Archery season for antlerless deer began Saturday and runs through Nov. 16 in the first of two seasons.
The beginning of archery season marks the start of the autumn hunting seasons.
The dry weather throughout much of the late summer and early fall should benefit some of the early-season hunters, Sun-Gazette Outdoors columnist Don Daughenbaugh said.
"The leaves are changing real fast here. I don't think they're going to be a brilliant color. You won't have that leaf color to contend with in the early season. That should help the squirrel hunters and the early grouse hunters," Daughenbaugh said.
Dana Poust, of Poust's Taxidermy in Jersey Shore, said the nut crop is scattered this year.
"It's not a mass nut crop like last year, when there were acorns everywhere, everywhere, everywhere," he said.
Poust has been hearing reports of plentiful bucks and bears.
"There's a lot of big bucks, especially where they put in the gas lines, with the covered crops food plots right now," he said. "There's a lot of deer working those real heavy."
Pheasant hunters should find their prey in plenty this year.
After the flood in September 2011, the Loyalsock Game Farm is back up to growing its full complement of ring-necked pheasants.
"We're releasing around 60,000 birds this year," Superintendent Tim Schriner said. "The four game farms in the state will be releasing about 220,000 birds this year, compared to 200,000 last year."
Pheasants will be stocked up until Thanksgiving, then will have another late release the Friday before Christmas, Schriner said.
In Bradford County, Wildlife Conservation Officer Philip Kasper said in a recent report that during August, Canada geese and mourning doves both were plentiful.
"The geese are beginning to group up, and hunters should keep a watchful eye on them starting this month during goose and dove season," Kasper said.
Hunters should know that many seasons are about a week longer this year, due to the way the calendar falls around Thanksgiving.
Squirrel, rabbit and pheasant season for eligible junior hunters and mentored youth begins next Saturday, Oct. 12, with all hunters allowed to take up to six squirrels, four cottontails and two pheasants a day beginning Oct. 19.
Squirrel, rabbit and pheasant season is open through Nov. 30, then opens up again Dec. 16 through Feb. 22 - though the squirrels, bunnies and ringnecks do get Christmas off from being hunted.
Pheasant hunters should note that they only are allowed to take male pheasants in Wildlife Management Unit 4E, which includes the southeastern corner of Lycoming County below the Susquehanna River and most of Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties.
Ruffed grouse maintains the same schedule as squirrel season, opening Oct. 19, though that season ends a month earlier on Jan. 25.
Bobwhite quail season opens up on Oct. 26 and goes until Nov. 30.
Snowshoe hare season is open on Dec. 26 and goes until Jan. 1, except north and east of routes 15 and 118, in WMUs 3C, 3D and 3E, where hunters only have from Dec. 26-28 to take their snowshoe.
As for wild turkeys, it's open season on gobblers from Nov. 2-16 and Nov. 28-30 in WMUs 2F, 2G and 2H, which includes Lycoming and Tioga counties west of Route 15 and south of Route 6, and all of Clinton County north of the Susquehanna. In the rest of the region, the turkey season goes from Nov. 2-22 and Nov. 28-30.
Finally, black bear archery season is Nov. 18-22; the statewide bear season is Nov. 23-27.
South of routes 220 and 118, black bears also can be taken Dec. 4-7. North of Route 118, east of Route 15, and north of Route 6, the black bear extended season goes from Dec. 2-7.
The state Game Commission has established several opportunities for hunters to take white-tailed deer. They are:
ARCHERY (Antlerless Only) WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D: Sept. 21-Oct. 4, and Nov. 18-30. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
Antlered and Antlerless, WMUs 2A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, 3B, 3C, 4B, 4D and 4E: Dec. 7-14. One antlered deer per hunting license year. An antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.
ANTLERLESS (Statewide): Oct. 24-26. Junior and Senior License Holders, Disabled Person Permit (to use a vehicle) Holders, and Pennsylvania residents serving on active duty in the armed services or in the Coast Guard only, with required antlerless license.
ANTLERLESS EXTENDED REGULAR FIREARMS: (Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties): Dec. 26-Jan. 25. One antlerless deer with each required antlerless license.