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FAQs - General Hunting Questions

I lost my hunter education card, can I get a replacement?
Hunter-Trapper Education course records dating back to 1987 are maintained on a computer database. Bowhunter Education course records dating back to 2000 and Cable Restraint / Furtaker Education records dating back to 2005 are also maintained. Quick and easy replacement is available online at www.ilostmycard.com. You can also call the Game Commission's replacement card fulfillment center at 1-800-830-2268 (Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.) for assistance in obtaining a replacement certificate. If you took a hunter or trapper education course before the above dates, you must complete a Hunter Education Program Replacement Certificate Affidavit form, which can be downloaded from this site. The affidavit must be completed, signed and notarized before it is returned to the address found on the form. Replacement certificates are usually mailed in 10 to 14 days upon receipt of an application. NOTE: Effective July 1, 2013; a $16 fee is charged for issuing a hunter education replacement certificate.

Why did the Game Commission increase the size of the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest?
Primarily to reduce publishing costs, but also to increase the amount of information found in the publication.

If I lose my license. What do I do?
You may purchase a replacement license from any issuing agent or on-line. Using your CID or SSN, the issuing agent will access your record in the database to verify the license privileges you have on file. Lost antlerless deer licenses may be replaced only by County Treasurers. Please refer to the Digest or the "Antlerless Deer License" section on this website for special instructions.

Why weren't archery and muzzleloader stamps placed on my license when I bought a senior lifetime or junior combination license?
Those stamps, as well as the furtaker license, are not issued with a combination license. The special combination license stamp affixed to a general hunting license serves as notice that the bearer is entitled to pursue combination privileges: general hunting, furtaker, archery and muzzleloader.

Black bears are becoming a problem in my area. Is there anything I can do?
Don't put out garbage until pick-up day; don't throw table scraps out back; don't add fruit or vegetable wastes to your compost pile; and clean your barbecue grill regularly. If you have pets and feed outdoors, consider placing food dishes inside overnight. Do the same with bird feeders, especially if you offer sunflower seeds or suet. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.

What's up with waterfowl seasons? When will they be posted?
Why does it take so long to set seasons? Waterfowl seasons were expected to be finalized by the PGC in mid August and posted on this website shortly thereafter. Waterfowl seasons are set late annually because information from nesting areas must be collected and analyzed before the federal government can establish the timeframe windows from which states select seasons. States typically receive federal time frameworks in the second week of August.  We recognize a late-August announcement of these seasons is an inconvenience to some hunters, especially those planning vacations, but there's no way to expedite the process. We're at the mercy of the birds.

Where can I get a timely Wildlife Management Unit breakdown of remaining unsold antlerless deer licenses at county treasurers?
Return to this website's homepage, and under "Quick Clicks,"  click on the Doe License Update link to be directed to a table that provides the latest and regularly updated information on the availability of antlerless deer licenses in all WMUs.

When are archers required to begin wearing fluorescent orange clothing for the upcoming early archery season?
Archers must wear 250 squares of fluorescent orange clothing while moving about and mark their stands with alert bands during any overlap the early statewide muzzleloader antlerless deer or special firearms seasons. A recent regulatory change requires archers to wear a hat containing a minimum of 100 square inches of fluorescent orange while moving during any overlap with the fall wild turkey season

How can I obtain information about Hunter-Trapper Education Classes in my area?
Refer to the Hunter and Trapper Education section of this Home Page. Click on the county you desire information for and check the listing of HTE classes. If, for some reason, the listing lacks information on a specific course, call the nearest Game Commission region office for further details.

Who should I call for conservation and wildlife information?
It's important to call the right agency or organization when you're looking for information. The Game Commission can help you with questions about mammals and birds, hunting and trapping seasons and state game lands. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has information on trout stockings, fishing seasons and regulations, boat registration and reptiles and amphibians. Check in with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for details about state parks and reservations, state forests and native plant protection.

