Oct. 30-Nov. 4
Dec. 30-Jan. 6, 2024
Seasons occur in designated Elk Hunt Zones within the Elk Management Area. Elk hunting is closed on Sundays.
Manually operated centerfire rifles and handguns at least 26 caliber that propel single-projectile ammunition 120 grains or larger. Manually operated or semiautomatic centerfire shotguns at least 12-gauge firing a single projectile. Muzzleloading firearms at least 50 caliber propelling a single projectile weighing at least 210 grains. A bow with a minimum draw weight of 45 pounds. Any arrow, or crossbow bolt, with a broadhead that has a fixed or mechanical tip having sharpened cutting edges consisting of metal or naturally occurring stone. The broadhead must have an outside diameter or width of at least 1 inch, and the length may not exceed 3.25 inches. Crossbows must have a minimum peak draw weight of 125 pounds.
It is unlawful to drive or herd elk. It is unlawful to feed elk at any time of year.
Except during the archery season, elk hunters and those accompanying them must wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange, visible 360 degrees, on the head, chest and back combined. Camouflage-fluorescent orange may satisfy this regulation if the total orange content is at least 250 square inches.
A successful hunter must attach the tag to the ear of an elk immediately after harvest and before the carcass is moved. In addition, within 24 hours, each hunter who harvests an elk must take it, along with his or her hunting license and elk license, to a Game Commission check station. Hunters will receive instructions for the location and hours of the elk check station in the mail prior to the season.
Elk guides are an optional service available to licensed elk hunters. Elk guides are regulated by the Game Commission and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and offer various services to the hunter.
2023 Elk License Allocation
Apply for an Elk License
AN ELK LICENSE IS REQUIRED TO HUNT ELK.
There are 14 established Elk Hunt Zones for which antlered and antlerless elk licenses may be allocated each year. Licenses are awarded by lottery.
There are now three elk seasons with three separate drawings and “bucket” of bonus points. Available to residents and nonresidents, with or without a current hunting or combination license, who wish to be entered into one, two or all three drawings for elk licenses, or would like to continue to accumulate points for later drawings. Only one elk license application per elk season may be submitted each license year for a total of three applications eligible for license purchase in each license year. Those who obtain an elk license are permitted to participate in the drawn season, within a designated Elk Hunt Zone. EHZ 1 is open to all hunters with a valid elk license. Hunters are limited to harvesting one antlered or one antlerless elk, depending on the license they obtain, during the hunting license year.
HOW TO APPLY:
Nonresidents have an equal opportunity in the drawing. If drawn, a Pennsylvania resident may purchase an elk license for $25; nonresidents $250. Individuals drawn for an antlered license are not eligible to apply again for five additional years; individuals drawn for an antlerless license can continue to apply the following season. Successful applicants must obtain a Pennsylvania general hunting license for the appropriate license year. Unsuccessful applicants earn bonus points for future drawings. Licenses are assigned according to the drawn hunter’s application preferences. Maps and descriptions of the elk hunt zones can be found on the Game Commission website (www.pgc.pa.gov). Hunters may choose up to five elk hunt zones, and may select a fallback option. If a hunter is drawn and his or her preferred elk hunt zone choices are already filled, if the fallback option was selected, he or she will be assigned to the next available elk hunt zone. If a person submits more than one application per elk season, all of his or her applications will become ineligible, and he or she will be subject to prosecution. This year’s elk license drawing is on July 29, 2023 at the Elk Country Visitor Center near Winslow Hill in Benezette Township.
Elk Management Area map, Elk Hunt Zone descriptions and check station information can be found on the Game Commission website at www.pgc.pa.gov.