Fall Turkey Hunting Regulations in Pennsylvania

Bearded or unbearded birds. Season lengths and arms vary by WMU. The fall season is closed in WMUs 5A, 5C & 5D.

Arms & Ammunition:

  1. Manually operated and semiautomatic shotguns limited to a three-shell capacity in the chamber and magazine combined.
  2. Muzzleloading shotguns.
  3. Longbows, recurve bows, compound bows (minimum draw weight of 35 pounds), or crossbows with a broadhead that has a fixed or mechanical tip affixed to the fore end of an arrow or bolt having sharpened cutting edges consisting of metal or naturally occurring stone.
  4. Shot no larger than No. 4 lead, No. 2 steel, or No. 4 of any other U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-approved nontoxic shot.
  5. Centerfire and rimfire rifles, handguns, muzzleloading rifles and handguns, slug guns, and single-projectile ammunition are no longer permitted for fall turkey hunting.

Fluorescent Orange Requirement:

  • Turkey hunters are no longer required to wear fluorescent orange material during the fall turkey hunting season. However, it is strongly recommended for safety.

Mentored Hunters:

  • Mentored hunters may participate.
  • Birds taken by mentored hunters under the age of 7 must be tagged with a harvest tag transferred from their mentor.

Sunday Hunting:

  • Fall and spring turkey hunting is closed on Sundays.

Dogs:

  • Dogs may be used during the fall turkey hunting season.

Hunting Season Dates by WMU (Wildlife Management Units):

  • WMUs 2A, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D & 4C: October 28 to November 11.
  • WMUs 1A, 1B, 4A, 4B, 4D & 4E: October 28 to November 4.
  • WMUs 2C, 2D and 2E: October 28 to November 11 and November 22 to 24.
  • WMU 5B: October 31 to November 2.
  • WMU 2B: October 28 to November 17 and November 22 to 24.

Band and Transmitter Reporting:

  • The Game Commission regularly places leg bands and transmitters on male turkeys to determine spring harvest rates and annual survival rates by WMU.
  • These birds are lawful to harvest, and if harvested, hunters should report them by following the instructions on the band.

Here's a summary of the regulations for spring turkey hunting in Pennsylvania:

Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations in Pennsylvania

Season Dates:

  • Spring turkey hunting is open statewide.

Youth Hunt:

  • April 27, 2024 (Statewide).
  • May 4-31, 2024 (Statewide).
  • Hunting hours vary.

Hunting Hours:

  • During the April 27 youth hunt and from May 4 to May 18 of the statewide season, hunting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and end at noon.
  • Hunters are asked to be out of the woods by 1 p.m. during those periods.
  • From May 20 to May 31, hunting hours begin one-half hour before sunrise and end one-half hour after sunset.

Arms & Ammunition:

  1. Manually operated and semiautomatic shotguns limited to a three-shell capacity in the chamber and magazine combined.
  2. Muzzleloading shotguns of all types and gauges.
  3. Longbows, recurve bows, compound bows (minimum draw weight of 35 pounds), or crossbows with legal broadheads (see broadhead requirements in fall season section).
  4. Fine shot no larger than No. 4 lead, No. 2 steel, or No. 4 of any other approved nontoxic shot.
  5. Rifle/shotgun combination guns may be used if ammunition is limited to shotgun shells.
  6. Carrying or using single-projectile ammunition, rifles, handguns, muzzleloading rifles and handguns, slug guns is unlawful.

Mentored Hunters:

  • Mentored hunters may participate.
  • Harvest tags are provided to mentored hunters 7 and older.
  • Birds taken by mentored hunters under the age of 7 must be tagged with a harvest tag transferred from the youth’s mentor.
  • Mentored hunters can purchase a second spring turkey license.

Youth Hunt:

  • Only licensed junior hunters and properly permitted mentored youth (16 and under) may participate.
  • Must be accompanied by an adult as required by law (see License Information section).
  • Each hunter may harvest only one bearded bird during the Youth Hunt.
  • Birds harvested by mentored youth under age 7 must be tagged with a harvest tag transferred to the Mentored Youth from his or her adult mentor.

Hunting Method:

  • Hunting by calling only.

Bearded Birds:

  • Only turkeys with visible beards are legal.
  • It is suggested, though, that hunters refrain from knowingly harvesting bearded hens because they nest and raise broods.

Dogs:

  • Dogs may not be used during the spring turkey hunting season.

Here's important information regarding the use of turkey blinds in Pennsylvania:

Turkey Blind Regulations in Pennsylvania

Definition of Legal Turkey Blinds:

  • The use of turkey blinds is legal in Pennsylvania under the following definition:
    • Any artificial or manufactured turkey blind consisting of all manmade materials of sufficient density to block the detection of movement within the blind from an observer outside the blind.

Materials for Legal Blinds:

  • Artificial or manufactured turkey blinds must be constructed of materials such as plastic, nylon, canvas, cotton cloth, plywood, or other manmade materials.

Unlawful Blinds:

  • Blinds made by piling rocks, logs, branches, etc. are unlawful.
  • The blind must completely enclose the hunter on all four sides and from above to block the detection of movement within the blind.

Illegal Turkey-Hunting Blinds:

  • Turkey-hunting blinds that represent the fanned tails of turkeys are illegal to use in Pennsylvania. They do not hide all hunter movement from behind or within.

Identification of Portable Blinds:

  • Portable hunting blinds left on state game lands and other Hunter Access properties managed by the Game Commission must be conspicuously marked with a durable and legible identification tag.
  • The tag should include the owner’s first and last name and legal home address, or it should bear the CID number that appears on the owner’s hunting license or a number issued by the Game Commission to the blind owner.
  • Identification numbers can be obtained at HuntFishPA on the Game Commission’s website.

Tagging and Reporting Requirements for Turkey Hunting

Tagging Instructions:

  • Successful turkey hunters must follow all instructions printed on tags supplied with their licenses.
  • Separate tags are provided for fall and spring seasons.
  • The turkey must be tagged immediately after harvest and before the carcass is moved.
  • The tag must be securely attached to a leg until the bird is prepared for consumption or mounting.
  • Once you have used your tag, it is unlawful to possess it in the field.

License Removal:

  • Remember to remove your old hunting license from your possession while in the field. It is unlawful to possess old licenses while hunting.

Reporting Harvests:

  • Within 10 days of harvesting a turkey, hunters must report their harvests to the Game Commission.
  • Reporting can be done in the following ways:
    • Going online to the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov.
    • Calling toll-free at 1-800-838-4431.
    • Sending in a postage-paid report card received with this digest.

Information Required for Reporting:

  • Hunters reporting their turkey harvests over the telephone will need to have their license and information from the completed tag, including the tag number, beard length, and spur length.

Location Information:

  • All hunters reporting harvests are asked to identify the Wildlife Management Unit (WMU), county, and township where the bird was taken.

Second Spring Gobbler License:

  • Hunters who purchase a second spring gobbler license have a mandatory reporting requirement, regardless of whether they harvest a bird using this special license.

Second Gobbler Tags in Pennsylvania

  • A second spring turkey license can be purchased before the start of the regular spring turkey season, specifically by May 3, 2024.
  • These licenses can be obtained from any issuing agent or through the Game Commission's website.
  • Licenses purchased online are mailed to hunters and cannot be used until they are received.
  • While the second license allows hunters to harvest up to two gobblers, it's important to note that only one turkey may be taken per day.
Pennsylvania Turkey Hunting Laws & Regulations

 

 

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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.