Sportsmen know that no two hunting seasons are ever alike. For example, if you're a deer hunter, one year may be off-the-charts exciting, with a number of close encounters with quality bucks, while the next year may result in very few whitetail sightings at all.
The same can be said for the state's official hunting rules and regulations, as each new year usually brings with it a variety of changes as the Pennsylvania Game Commission and its biologists alter seasons, dates and bag limits in an effort to best manage wildlife populations.
During its annual winter meeting Jan. 29-31, the PGCs Board of Commissioners gave preliminary approval to a number of changes to the 2017-18 seasons. While the vote to consider allowing semi-automatics for big- and small-game hunting grabbed most of the headlines, one of the other big proposals is moving up the regular statewide archery bear season to coincide with the fifth week of the state's archery deer season. Proposed dates for the archery bruin season in 2017 are Oct. 30-Nov. 4. Last year the dates were Nov. 14-18.
For hunters who hunt bear in Wildlife Management Unit 5C in the Lehigh Valley region, the change will have little impact, as the local bruin season actually kicks off with the start of the early archery deer season in September. For those who travel outside the Valley to archery hunt, however, the new dates are important to keep in mind.
Read more details of the change at The Morning Call.