State Forest Roads Remain Open for Deer Hunting Season


HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn reminded hunters heading out in search of white-tailed deer Saturday they will find 516 miles of newly opened state forest roads available. 

“Hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts visiting Pennsylvania’s state-owned woodlands in the weeks ahead will find additional roads open in 18 of the 20 state forest districts,” Dunn said. “Normally open only for administrative use, these roads will afford easier access to state forestlands for hunters, hikers and others.” 

More than 3,000 miles of state forest roadways were open during the statewide archery deer season, which closed November 16. They will remain open through other hunting seasons continuing into January 2020, but forest managers may close some when weather conditions dictate.  

“For the hunter, regardless of whether they’re seeking deer, bear, turkey, or small game, more than 90 percent of our state forest system now is within one-half mile of an open road,” said Dunn.

With the hunter in mind, DCNR and the Pa. Game Commission continue to update an interactive map of state forests and game lands across Pennsylvania. The map offers information on the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) and Disease Management Areas, and details on newly opened roads, timber harvesting activity, forestry office contacts, and more.

View a list of Pennsylvania state forest roads that are open to hunters.

Meanwhile, top-quality deer hunting is offered at many state parks — especially those in the 12.5-county Pennsylvania Wilds region — where state forestland often surrounds them. Inexpensive camping can be found at many of those parks.  

Primitive camping on state forestlands also is an option, giving hunters a backcountry camping or hunting experience. Camping permits, issued by the managing forest district, are required when camping on state forestlands on designated sites.  

Many of these campsites are close to state parks and forestlands enrolled in the Pa. Game Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program, permitting hunters to take one antlerless deer or more when properly licensed.  

Hunters are reminded the Pa. Game Commission has established Disease Management Areas (DMAs) to reduce the risk of spreading chronic wasting disease. Three DMAs currently exist in Pennsylvania; however, newly confirmed cases can alter the boundaries. All or portions of Buchanan, Gallitzin, Rothrock, Tuscarora, Michaux, Bald Eagle, Moshannon, and William Penn state forests, as well as several state parks, fall within DMAs 2, 3, and 4.  

Hunters harvesting deer in a DMA should be aware special rules and regulations apply, and they should have deer tested for the disease. Additional information on CWD is provided by the Pa. Game Commission and Department of Agriculture .  

Travelers are reminded to check state forest advisory pages for potential closures. 

Visit the DCNR site for more information on Pennsylvania’s 20 state forest districts and 121 state parks.  

Learn more about hunting in state forests and parks.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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