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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 04-2180



[58 PA. CODE CH. 141]

Hunting and Trapping; Furbearers

[34 Pa.B. 6547]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its October 5, 2004, meeting, proposed the following rulemaking:

   Amend § 141.63 (relating to definitions) to expand the listed definitions and add § 141.66 (relating to cable restraints) to permit the use of cable restraints for taking certain furbearers.

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

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

   This proposed rulemaking was made public at the October 5, 2004, meeting of the Commission, and comments can be sent to the Director, Information and Education, Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, until January 21, 2005.

1.  Purpose and Authority

   Commonwealth trappers have requested that the use of cable restraints be permitted to take certain furbearers, namely coyotes and foxes. The Commission has weighed this public input against wildlife management interests and determined that the use of this additional device for these specific furbearers can be reasonably permitted. To make cable restraints lawful for taking these specific furbearers the Commission is proposing to expand the list of definitions found in § 141.63 to include and specifically define ''cable restraint'' and also add § 141.66 to establish the lawful methods, uses and periods during which cable restraints may be used.

   Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations stipulating the size and type of traps, the type of firearms and ammunition and other devices which may be used, the manner in which and the location where the devices may be used, the species the devices may be used for and the season when the devices may be used.'' Section 322(c)(5) of the code (relating to powers and duties of the commission) specifically empowers the Commission to ''Fix the type and number of devices which may be used to take game or wildlife.'' Section 2102(b)(1) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the commission to ''promulgate regulations relating to . . . the number and types of devices and equipment allowed, the identification of devices and the use and possession of devices.'' 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 ways, manner, methods and means of . . . furtaking . . . in this Commonwealth.'' This rulemaking is proposed under this authority.

2.  Regulatory Requirements

   This proposed rulemaking will specifically define ''cable restraint'' and will establish the lawful methods, uses and periods during which cable restraints may be used.

3.  Persons Affected

   Persons wishing to use cable restraints for the taking of certain furbearers, namely coyotes and foxes, will be affected by this proposed rulemaking.

4.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

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

5.  Effective Date

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

6.  Contact Person

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


   Fiscal Note:  48-196. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A




Subchapter D.  TRAPPING

§ 141.63.  Definitions.

   In addition to the definitions contained in the act and this part, the following words, when used in the enforcement of section 2361(a)(11) of the act (relating to unlawful acts concerning taking of furbearers) have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Cable restraint--A galvanized stranded steel cable with a minimum diameter of 3/32 inches. The cable must be constructed of either 7 bundles comprised of 7 wires per bundle or 19 bundles comprised of 7 wires per bundle and be equipped with a mechanical sliding metal release lock. The cable may not exceed 6 feet in length from the anchor point to the relaxing lock contacting the loop stop, must be equipped with at least one swivel device (which allows for 360° rotation) between the loop and the anchor and must have stops affixed to the cable to ensure that the circumference of the cable which makes up the loop may not be greater than 38 inches when fully open, or less than 8 inches when fully closed. A cable restraint must include a breakaway device affixed to the lock or cable that is rated at 325 pounds or less. The cable must be maintained in good condition so that all components operate properly.

*      *      *      *      *

§ 141.66.  Cable restraints.

   (a)  Cable restraint devices may be used from January 1 until the end of the established trapping season to harvest red fox, gray fox and coyote.

   (b)  Cable restraint devices may only be set by furtakers who possess a valid furtakers license and who have completed a certified cable restraint training course approved by the Director. The Director will establish a fee for the course and the fee will only be what is necessary to cover the cost of the course. The trapper shall have a certificate from this course in possession while setting or checking sets using cable restraints and present the certificate upon the request of any person whose duty it is to enforce this title.

   (c)  Cable restraints must be anchored to prevent the animal caught in the restraint from moving the restraint from the point it was originally anchored.

   (d)  Cable restraints must be set to allow the animal caught in the restraint to move freely in a 360° arc for the entire length of the restraint without the risk of the cable restraint becoming entangled by any object.

   (e)  Cable restraints must be set so that the bottom of the restraint cable loop is no less than 6 inches or greater than 12 inches above the first surface beneath the bottom of the cable restraint where the surface is ground, ice, crusted or packed snow or any other hard material.

   (f)  Cable restraints will be considered traps for the purposes of the section 2361(a)(3), (4), (7), (8), (10), (12) and (14)--(16) of the act (relating to unlawful acts concerning taking of furbearers).

   (g)  Unlawful acts. It is unlawful to:

   (1)  Use a bent washer as a relaxing lock that has an outside diameter less than 1 1/4 inches.

   (2)  Set any cable restraint where entanglement may occur or in any manner which could result in an animal held in the restraint being suspended.

   (3)  Use a device commonly known as a drag with any cable restraint.

   (4)  Equip cable restraints with a spring-activating mechanism or any device designed to aid the closing of the cable loop.

   (5)  Fail to comply with any other provisions of this section.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-2180. Filed for public inspection December 10, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]

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