For outdoor enthusiasts, hunting is more than just a game; it is a tradition deeply connected to the region's past. Pennsylvania offers various opportunities for duck hunters to test their skills and participate in this old tradition, all due to its abundance of waterfowl population.

This post will summarize all the information about the Pennsylvania duck hunting season schedule in 2024 -2025, highlighting key dates, regulations, and limits to help hunters plan the trip in advance.

What And Where To Hunt In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania offers abundant hunting opportunities, particularly for Mallards and Wood Ducks, which are two common species in the state.

Duck hunters can enjoy a great hunting experience in the beautiful forests of Pennsylvania's state parks like Maurice K. Goddard Park and Sinnemahoning Park.

There are 4 hunting zones and each of them have own season dates. The following is the breakdown.

Pennsylvania Duck Hunting Season And Bag Limits

The species you can hunt in the following seasons including ducks, sea ducks, coots and mergansers.

  • North Zone: 7-21, and Nov. 14-Jan. 6 , 2024
  • South Zone: 7-14, and Nov. 21-Jan. 20, 2024
  • Northwest Zone: 7-Dec. 2, and Dec. 26-Jan. 6, 2024
  • Lake Erie Zone: 6-Jan. 13, 2024

Bag limits: you can hunt 6 ducks each day and 18 ducks in total.

Duck Season For Youth, Veterans and Active Duty Military

Statewide - Youth only:

  • Youth Only - 23, 2024

North Zone

  • Youth, veterans and active military – Nov. 4, 2024
  • Veterans and active military only – Jan. 13, 2024

Northwest Zone

  • Youth, veterans and active military – Dec. 16, 2024
  • Veterans and active military only – Jan. 13, 2024

Lake Erie Zone

  • Youth, veterans and active military – Oct. 28, 2024
  • Veterans and active military only – Jan. 20, 2024

South Zone

  • Youth, veterans and active military – Nov. 11, 2024
  • Veterans and active military only – Jan. 27, 2024

Next, we will also list the other types of duck that you can hunt in Pennsylvania, such as mergansers, brant, coots, gallinules and Canada geese.

Scaup Hunting Season

North Zone: 

Oct. 7-21 and Nov. 14-Dec. 14 (1 scaup daily)

Dec. 15-Jan.6, 2024 (2 scaup daily)

South Zone: 

Oct. 7-14 and Nov. 21-Dec. 28 (1 scaup daily)

Dec. 29-Jan. 20, 2024 (2 scaup daily)

Northwest Zone: 

Oct. 7-Nov. 22 (1 scaup daily)

Nov. 23-Dec. 2 and Dec. 26-Jan. 6, 2024 (2 scaup daily)

Lake Erie Zone: 

Nov. 6- Nov. 28 (2 scaup daily)

Nov. 29-Jan. 13, 2024 (1 scaup daily)

Except for duck hunting, Pennsylvania also offer various hunting opportunities and seasons for other small games and big games. In this part, we are going to list other available hunting seasons in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Turkey Seasons

  • Zone 2B (Shotgun and bow and arrow only): Oct. 28-Nov. 17 and Nov. 22-24
  • Zone1A, 1B, 4A, 4B, 4D and 4E: Oct. 28-Nov. 4
  • Zone2A, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4C: Oct. 28-Nov. 11
  • Zone2C, 2D and 2E: Oct. 28-Nov. 11 and Nov. 22-24
  • Zone5B: Oct. 31-Nov. 2

*Bag limit: Each hunter can only harvest one turkey.

