HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners have given preliminary approval to hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits for 2002-2003, including antler restrictions for deer hunting, a second elk hunt, expanded bear hunting opportunities in the Pocono Mountains, and a youth pheasant hunt.
The public may offer comment on these proposals between now and the next meeting of the Board of Game Commissioners, April 8-9, at which time the Board will set final seasons and bag limits for 2002-2003.
The deer hunting seasons and bag limits for 2002-2003 are the same as last year's with two additions: antler restrictions have been proposed for the upcoming seasons, and junior hunters may use their general license tag to take an antlerless deer in any county of the state.
Under the proposal hunters in the counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland will be required to abide by a four or more points to one antler restriction. In all other counties, hunters will have a three or more points to one antler restriction.
Game Commissioner Stephen L. Mohr offered an amendment, which was later approved, to allow junior license holders the option to use their general license tag to legally take an antlerless deer in any county during any deer season.
While junior hunters still may apply for an antlerless license, this new option will allow them to take an antlerless deer during any deer season without having to first purchase a county-specific antlerless license.
However, if a junior hunter takes advantage of this new opportunity to use the general license tag for an antlerless deer, they no longer are eligible to take an antlered deer.
The remaining deer seasons and bag limits for 2002-2003 are the same as last year.