Here are the details:
* Squirrels and grouse: early season, Oct. 19 to Nov. 30; late season, Dec. 26 to Jan. 25, 1997. Special hunt Oct. 12 and 14 for children 12 to 16 who hold junior hunting licenses. Youngsters 12 to 15 must be accompanied by adults during hunts.
* Rabbits: Nov. 2 to 30 and Dec. 26 to Feb. 8, 1997.
* Pheasants: males only, Nov. 2 to 30; males and females in designated areas, Nov. 2 to 30 and Dec. 26 to Jan. 25, 1997.
* Wild turkeys (fall): males or females, Management Areas 1A and 1B (shotgun only), Nov. 2 to 9; Areas 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7A and 8, Nov. 2 to 16; Area 7B, Nov. 2 to 9; Area 9A, closed to fall hunting; Area 9B (shotgun only), Nov. 4 to 8. (The season in Area 1A was originally proposed to begin on Nov. 4.)
* Bears: Nov. 25 to 27.
* Deer (archery): Oct. 5 to Nov. 16 and Dec. 26 to Jan. 11, 1997.
* Antlered deer: Dec. 2 to 14.
* Antlerless deer: Dec. 16 to 18.
* Deer (flintlock): Dec. 26 to Jan. 11, 1997.
* Snowshoe hares: Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, 1997. The earlier proposal called for this season to end Dec. 28.
* Spring gobblers: May 3 to 31, 1997. The original proposal called for gobbler season to open May 1, which is a Thursday. Some turkey hunters had urged the commission to approve a May 1 opener so that the season would encompass the entire month of May, Whitman said. But other hunters objected that they would not be able to take time off from work to hunt on the first day of the season.
The commission also approved an allocation of 724,350 licenses for the three-day antlerless-deer season in December. The figure does not include six special-regulation counties - Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Allegheny - for which an unlimited number of antlerless licenses will be sold.
In addition, the commission voted to expand the statewide early season to hunt resident Canada geese. The 1996 season will take place from Sept. 1 to 25, two weeks longer than last year. Whitman said the decision reflected concern over the growing population of resident Canadas, which can foul lawns, golf courses and suburban office parks with droppings and cause agricultural damage.
Whitman said the expanded early season for resident Canadas should be welcomed by waterfowlers because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to announce this summer that hunting for migratory Canada geese will be closed in the Atlantic Flyway for the second consecutive year this fall.
DIGEST ALERT. At first glance, parts of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's 1996-97 Digest of Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Regulations might confuse readers. But the agency says not to worry.
Here's what happened: The commission usually finalizes hunting-season dates in April and then goes to press in plenty of time to distribute the digests with licenses that are sold for the hunting year that begins July 1. But because of the two-month postponement of the vote on season dates, the agency had to print the digest weeks ago.
As a result, the booklet contains language noting that season dates are tentative. But the commissioners ended up approving all the dates as they are printed in the digest. Thus, the digest's information is complete and accurate, the agency said.
About 1.7 million digests are printed annually and given to anyone who buys a hunting license. Licenses for 1996-97 are available for purchase.
NEW COMMISSIONER. Samuel J. Dunkle of Blair County, a retired school administrator and a longtime deputy wildlife conservation officer, has taken his seat on the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Dunkle, 59, who was sworn in Monday to an eight-year term, replaces Ned Crafts 3d, an attorney whose term expired in April. Dunkle, who was nominated by Gov. Ridge and confirmed by the state Senate, represents Commission District Four, which is made up of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset Counties.
One vacancy remains on the commission, whose full complement is eight.
BEATTIE PASSES AWAY. Mollie H. Beattie, 49, who resigned this month as director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after a lengthy battle with brain cancer, died in Townshend, Vt., on Thursday.
Ms. Beattie was the first woman to head the federal agency, which oversees wildlife refuges and endangered species. Her three years as director were notable for her defense of the Endangered Species Act against critics, including members of Congress.
Ms. Beattie, who earned a master's degree in forestry at the University of Vermont, also fought to expand the federal refuge system at a time of budget cuts.
Some of the congressional leaders most opposed to her stands honored her by introducing legislation that would name eight million acres of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska after her.
``It may seem strange for me to be here talking about Mollie Beattie,'' Sen. Ted Stevens (R., Alaska) said during the debate last Monday. ``She opposed many of the things I believe in, as far as Alaska public lands are concerned. But the reason I like her is she was always honest with us. We knew where she stood. And she listened. . . . The American people are losing a leader of depth of knowledge and life experience.''