Update: License buyers should be aware of the following changes taking place this year.
- Chronic wasting disease (CWD) continues to impact deer and deer hunting in Pennsylvania. Since last hunting season, CWD was detected in a captive-raised deer in Lancaster County, resulting in the establishment of Disease Management Area 4 (DMA 4) in parts of Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks counties. Meanwhile, the boundaries of DMA 2 and DMA 3 were expanded due to new CWD-positive deer being detected. Because DMA boundaries change due to new positives, hunters are urged to visit the Game Commission’s website to be sure they’re viewing the most up-to-date DMA maps.
- A permit no longer is required when using bait to hunt deer on private property in the Southeast Special Regulations Area. Other provisions, including limits on the type of bait that can be used and that it must be dispensed from an automatic feeder during hunting hours remain. Hunters elsewhere are reminded the use of bait while hunting is prohibited broadly in Pennsylvania. (pg 8)
General Hunting Regulations: Baiting
Baiting is allowed in the Southeast Special Regulations Area by permit only. Elsewhere in the state, it is unlawful to hunt in or around any area where artificial or natural bait, food, hay, grain, fruit, nuts, salt, chemicals or minerals, including their residues, are used, or have been used within the past 30 days, as an enticement to lure game or wildlife regardless of the type or quantity. Hunters are responsible for ensuring that the hunting area has not been baited before they begin hunting. They should physically inspect the area and question landowners, guides and caretakers. This section does not pertain to hunting near areas where accepted farming or habitat-management practices are taking place (example: hunting near food plots on game lands is legal). Any natural or manmade nonliving bait can be used to attract coyotes for hunting or trapping. (pg 15)
Appalachian Trail & Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area
The Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area (DEWA) is a unit of the NPS. Trapping, hunting over bait, hunting in standing unharvested crops, Sunday hunting and spotlighting are prohibited...(pg 19)
Private Property Deer Baiting
A baiting permit no longer is needed when using bait to hunt deer on private property in the Southeast Special Regulations Area. However, other requirements remain. Bait used within the Southeast Special Regulations Area must be shelled corn or protein-pellet supplements; bait accumulation must not exceed 5 gallons at any time; bait only can be used from two weeks before the opening of the first deer season to the close of the last deer season; automatic mechanical feeders must be used; and feeders must distribute bait during hunting hours, no more than three times a day. Landowners and hunters need to ensure bait sites comply with regulations. While the use of bait while hunting is prohibited broadly in Pennsylvania, it is allowed conditionally on private property within the Southeast Special Regulations Area, where traditional hunting and deer-control methods have proven ineffective. (pg 40)