Pennsylvania Pheasant Season

  • Oct. 7 - 14, 2024 (junior hunters only)
  • Oct. 21 - Nov. 12
  • Nov. 13 - 19
  • Nov. 20 - 24
  • Dec. 11 - 23
  • Dec. 26 - Feb. 29, 2025

Pennsylvania Deer Seasons

Archery:

Zone 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 16-Nov. 12
Nov. 13-19
Nov. 20-24
Dec. 26-Jan. 27
Statewide Sept. 30-Nov. 12
Nov. 13-17
Dec. 26-Jan. 15

Muzzleloader:

  • Oct. 14-21

Regular Firearms:

  • Nov. 25 - Nov. 26
  • Nov. 27-Dec. 9

Firearms (antlerless only):

  • Oct. 19-21

Extended Regular Firearms (antlerless only):

  • Dec. 26-Jan. 27

Flintlock:

  • Dec. 26-Jan. 15
  • Dec. 26-Jan. 27 (Zone 2B, 5C and 5D only)

*The bag limit for each season period is one deer only.

Elk Seasons

  • Archery: Sept. 16-30
  • General: Oct. 30-Nov. 4
  • Late Season: Dec. 30-Jan 6

ducks in the lake

Pennsylvania Small Game Hunting Seasons

Squirrels, Fox and Rabbit (Cottontail) Seasons

  • Sept. 9-Nov. 12
  • Nov. 13-19
  • Nov. 20-24
  • Dec. 11-23
  • Dec. 26-Feb. 29

Special Season for Junior Hunters

  • Squirrels and Fox: Sept. 9-23
  • Rabbit: Sept. 30-Oct. 14

*The hunting bag limits for Squirrels and Foxes are 6 daily and 18 in total. For rabbits, the limits are 4 daily and 12 in total.

Pennsylvania Black Bear Seasons

Zone 2B, 5C and 5D:

  • Sept. 16-Nov. 12
  • Nov. 13-19
  • Nov. 20-24

Zone 5B:

  • Sept. 30-Nov. 12
  • Nov. 13-17

Zone 1A, 1B, 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A:

  • Oct. 14-Nov. 4

*Bag limit is one bear only.

Pennsylvania Hunting Regulations

  1. A hunting license is necessary for hunting in all seasons. Hunters can buy licenses and permits online at HuntFish.PA.gov.
  2. Normally, hunting is prohibited on Sunday for most games. Make sure to check the hunting seasons to see if Sunday hunting is allowed for certain games.
  3. Wearing fluorescent orange materials is obligatory, and it is advisable to always have hunter orange on while hunting.
  4. Hunting hours are from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset for both big and small game.
  5. Baiting is permitted on private property in the Southeast Special Regulations Area only under certain conditions. Except that, baiting is prohibited in all other areas.
  6. Electronic decoys can be used for hunting crows, waterfowl, and doves. However, it is not allowed to use live decoys.
  7. Hunters are not allowed to harvest more wildlife than the daily limit.
  8. A Carry Firearms Permit is necessary to have a handgun with you during the firearm season.
  9. Avoid using drugs or alcohol when you are out hunting.
  10. Using automatic firearms to hunt is illegal.
  11. Dogs are prohibited from hunting large game or turkeys.
  12. Hunting blinds can be used for big games, but at least 100 square inches of fluorescent orange material is needed to displayed within 15 feet of the blind.
  13. Bear, elk, and turkey need to be tagged right after they are harvested. Deer can be tagged at any time before moving the carcass.

Pennsylvania Hunting Licenses

General Hunting & Trapping Licenses will be available for purchase starting on Monday, June 24, 2024. Licenses remain effective from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025.

Now let’s see the types of hunting licenses and how much they cost.

For Residents

  • Adult Hunting License: $20.97
  • Junior Hunting License: $6.97
  • Senior Resident Hunting license: $13.97
  • Senior Lifetime Hunting license: $51.97

For Non-residents

  • Adult Hunting License: $101.97
  • Junior Hunting License: $41.97
  • 7-day Small Game Hunting license: $31.97

Conclusion

To sum up, except for the duck hunting seasons, Pennsylvania also provides numerous chances for hunters. It is crucial to keep in mind the dates for every hunting season and the regulations that each hunter need to follow.

Following bag limits and respecting hunting rules can ensure an ethical, safe, and sustainable hunting practice. Always ensure you have the necessary licenses and are familiar with the rules before you leave for the trip. We wish you a successful hunt!

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