Bear Hunting Laws & Regulations


Arms and Ammunition

Statewide: (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 firearms of any type or caliber; (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; (4). crossbows with a draw weight of not less than 125 pounds, and not more than 200 pounds, using bolts tipped with broadheads of cutting edge design.

Special Regulations Areas: (all of Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties) Muzzleloading long guns, bow and arrow, manual-loading shotguns, 20 gauge or larger, slugs. Only crossbows, bows and arrows are permitted in Philadelphia County.


Unlawful Sporting Arms

Automatic and semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns; air or gas-operated rifles and handguns.


Unlawful Sighting Devices

It is unlawful to use a sight, scope, or any device on a firearm, bow, or crossbow that projects a light beam of any kind from the sight onto the target.









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