It’s that time of year again – when hunters hit the woods and begin the long tradition of hunting in the Commonwealth.
Pennsylvania boasts one of the largest hunting populations in the country, with nearly 1 million hunting licenses sold each year.
To help pass on the love of hunting to future generations, Pennsylvania offers the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, which is available to teach children under the age of 12 the sport of hunting. A mentor may accompany only one youth in the field and only one firearm can be used by the pair, with the mentor carrying the firearm until the pair come to a stop. A mentored youth planning to participate in the program must obtain a Mentored Youth Hunting Permit, which may be purchased at any license issuing agent or online for $2.90. Both residents and non-residents can purchase this specific permit.
In order to expose adults who may be new to the sport, the Commonwealth also offers the Mentored Adult Hunting Program. This program allows adults 18 years of age or older, who have never hunted before, to participate and learn about hunting through the experience of a licensed hunter mentor. Adults who wish to participate in the program must obtain a permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission at a cost of $20.90 for residents or $101.90 for non-residents.
Once in the field, many hunters may enjoy the new GoHuntPA Toolkit, which is a free app available through the GoHuntPA.org
website. The app provides information on huntable tracts of state game lands, habitat and wildlife in the area, and maps showing terrain and access points at game lands statewide. Hunters can also check weather and daylight conditions, view hunting regulations, seasons and bag limits, and post pictures through Instagram. There is also an SOS safety feature allowing users to notify friends and family of the exact GPS coordinates in the event of an emergency.
Of course, with the holidays right around the corner, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the state’s Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program, which provides donations of venison to local food banks, soup kitchens and families in need.
As part of the program, hunters can take a deer to a participating meat processor and identify how much of their deer meat to donate to HSH. Pennsylvania’s HSH program is recognized as one of the most successful among similar programs in about 40 states.
To learn more about the program and obtain a list of participating meat processors and county coordinators, visit sharedeer.org
To all the hunters heading out this year, stay safe!
Representative Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman