows requiring a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds.
  • Buckshot is no longer permitted, except during certain controlled hunts at Ridley Creek and Tyler state parks, where the Game Commission issues a special permit.
  • During the controlled hunts at these parks, manual or semiautomatic shotguns with a gauge of 20 or larger can be used for hunting, along with bows and arrows and crossbows.

Small Game, Furbearers & Crows Hunting Regulations for Arms & Ammunition

The regulations for arms and ammunition when hunting small game, furbearers, and crows are as follows:

  • Manually operated or semiautomatic shotguns plugged to a 3-shell capacity can be used.
  • Manually operated or semiautomatic .22 caliber or less rimfire rifles are permitted.
  • Manually operated .22 caliber or less rimfire handguns are allowed.
  • Bows and crossbows are permitted for hunting small game, furbearers, and crows.
  • Buckshot ammunition is not allowed for hunting these species.
  • Manually operated or semiautomatic air rifles or manually operated air handguns that propel a single-projectile pellet or bullet are allowed for small game in calibers ranging from .177 to .22. For woodchucks and furbearers, air guns must be at least 22 caliber. BB ammunition cannot be used.
  • In Special Regulations Areas, bottleneck centerfire cartridges are prohibited.
  • For coyote and woodchuck hunting, centerfire straight-walled cartridges in rifles and manually operated handguns can be used.
  • In Philadelphia County, Ridley Creek State Park, and Tyler State Park, only bows and arrows, crossbows, air rifles, and shotguns are permitted. Centerfire, single-projectile ammunition is prohibited in these areas.

Lawful Firearms While Trapping

When trapping, you may use the following firearms:

  • Manually operated or semiautomatic .22 caliber or less rimfire rifles.
  • Manually operated .22 caliber or less rimfire handguns.
  • Manually operated or semiautomatic air rifles or manually operated air handguns in calibers ranging from .177 to .22 that propel a single-projectile pellet or bullet. BB ammunition is not permitted for trapping.

Fluorescent Orange Requirements

October Muzzleloader Antlerless Season (Oct. 14-21)

  • Hunters must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest, and back combined.
  • The orange must be visible from 360 degrees and is required at all times during this season.

Special Firearms Antlerless Season (Statewide, Oct. 19-21)

  • Junior, senior license holders, mentored license holders, disabled person permit holders, and PA residents serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest, and back combined.
  • The orange must be visible from 360 degrees and is required at all times during this season.

Deer Firearms Season (Antlered & Antlerless, Statewide, Nov. 25-Dec. 9)

  • Hunters must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest, and back combined.
  • The orange must be visible from 360 degrees and is required at all times during this season.

Flintlock Season (Antlered and Antlerless)

  • In WMUs 2B, 5C, and 5D: Dec. 26-Jan. 27
  • In other WMUs: Dec. 26-Jan. 15
  • Fluorescent orange is not required during Flintlock season, but it is suggested that hunters wear it as a firearms deer season is open.

Extended Antlerless Firearms Season (WMUs 2B, 5C, & 5D: Dec. 26-Jan. 27)

  • Hunters must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest, and back combined.
  • The orange must be visible from 360 degrees and is required at all times during this season.

Small Game (WMUs 2B, 5C, & 5D)

  • Hunters must wear 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest, and back at all times.
  • Furbearer and crow hunters do not need to wear fluorescent orange.
  • Woodchuck hunters must wear a solid fluorescent cap that is visible from 360 degrees.

Private Property Deer Baiting Regulations

Southeast Special Regulations Area

A baiting permit is no longer required for hunting deer with bait on private property in the Southeast Special Regulations Area. However, certain requirements still apply:

  • Accepted Bait: Bait used must be either shelled corn or protein-pellet supplements.

  • Bait Quantity: The accumulation of bait at the hunting site must not exceed 5 gallons at any given time.

  • Baiting Period: Bait can only be used from two weeks before the opening of the first deer season until the close of the last deer season.

  • Use of Automatic Feeders: Automatic mechanical feeders must be used to distribute bait.

  • Frequency of Bait Distribution: Feeders must distribute bait during hunting hours, but no more than three times a day.

Landowners and hunters are responsible for ensuring that bait sites comply with these regulations.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.