How do I get in touch with my local wildlife conservation officer?
The proper way to contact an officer is to call the regional office serving your county   and leave a message -- reason for call, name, address, telephone number -- with a dispatcher asking your local officer to contact you. Please do not visit the officer's home; respect his or her privacy. Officers do not work 24 hours a day. If you have an emergency, contact your region office. May I keep a deer that is killed by a vehicle on the highway? Road-killed deer may be claimed by state residents, regardless of whether the person picking up the deer has hit it with his or her car, or if you shot a deer during the hunting seasons. Permission to pick up the deer isn't required. However, anyone who claims a highway-killed deer must apply to the Game Commission for a free permit within 24 hours from the time the deer is claimed. The permit can be applied for over the telephone. Call the regional office serving the county where the deer is claimed to make application and for more details.Unwanted or nuisance wildlife species are destroying/living on my property.

What can I do?
The Game Commission and Pennsylvania State University County Extension Offices offer free Wildlife Damage Control brochures on how to resolve common wildlife problems around the home. These handouts include species such as bats, groundhogs, moles, rabbits, skunks and waterfowl. To obtain a brochure from the Game Commission, write: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Dept MS, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg PA 17110-9797. Game Commission offices, as well as the yellow pages in your telephone book, can provide the names of local businesses performing wildlife pest control services. These services must be purchased. As a rule, wildlife conservation officers do not perform wildlife pest control services. However, there are exceptions. Persons with bear, deer, beaver or unusual wildlife problems should call the regional office serving their county.

Where can I get information on places where I can camp or stay at while in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania offers a variety of campgrounds, bed-and-breakfasts, motels, hotels, lodges and other facilities where visiting hunters and nature enthusiasts can spend the night or a few days. Check the stateCenter for Travel and Tourism home page for ideas on where to go or to make reservations. A copy of the 1998 Pennsylvania Visitors Guide can be ordered by calling 1-800-210-8351. Many State Parks also offer camping opportunities.  For additional information please visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/ or call 1-888-PA-PARKS.

Hunters are trespassing on my property.  What can I do?  Who should I call?
Game Commission officers do not have the authority to enforce trespassing laws, but they will investigate and do respond to reports of persons hunting or trapping in a safety zone without permission. A safety zone for firearms hunters is the area within 150 yards of an occupied residence, camp, industrial or commercial building, farm house or farm building, school or playground. That distance is reduced to 50 yards for archery hunters. If a hunter is trespassing on your property, call your local police or the state police for assistance; they enforce trespassing laws. If there's a safety zone violation, try to get a hunting or furtaking license, or vehicle license plate number, and call the regional office serving your county.

Where can I get information about hunting in Pennsylvania?
Brief regional hunting guides focusing on state game lands, as well as copies of A Digest of Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Regulation are available for free by writing: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Dept MS, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg PA 17110-9797. Regional hunting reports and forecasts can also be found in news releases posted in the Newsroom. Pennsylvania doesn't have state-licensed guides. Private services are available in some areas. Check sportsmen's magazines for listings and advertisements.

How can I tell if an animal is rabid?
There's only one way to positively determine if an animal is rabid: through analysis of the suspected animal's brain tissue under a microscope. But there are noticeable symptoms you can watch for. They include: nocturnal wildlife staggering about during daylight hours; wildlife aggressively pursuing fast-moving objects; wildlife wandering aimlessly; wildlife physically unable or too sick to react to the presence of humans; and wildlife frothing at the mouth. If you see strange-acting wildlife, keep your distance. If it's threatening you or other people, call the regional office serving your county or call the local police department or state police. Don't take unnecessary chances. Be patient. Wait for help.

Where can I obtain information about Pennsylvania's hunting and trapping laws and regulations?
A summarization of the state's laws can be found in A Digest of Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Regulations, a book issued with all hunting and furtaker licenses, and under "The Law" on this website. 

What activities are not permitted on State Game Lands?
Game lands provide many recreational opportunities, but there are limitations on what you may do on these properties. Legal hunting and trapping are common pursuits; in fact they're encouraged. Other authorized activities, so long as they don't damage property or habitat, include hiking, berry-picking, photography, fishing and canoeing. Mountain bike and horseback riding are permitted on designated routes during certain periods. Riding a non-motorized vehicle, conveyance or animal is also permitted while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing. Illegal activities include: camping (except along the Appalachian Trail for through hikers), swimming, tree-cutting, driving motorized vehicles on roads or trails, and motorized boating (electric motors are permitted on Shohola Lake).









Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg Pennsylvania 17110-9797