Where to Hunt


Lancaster Conservancy offers 25 nature preserves consisting of over 5,000 acres open to hunting through voluntary enrollment in Cooperative Agreement with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC). PGC rules and regulations apply to Conservancy nature preserves and are strictly enforced by Pennsylvania Game Wardens.

Your Responsibility

Not all Conservancy nature preserves are open to hunting. Preserves that are open to hunting may not be open to all forms of hunting. It is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations and boundaries (including Archery Only or Restricted Mixed Use areas and safety zones) before hunting on Conservancy preserves. Violations of any kind will be prosecuted to the fullest by the PA Game Commission, PA Fish & Boat Commission, or local and State Police.

  • Respect our neighbors by strictly adhering to all boundaries and postings.
  • Respect all preserve visitors: be prepared, be nice, adhere to rules and regulations, and practice Leave No Trace Ethics to an utmost extent.
  • Everyone is responsible for wearing blaze orange during hunting seasons.
  • All dogs must be leashed at all times except for hunting-dogs during training.
  • No training of hunting-dogs outside of designated hunting preserves and areas.
  • The Conservancy hopes that hunters will utilize their harvest responsibly, and we encourage those who hunt deer on our preserves to consider donating venison to Hunters Sharing the Harvest through any of a number of participating local butcher shops.
  • The Conservancy actively works to improve wildlife habitat on our nature preserves. Volunteer opportunities are available for anyone interested in helping with that work. Visit our Volunteer page for more information.

Reminder: Tree stands and ground blinds must be tagged with the hunter’s name, phone number, and PGC-issued hunter identification number, and they must be removed from Conservancy properties after the end of deer hunting seasons as required by PGC regulations. Tree stands and ground blinds remaining on Conservancy properties after this time are considered abandoned property and will be removed.

Please note that PGC has created special Disease Management Areas in parts of Lancaster and surrounding counties in response to positive tests for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) at local, private facilities. As a result, expanded hunting opportunities may be available on some Conservancy nature preserves. Hunters should check with the PA Game Commission for details on where those areas are or to request any additional harvest tags that may be available.  The Conservancy encourages hunters to submit their deer for CWD testing when harvested within CWD control zones as they are currently drawn by PGC.

Emergency Information

For emergencies call 911.

For immediate assistance reporting crimes against wild birds and mammals; game law violations; and wildlife emergencies contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Centralized Dispatch Center at 1-833-PGC-HUNT (1-833-742-4868) or 1-833-PGC-WILD (1-833-742-9453).

Afterwards, all emergencies and violations should be reported to the Lancaster Conservancy at 717-392-7891.

*Wizard Ranch Nature Preserve is NOT OPEN to public hunting at this time.

The Conservancy’s Process

The Conservancy only opens a property to hunting after completing the following process:

  • First, the property must be owned in-fee to be opened to hunting.
  • Second, the Conservancy’s Land Protection department develops a Baseline Documentation Report that establishes the existing, natural conditions of a property to never be lost or developed.
  • Third, the Conservancy’s Stewardship department develops a management plan based upon the comprehensive study of the property’s conservation and recreation values. As part of the Preserve Management Plan, a ‘highest and best use’ determination is made by overlaying a series of site characteristics and criteria; holistic, adaptive, and industry-best management practices are then prescribed as land management techniques for the property.
  • Only then does the Conservancy consider a property for Cooperative Agreement; and when it does so, it only considers three categories of hunting use: Mixed Use, Archery Only, and Restricted Use.
  • Lastly, the Conservancy enters the property into Cooperative Agreement with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

For information on how to safely share the woods and hike during hunting season as well as a list of preserves where hunting is not allowed, please visit: https://www.lancasterconservancy.org/news/huntingseasonhikes/