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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 3, 2023 01:58 PM
From: Representative David M. Maloney, Sr.
To: All House members
Subject: Remove the Current Antler Restrictions for Senior Hunters
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Game Code to remove the current antler restrictions for senior hunters, placing their restrictions in line with those afforded to junior hunters, mentored youth, disabled hunters, and resident active-duty United States Armed Services personnel.
Currently, senior hunters must abide by the same antler restrictions that all hunters outside of these specific groups must follow, wherein antlered deer must have at least three legal points on at least one side, including the brow tine, in order to be lawfully taken in most of the state.  In five Wildlife Management Units (WMU) in the western part of the state, the antler restriction for hunters other than those groups is at least three legal points on one side excluding the brow tine.  The brow tine is the point immediately above the burr or inside base of the antler.  The brow tine is not always present on antlered deer.
Specifically, my legislation would allow senior license holders statewide to harvest antlered deer with at least two points on one side, or a spike antler at least three inches in length.  This is the same antler restriction currently afforded to junior hunters, mentored youth, disabled hunters, and resident active-duty military personnel.
Studies have clearly shown that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is more prevalent in older antlered deer (Bucks).  These bucks tend to cover more area than antlerless deer (Does), especially during the breeding season, or rut.  This of course means that the older a buck gets, the possibility of that buck contracting and spreading CWD becomes higher as well.  Therefore, more opportunity to harvest these bucks before they spread CWD should help efforts to try and control the disease.  I believe this simple change in the law will allow our valued senior hunters to enjoy additional opportunity to harvest antlered deer, and greatly enhance their hunting experience.
Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.

Introduced as HB493