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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-444


[58 PA. CODE CHS. 135 AND 147]

Lands and Buildings; Special Permits

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its January 7, 2003, meeting, proposed the following amendments:

   Amend § 135.41 (relating to State game lands) to exempt those persons who may lawfully hunt without orange from the requirement to wear orange on State game lands (SGL) from November 15 through December 15; and § 147.701 (relating to general) to allow bobcat permit applications from applicants who have applied for bobcat permits in previous years to be included in the drawing until the applicant is successfully drawn.

   The proposed rulemaking will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

   The authority for the proposed amendments is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

   The proposed rulemaking was made public at the January 7, 2003, meeting of the Commission. Comments can be sent until April 4, 2003, to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.

1.  Introduction

   The Commission is proposing to amend §§ 135.41 and 147.701.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   New SGL regulations were promulgated in April 2002, which included the broad requirement for anyone present on SGL from November 15 through December 15 to wear fluorescent orange. There are, however, open hunting seasons during that same time period that do not require hunters to wear fluorescent orange, duck hunting being one example. A conflict of regulations may be created in this circumstance, since some hunters are permitted by the regulations to hunt without wearing any fluorescent orange during certain open seasons, yet would be required to wear fluorescent orange while on SGL from November 15 through December 15. This proposed rulemaking is designed to remove this inconsistency by providing an exception to the requirement to wear fluorescent orange for those persons lawfully engaged in hunting. This exception would apply only to those persons lawfully hunting from November 15 through December 15 during an open season that does not require the wearing of fluorescent orange.

   The proposed amendment to § 147.701 will provide for a preference for those applicants who have applied annually for a bobcat hunting/trapping permit, but have been unsuccessful in having their application drawn. Under this preference, those applicants who have applied in the previous year or previous consecutive years will have their prior years applications remain in the pool of applications from which successful applicants are drawn, thus accruing preference and increasing their chances of being drawn for a permit. For example, if a person has applied for the 5th consecutive year, but has not been successfully drawn during the previous 4 years, that person will have five chances to be drawn in the 5th year's drawing.

   Section 721(a) of the code (relating to control of property) provides ''The administration of all lands and waters owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Commission shall be under the sole control of the Director, and the Commission shall promulgate regulations . . . for its use and protection as necessary to properly manage these lands or waters.'' Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning . . . the health and safety of persons who hunt or take wildlife or may be in the vicinity of persons who hunt or take game or wildlife in this Commonwealth.'' The amendment to § 135.41 was proposed under this authority.

   Section 2901(b) of the code (relating to authority to issue permits) provides ''The Commission may, as deemed necessary to properly manage the game or wildlife resources, promulgate regulations for the issuance of any permit and promulgate regulations to control the activities which may be performed under authority of any permit issued.'' The amendment to § 147.701 was proposed under this authority.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The proposed rulemaking will permit hunters who are lawfully hunting, during an open season that does not require the wearing of fluorescent orange, to hunt on SGL without wearing fluorescent orange and will allow bobcat permit applicants to accrue preference and increase their chances of being drawn for a permit by applying annually.

4.  Persons Affected

   Persons wishing to hunt on SGL and persons applying for bobcat permits will be affected.

5.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The proposed rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

6.  Effective Date

   The proposed rulemaking will be effective on final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

7.  Contact Person

   For further information regarding the proposed rulemaking, contact Michael A. Dubaich, Acting Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  48-160. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A





§ 135.41.  State game lands.

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   (c)  Additional prohibitions. In addition to the prohibitions contained in the act pertaining to State game lands and § 135.2, except with the written permission of the Director, it is unlawful to:

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   (21)  Except on Sundays, be present on State game lands from November 15 through December 15 inclusive when not engaged in lawful hunting or trapping and fail to wear a minimum of 250 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange-colored material on the head, chest and back combined or, in lieu thereof, a hat of the same colored material. The material shall be worn so it is visible in a 360° arc. Persons using shooting ranges are exempted from this requirement.



§ 147.701.  General.

   This section provides for permits to be issued for the hunting and trapping of bobcat during the season established and in areas designated under § 139.4 (relating to seasons and bag limits for the license year).

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   (8)  Tagging requirements are as follows:

   (i)  A permitted person taking a bobcat shall immediately, before removing the bobcat from the location of the taking, fully complete a temporary carcass tag furnished with the permit, which contains in English the [person's name] person's name, address, special permit number, date of harvest, county and township of harvest, [furbearer management zone] wildlife management unit of harvest and method of harvest and attach the tag to the bobcat. The bobcat carcass shall remain intact, that is, with entrails, until examined and tagged by a Commission representative. The temporary carcass tag shall remain attached to the animal until it is tagged with a numbered permanent interlocking tag. The person taking the bobcat may remove the pelt provided the pelt is kept with the carcass for examination and tagging.

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   (9)  An applicant issued a bobcat hunting-trapping permit is not permitted to apply for another bobcat hunting-trapping permit the next license year. Applications from applicants who have applied in previous years will be included in the drawing until the applicant is successfully drawn and issued a permit.

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[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-444. Filed for public inspection March 14, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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