Sunday, December 10th, 2023

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Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Longer late deer seasons set for Pennsylvania’s new CWD DMAP unit

Pennsylvania late archery and flintlock muzzleloader deer seasons were extended in DMAP Unit 6396. (Stock Photo)

Harrisburg — Pennsylvania deer hunters will be able to take advantage of additional days afield within the recently created DMAP Unit 6396, which encompasses more than 140,000 acres in Dauphin, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has extended the late archery and flintlock muzzleloader deer seasons within DMAP Unit 6396, and will hold an extended firearms season for antlerless deer there, as well.

These after-Christmas seasons all will run from Dec. 26 to Jan. 27, 2024, within DMAP Unit 6396, as well as in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D.

RELATED STORY: Another CWD management area added in Pennsylvania after road-killed deer test positive in Dauphin County

In the rest of the state – including the areas of Wildlife Management Units 4C and 4E outside of DMAP Unit 6396 – there is no extended firearms deer season, and the late archery and flintlock deer seasons run from Dec. 26 to Jan. 15, 2024.

The extended firearms deer season is for antlerless deer only. Hunters participating in this season must wear, at all times, 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head, chest and back combined, with orange visible from 360 degrees.

Within DMAP Unit 6396, hunters seeking antlerless deer in this season must have either a valid DMAP Unit 6396 permit or a valid antlerless license for the wildlife management unit where they’re hunting.

Hunters in the extended firearms deer season have the same firearms options as in the regular firearms deer season.

The late archery and flintlock deer seasons are open for antlered and antlerless deer hunting. A hunter must be properly licensed to hunt in those seasons, and must have a valid antlered deer harvest tag to qualify to take a buck.

Antlerless deer may be taken in these seasons by hunters with a valid DMAP Unit 6396 permit or a valid antlerless license for the wildlife management unit where they’re hunting.

Additionally, flintlock hunters may harvest an antlerless deer and tag it with their unused antlered deer tag. This is the only circumstance in which an antlerless deer harvest tag is not needed in the harvest of an antlerless deer.

There is no orange requirement for archery or flintlock deer hunters, though the use of fluorescent orange in these seasons is strongly encouraged.

DMAP Unit 6396 is within CWD Disease Management Area 8, which the Game Commission established earlier this year in response to two CWD detections in Dauphin County – the first CWD detections in free-ranging deer east of the Susquehanna River.

The additional hunting opportunities within DMAP Unit 6396 serve to help limit the establishment and spread of CWD in this area.

Each hunter may purchase up to two DMAP Unit 6396 permits while supplies last. Each costs $10.97 and can be used to harvest one antlerless deer.

DMAP Unit 6396 includes portions of State Game Lands 210 and 211, and all of State Game Land 264. A map of DMAP Unit 6396 is available at the DMAP participating properties page at

Hunters harvesting deer here, or within any DMA or the CWD Established Area, can have them tested for CWD free of charge by placing the heads from harvested deer in any CWD collection bin provided by the Game Commission within that area.

Hunters harvesting deer within any Disease Management Area or CWD established area generally may not remove high-risk deer parts – the head and backbone among them – from any DMA or EA. Whole carcasses from deer harvested within a DMA or EA generally may not be transported out, even from one DMA to another.

The one exception to this rule allows hunters who harvest a deer within a DMA or EA to take it directly to any deer processor or taxidermist approved by Game Commission. The list of CWD Cooperating Processors can be found on the CWD page.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said that while the new and longer seasons in DMAP Unit 6396 will benefit deer hunters by providing additional opportunity, the goal of reducing future CWD impacts through increased harvest shouldn’t be lost.

“Increasing opportunities to harvest deer within the DMAP area demonstrates our commitment to using hunters as the first line of defense against the spread of CWD,” Burhans said.

“CWD is a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s deer and elk. Hunters who participate in these extended seasons will be playing a significant role in the fight against this disease.”

For any questions, call the CWD Hotline at 1-833-INFOCWD (1-833-463-6293) or to learn more about CWD, visit

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