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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 04-943




[58 PA. CODE CH. 141]

Hunting and Trapping

[34 Pa.B. 2825]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its January 27, 2004, meeting, adopted the following final-form rulemaking:

   Amend § 141.22 (relating to small game) to create a no discharge zone around Commission vehicles to reduce the chances of employees who are releasing pheasants from being accidentally shot.

   The final-form rulemaking will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.

   The final-form rulemaking was adopted under the authority of 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

   Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 34 Pa.B. 484 (January 24, 2004).

1. Introduction

   Every year, as Commission employees release pheasants for hunting during the open season, hunters shoot at the pheasants at or near the vehicles being used to transport the pheasants. Not only is this scenario contrary to the notion of fair chase, but it also jeopardizes the safety of Commission employees releasing the pheasants. Adding § 141.22(a)(7) should help reduce the chances of Commission employees being shot when stocking pheasants.

2. Purpose and Authority

   Because of the increasing number of incidents of careless hunters shooting at pheasants being released by Commission employees during the hunting season at or near Commission vehicles and the potential of serious physical injury, the Commission will now impose a 150-yard no discharge zone around Commission vehicles. This no discharge zone is the same distance currently found in safety zones surrounding occupied dwellings and structures as per section 2505(a) of the code (relating to safety zones). The intent of this final-form rulemaking is to provide the same safety parameters and protections for Commission employees releasing pheasants from Commission vehicles that are currently afforded to the general public at their residences and certain other structures.

   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 amendment to § 141.22(a) was adopted under this authority.

3. Regulatory Requirements

   The final-form rulemaking makes it unlawful for hunters to shoot at pheasants within 150 yards of a Commission vehicle releasing pheasants.

4. Persons Affected

   Persons who hunt for pheasants will be affected by the final-form rulemaking.

5. Comment and Response Summary

   There were no official comments received regarding this final-form rulemaking.

6. Cost and Paperwork Requirements

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

7. Effective Date

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

8. Contact Person

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


   The Commission finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of intention to adopt the administrative amendment 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 amendment 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 authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 141, are amended by amending § 141.22 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (Editor's Note:  A final-form rulemaking containing an amendment to § 141.22 was published at 34 Pa.B. 2328 (May 1, 2004).)

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order, 34 Pa.B. 2328 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 48-173 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

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 ammunition designed for use in a firearm while hunting small game during the muzzleloading firearms deer or bear season, except for a rimfire rifle or handgun .22 caliber or less. 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)  Unless otherwise provided in the act or this title, hunt or take small game with anything other than a shotgun with fine shot, muzzleloading rifle or handgun .40 caliber or less, rimfire rifle or handgun .22 caliber or less, or bow and arrow with or without broadheads. The caliber restrictions do not apply to rifles or handguns while hunting woodchuck.

   (7)  Discharge a firearm within 150 yards of a Commission vehicle releasing pheasants.

   (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.

   (c)  Permitted acts. Woodchucks may be trapped by properly licensed furtakers with permission of the person in charge of the land from February 1 through September 30 and during the general furbearer trapping season. For the purposes of this subsection, a person means a person as defined in section 2121(c) of the act (relating to definition). Traps and methods shall comply with section 2361 of the act (relating to unlawful acts concerning taking of furbearers) except that traps shall be set within 5 feet of any woodchuck hole or den.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-943. Filed for public inspection May 28, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]

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