2006-10-07 / Outdoors

Early Deer Seasons Set To Begin Soon

Bowhunters got the first crack at Pennsylvania's deer herd beginning last weekend.

The early muzzleloader hunting season (Oct. 14-21) and special firearms antlerless season (Oct. 19-21) are also growing in popularity, due to warmer weather, less crowded conditions, and a chance to take a whitetail before hunter pressure changes deer behavior.

Hunters in the early muzzleloader season must have a general hunting license, muzzleloader stamp and an unused antlerless deer license or Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) antlerless deer permit.

To participate in the special firearms antlerless season, hunters must have a general hunting license and unused antlerless deer license and qualify in one of the following license categories:

--resident junior and senior license holders;

--nonresident junior license holder;

--nonresident adult license holders age 65 and older;

--persons who hold a disabled person permit to use a vehicle as a blind;

--residents who are serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces;

--those who qualify for license and fee exceptions under section 2706.

Hunters may take only antlerless deer in the early muzzleloader and special firearms seasons and may hunt only in the Wildlife Management Units or DMAP areas for which they have obtained antlerless deer licenses.

Deer that are marked with plastic ear tags or radio collars around their necks as part of Game Commission research are legal for harvest. Any hunter shooting an ear-tagged or radio-collared deer should contact the Northcentral Region office at 570-398-4744.

Hunters are also encouraged to participate in the Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program, which channels donations of venison to the needy. HSH established a statewide toll-free telephone number, 1-866-474-2141, for information on participating meat processors and for general inquiries.

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