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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-1855



[58 PA. CODE CHS. 141 AND 143]

Hunting and Trapping

[27 Pa.B. 6093]

Amendment to § 141.22

   1.  Introduction

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its June 24, 1997, meeting proposed, and at its October 7, 1997, meeting finally adopted changing § 141.22 (relating to small game), to increase the size of shot that can lawfully be used to take furbearers to size BB, lead and bismuth tin and size T steel. This change is adopted under 34 Pa.C.S. §§ 322(c)(5) and 2102 (relating to specific powers and duties; and regulations) (code).

2.  Purpose and Authority

   Representatives of the furtaking community requested the change because of their belief that the smaller shot currently required does not have adequate shocking and penetrating power to humanely harvest furbearers. Commission staff review of the recommendation produced agreement.

   Section 322(c)(5) of the code authorizes the Commission to fix the type and number of devices which may be used to take game or wildlife. Section 2102 of the code directs the Commission to promulgate regulations relating to the types of devices allowed for hunting or furtaking. These provisions provide the statutory basis for the change.

3.   Regulatory Requirements

   The change relaxes current regulatory requirements.

4.  Persons Affected

   All individuals who wish to engage in furtaking are affected.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The proposed change would not result in any additional cost either to the Commission or to hunters.

Amendment to Chapter 143

1.  Introduction

   On December 19, 1996, the Governor signed Act 184 of 1996, which amended section 2522 of the code (relating to shooting at or causing injury to human beings). Two major changes introduced by Act 184 involve the imposition of additional prerequisites to receiving a hunting or furtaking license after suspension for having shot at, injured or killed a human being. One of these prerequisites is the providing of evidence to the Commission, of having successfully completed a hunter/trapper education course. The other is the providing of evidence of having taken a vision examination administered by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist. The additions to Subchapter G provide standards for the vision examination and require proof of completion of a hunter/trapper education course. These provisions are adopted under under authority contained in section 2721 of the code (relating to license issuance supervision) and section 2102 of the code.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   As was indicated in the Introduction, the recently adopted Act 184 requires successful completion of a hunter/trapper education course and a vision examination before individuals who have had their hunting and furtaking license suspended by reason of having shot at, injured or killed a human being can have their privileges reinstated. To implement these provisions, the Commission, at its June 24, 1997, meeting proposed and at its October 7, 1997, meeting finally adopted, adding four new sections, §§ 143.124--143.127, to Subchapter G, which prescribe standards for those vision examinations and implement the requirements.

   Section 2721 of the code provides that the issuance of all hunting and furtaking licenses''. . . shall be in accordance with regulations of the Commission.'' Section 2102 of the code authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations relating to hunting and furtaking.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   Under the adopted sections, persons whose hunting and furtaking privileges have been denied as a result of having shot at, injured or killed a human being would need to provide to the Commission, on forms provided, proof of meeting minimum visual acuity standards and evidence of having successfully completed a Commission sponsored hunter/trapper education course.

4.   Persons Affected

   The only persons affected by the adopted sections are those who have been denied hunting and furtakingprivileges as the result of having shot at, injured or killed a human being.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   Those persons wishing to have their hunting and furtaking privileges restored need to bear the costs of having a visual examination by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist and submitting simple forms evidencing satisfaction of all requirements. Because of the relatively small number of persons involved, it is anticipated that the cost to the Commission will be minimal.

Comment and Response Summary

   No comments were received with regard to the changes.

Effective Dates

   The changes are effective on final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and remain in effect until changed by the Commission.

Contact Person

   For further information on the change, the contact person is James R. Fagan, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, (717) 783-6526, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797.


   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) and the regulations thereunder 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

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


   The Commission, acting under authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission are amended by adding §§ 143.124--143.127 to read as set forth at 27 Pa.B. 4458 and by amending § 141.22 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall submit this order, Annex A and 27 Pa.B. 4458 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (c)  This order amending § 141.22 and adding §§ 143.124--143.127, shall become effective upon final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   (Editor's Note:  See 27 Pa.B. 6092 (November 22, 1997, for a corrective amendment relating to § 141.22 amended in this document.)

Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48-100 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A




Subchapter B.  SMALL GAME

§ 141.22.  Small game.

   (a)  Unlawful activities. It is unlawful to:

   (1)  Take small game, protected mammals or protected birds using shot larger than #4 lead, #4 Bismuth/tin or #2 steel.

   (2)  Take furbearers using shot larger than size BB lead, size BB Bismuth/tin or size ''T'' steel.

   (3)  Possess a firearm while hunting with a raptor.

   (4)  Use or possess single projectile ammunition or use or possess single projectile designed for use in a firearm while hunting small game during the muzzleloading firearms deer or bear season, except for a .22 caliber rimfire rifle. This exception does not apply to the Southeast Special Regulations Area. See § 141.1(b)(2) (relating to special regulations areas).

   (5)  Hunt in a party of more than six persons.

   (6)  Hunt for groundhogs without wearing a cap or hat made of a daylight fluorescent orange material as part of the requirements in section 2524 of the act (relating to protective material required).

   (7)  Hunt for or assist to hunt for other small game, except waterfowl, mourning doves and crows without wearing a minimum of 250 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange-colored material. The material shall be worn on the head, chest and back combined so it is visible in a 360° arc.

   (b)  Definition. For the purpose of enforcing section 2308(a)(4) of the act (relating to unlawful devices and methods), the term ''plugged'' means a magazine shotgun which is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the shotgun or magazine.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-1855. Filed for public inspection November 21, 1997, 9:01 a.m.], 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

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