Last updated: February 17. 2013 8:20AM - 55 Views

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Grouse, squirrel and early deer seasons on the horizon:

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says hunters can expect slightly below-average grouse numbers for the upcoming season, while the state's squirrel population is abundant heading into the fall.

The first segment of the state's three-part grouse season opens Saturday, Oct. 13, and runs through Nov. 24. The season reopens Dec. 10-24, and then again from Dec. 26 to Jan. 26.

Squirrel season opens Oct. 13, and runs through Nov. 24. The season reopens Dec. 10-24, and again Dec. 26 to Feb. 23. The daily limit is six.

The state's early firearms antlerless deer seasons – early muzzleloader season, Oct. 13-20, and special firearms season for junior, senior, active duty military and certain disabled hunters, Oct. 18-20, offer hunters a chance to enjoy deer hunting while the weather is still mild.

To participate in the special firearms antlerless season (Oct. 18-20), hunters must have a general hunting license and a valid antlerless deer license, and qualify in one of the following license categories: resident junior or senior license holders; nonresident junior license holder; nonresident adult license holders age 65 or older; hold a disabled person permit to use a vehicle as a blind; be residents who are serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces; or qualify for license and fee exceptions under Section 2706. Sporting arms permitted include: manually-operated center-fire rifles, handguns and shotguns; 44-caliber or larger muzzleloading long guns; 50-caliber or larger muzzleloading handguns; long, recurve or compound bows; and crossbows.

Based on a recent change in state law and Game Commission regulations, these two antlerless deer seasons now are open to participants of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which was created for those under the age of 12. Mentored youth must obtain a MYHP permit ($2.70) for the current year, and they may receive only one antlerless deer license by transfer during a license year. Adult mentors may transfer more than one antlerless deer license, but they must be to different mentored youth. The transfer is valid only if done in the WMU for which the antlerless deer license was issued. A proposed change in regulations to allow for the transfer of one DMAP antlerless deer permit to a mentored youth won't take effect until the 2013-14 seasons, as the proposal still requires final adoption by the Board.

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