Laws and Regulations

Arms and Ammunition

General Statewide Seasons: (1) Manually operated center-fire rifles, handguns and shotguns with all-lead bullet or ball, or a bullet designed to expand on impact; (2) muzzleloading long gun of any type or caliber; and (3) long, recurve or compound bows with a peak draw weight not less than 35 pounds, and crossbows with a draw weight of not less than 125 pounds, and not more than 200 pounds. Bowhunters must use arrows equipped with broadheads having an outside diameter of at least 7/8-inch with no less than two cutting edges, which shall be in the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface. Crossbow hunters may use bolts tipped with broadheads of cutting edge design. The use of buckshot is illegal, except in the Southeast Special Regulations Area.

Archery Seasons: Long, recurve and compound bows, and crossbows, using arrows tipped with broadheads having an outside diameter of at least 7/8-inch with no less than two cutting edges, which shall be in the same plane throughout the length of the cutting surface. Persons hunting deer in archery seasons may not possess a firearm of any type.

Flintlock Muzzleloader Season: Only single-barrel long-guns .44 caliber or larger, or hanguns .50 caliber or larger with a flintlock ignition system. The firearm must be an original or reproduction of a gun used prior to 1800, with iron, open "V" or notched sights (fiber-optic inserts are permitted). A flintlock ignition system consists of a hammer containing a naturally-occurring stone which is spring-propelled onto an iron or steel frizzen, which, in turn, creates sparks to ignite a gunpowder. Flintlock muzzleloader hunters may use "any single projectile," including sabots, and mini and maxi balls.

Antlerless Muzzleloader Season: Only single-barrel  muzzleloading long-guns .44 caliber or larger, or muzzleloading handguns .50 caliber, including in-line and percussion sporting arms. Use of scopes and other lawful sighting devices is permitted. Fiber optic inserts may be used.

Special Regulations Areas: (all of Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) Muzzleloading long guns, bow and arrow, manual or auto-loading shotguns, 20 gauge or larger, slugs or buckshot only; crossbows and .410 shotguns with slugs. Buckshot may not be used in Allegheny County. Only crossbows, bows and arrows are permitted in Philadelphia County. Crossbows may be used in the two-week statewide concurrent antlered and antlerless deer season.

Unlawful Sporting Arms: Automatic and semi-automatic rifles and handguns; and air or gas-operated rifles and handguns.









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