Pennsylvania Archery Season

Pennsylvania archery season offers some of the best bowhunting in the United States. The state has an abundant and healthy whitetail population, and it’s a destination for elk, black bears, wild turkeys, and many others. In 2021, close to 110,000 whitetail deer were taken by Keystone State hunters.
That’s 6X the six-state New England harvest and 3X times the number in New York state. The statewide deer harvest in PA amounted to more than 353,000 animals, suggesting a robust and healthy whitetail herd.

We expect Pennsylvania archers to get an outstanding bowhunting experience this 2022-2023 season.
Let’s unpack the dates for the Pennsylvania archery season.

Welcome to Pennsylvania sign. PA Archery season

Pennsylvania (PA) Archery Season, 2022-2023

Archery hunting in Pennsylvania has been gaining momentum over the last two years. Non-resident and resident archery license applications are at all-time highs in 2020 and 2021. The uptick in activity shows an increased interest in hunters visiting the state. In not surprising,
considering Pennsylvania offers archers a top deer-hunting destination on the East Coast.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers several hunting seasons during the year. You have options for archery, firearms, muzzleloaders, and youth hunt days. The 2022-2023 season in PA and Lancaster County opens on Saturday, October 1st. Archers in suburban Pittsburgh and Philadelphia start hunting on September 17th, but bowhunting officially opens on Saturday, the 17th of October.

Don’t get it confused.

When does Archery Season Start in PA?

Pennsylvania Deer Season 

  • September 17 - November 25
  • December 26 - January 28


Further hunting dates separate from the PA statewide hunting season are available in several areas across the state. Visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website for details.

Pennsylvania Elk Season

  • Archery September 10 - 24
  • General Season October 31 - November 5
  • Late Season December 31 - January 7
  • Special Conservation Tag Season August 31 - November 5

Pennsylvania Black Bear Season

  • Archery September 17-November 25*
  • General Season November 19-December 10*

*Season dates will vary by zone.

Pennsylvania Wild Turkey Seasons

  • Fall General Season October 29-November 25*
  • Spring 2023 Season April 29-May 30
  • Spring 2023 Youth Season April 22

*Start and end dates will vary by region.

Please note; There are special seasons reserved for active military personnel, senior hunters 65 and older, youth hunts, and individuals with disabilities.

Pennsylvania Small Seasons

Squirrel 

  • September 10-November 25
  • December 12-23
  • December 26-February 27

Rabbit 

  • October 15-November 25
  • December 12-23
  • December 26-February 27

Pheasant 

  • October 22-November 25
  • December 12-23
  • December 26-February 27

Bobwhite Quail 

  • October 22-November 25
  • December 12-23
  • December 26-February 27

Grouse 

  • October 15-November 25
  • December 12-23

Woodchucks (Groundhogs) 

  • Open Season, excluding Sundays.

Please note;

  • Hunters must pay attention to bag limits, regulations, and special seasons during the PA hunting season.
  • These metrics vary depending on the season and animal.
  • PA state doesn’t allow baiting.

Can You Hunt on Sundays in Pennsylvania?

Sundays are typically closed for archery hunters. However, there are specific days during the seasons when you may hunt on a Sunday. 

Visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website for further information.

Hunting Licenses and Permits in PA

License Year

  • The licensing year starts on July 1st, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

  • Licenses and permits can be purchased in person or online.

  • Some hunting opportunities may require applications.

Antlerless Deer Licenses

  • Applications for residents open in mid-July 2022.

Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)

  • Permits harvesting of antlerless deer.

  • Limited permits are available.

  • License sales open in mid-June 2022 with general license sales.

Elk License

  • Hunters should apply by July 31, 2022.

  • Ensure you acquire your license before the nominated deadline.

  • Fisher and bobcat permits must be purchased by December 17, 2022.

Special Spring Turkey License

  • License deadline: April 29, 2023

  • Permit deadline for river otter: Feb. 11, 2023

*Disabled hunters may qualify for a special provision.

Check out our guide 30+ Hunting Rules to Keep You Safe while bowhunting in the wild.

Gregory Johnson
 

With almost 20 years of archery experience under his belt, Gregory founded the Complete Guide to Archery website in 2019. His purpose has been to spread knowledge about the hobby and sport to anyone willing to learn.