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Pennsylvania 2018 Fall Turkey Hunting Gets Underway
Submitted by: Backcountry Press Outdoor News
Posted on: 10/30/18
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are that of the authors and not necessarily that of TBC Press
Last year’s fall harvest of 9,266 was down from 10,844 in 2016 and was 37 percent below the previous three-year average of 14,718, likely due to a combination of a decrease in fall hunting participation, possibly due to our aging hunter population, or hunters switching to archery deer and bear hunting, shorter fall season lengths in many WMUs, below average turkey reproduction (translating to smaller sized turkey flocks) and abundant acorn crops in much of the state, which tended to scatter flocks making them more difficult to locate, Casalena said. See the table below for the 2016 and 2017 harvests by WMU.
The Thanksgiving three-day season provides additional opportunities for participation, and is also a very successful season with about 20 percent of the harvest during those three days.
Successful hunters are reminded reporting your turkey harvest is mandatory. There are three easy options:
- on line at www.pgc.pa.gov (go to Report a Harvest on the Home Screen);
- by phone, toll-free at 1-855-PAHUNT1 or 1-855-724-8681; or
In most parts of the state, hunters participating in the fall turkey season are required, while moving, to wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange on the head, chest and back combined. Orange must be visible from 360 degrees.
The seasons are as follows: WMU 1B – Oct. 27-Nov. 3; WMU 2B (Shotgun and archery gear only) – Oct. 27-Nov. 16 and Nov. 22-24; WMUs 1A, 2A (Shotgun and archery gear only in Allegheny County), 4A and 4B, – Oct. 27-Nov. 3 and Nov. 22-24; WMUs 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4C, 4D and 4E – Oct. 27-Nov. 10 and Nov. 22-24; WMU 2C – Oct. 27-Nov. 16 and Nov. 22-24; WMU 5A – Nov. 1-3; WMU 5B – Oct. 30-Nov. 1; WMUs 5C and 5D – CLOSED TO FALL TURKEY HUNTING.
Stock Image courtesy of PA fish & game
Pennsylvania’s wild turkey season began Oct. 27 in most parts of the state, but hunters are reminded that season lengths vary by Wildlife Management Unit, and fall-turkey hunting is closed in some areas.
Overall, the season structure and season lengths in each Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) is nearly identical to 2017.
The three-day, Tuesday-through-Thursday season in WMU 5B marks the second straight year the WMU has been opened to fall-turkey hunting, a result of sufficient rebound in population trends, according to Game Commission wild turkey biologist Mary Jo Casalena.
The three-day Thursday-through-Saturday season remains intact in WMU 5A to provide greater opportunity for hunters whose schedules do not allow for a weekday hunt.
Unlike the spring turkey season, in which hunters are permitted to harvest only bearded birds, any turkey can be harvested in the fall season. And since research shows that overharvesting hen turkeys can impact the population, fall season lengths are adjusted by WMU based on available population data.