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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 20-594




[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 141 ]

Hunting and Trapping; Big Game

[50 Pa.B. 2264]
[Saturday, May 2, 2020]

 To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its April 7, 2020, meeting amended § 141.41 (relating to general) to eliminate the requirement that hunters lawfully tag each successive deer that they have harvested before lawfully harvesting a subsequent deer within their season limits.

 This final-form rulemaking will not have an adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

 The authority for this final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

 Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 50 Pa.B. 1379 (March 7, 2020).

1. Purpose and Authority

 Outside of Special regulations areas, former regulations prohibited hunters from harvesting a subsequent deer before they have lawfully tagged each successive deer harvested. This restriction was intended to prevent waste of this Commonwealth's wildlife resources by causing hunters to follow up on shots and promote recovery of mortally wounded deer before an attempt to harvest subsequent animals. However, this restriction has also been observed to force hunters to pass up additional harvest opportunities that occur contemporaneous to the first as they are fleeting and certainly diminish with the noise and movement associated with tagging activities for the previous harvest. Special regulations areas have historically been exempted from this requirement and the Commission has not been aware that any significant problems have resulted from its absence. The Commission amends § 141.41 to eliminate the requirement that hunters lawfully tag each successive deer that they have harvested before lawfully harvesting a subsequent deer within their season limits.

 Section 2102(a) of the code (relating to regulations) provides that ''The commission shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting or furtaking in this Commonwealth, including regulations relating to the protection, preservation and management of game or wildlife and game or wildlife habitat, permitting or prohibiting hunting or furtaking, the ways, manner, methods and means of hunting or furtaking, and 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 amendments to § 141.41 are adopted under this authority.

2. Regulatory Requirements

 This final-form rulemaking amends § 141.41 to eliminate the requirement that hunters lawfully tag each successive deer that they have harvested before lawfully harvesting a subsequent deer within their season limits.

3. Persons Affected

 Persons wishing to hunt or take white-tailed deer within this Commonwealth may be affected by this final-form rulemaking.

4. Comment and Response Summary

 The Commission received a total of 12 official comments regarding this final-form rulemaking. Four comments were in support and eight were in opposition of allowing a hunter to take multiple deer before tagging.

5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

 This final-form rulemaking should not result in any additional cost or paperwork.

6. Effective Date

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

7. Contact Person

 For further information regarding this final-form rulemaking, contact Jason L. DeCoskey, Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.


 The Commission finds that:

 (1) Public notice of intention to adopt the administrative amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 769, No. 240) (45 P.S. §§ 1201 and 1202), known as the Commonwealth Documents Law, and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 (relating to notice of proposed rulemaking required; and adoption of regulations).

 (2) The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of the authorizing statute.


 The Commission, acting under the authorizing statute, orders that:

 (a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 141, are amended by amending § 141.41 to read as set forth in Annex A.

 (b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

 (c) This order shall become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-450 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

Annex A




Subchapter C. BIG GAME

§ 141.41. General.

 It is unlawful to:

 (1) Fail, within 10 days of the kill, to complete the report card supplied with the hunting license for reporting big game killed and mail the report card to the Commission in Harrisburg or by any other method designated by the Director.

 (2) Receive a DMAP permit without reporting in the manner prescribed on the permit.

 (3) Possess an expired, fulfilled, revoked, suspended or invalid big game harvest tag or hunting license while engaged in hunting or trapping activities.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 20-594. Filed for public inspection May 1, 2020, 9:00 a.m.]

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