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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

58 Pa. Code § 135.41. State game lands.

§ 135.41. State game lands.

 (a)  Restrictions limited. The following exceptions to §  135.2 (relating to unlawful actions) pertain to lands and waters designated as State game lands:

   (1)  Mushrooms and fruits of berry-producing plants may be picked.

   (2)  Small open fires for cooking or warming purposes may be kindled, used and maintained by persons exercising the privileges of a valid hunting, furtaking or fishing license and through hikers within the corridor of the Appalachian Trail as is defined in §  135.42 (relating to Appalachian Trail). This exception to the prohibition on fires in §  135.2(8) is applicable only when the small fires are located at places where adequate precautions are taken to prevent the spread of fire and the small fires are attended at all times and completely extinguished before leaving the sites of the fires. This exception does not apply when the fire index rating used by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is high, very high or extreme for that area. A person causing a wildfire, in addition to possible criminal penalty, is liable for all damages, cost of extinguishing and fines.

   (3)  Snowmobiles, as defined in 75 Pa.C.S. §  7702 (relating to definitions) may be driven beginning on the third Sunday in January through April 1 on designated areas, roads and trails marked with appropriate signs, so long as snowmobiles are registered and display valid registration decal as required under 75 Pa.C.S. § §  7711.1 and 7711.2 (relating to registration of snowmobile or ATV; and limited registration of snowmobile or ATV).

 (b)  Closure of game lands.

   (1)  When the threat of forest fires exists, the Director has emergency authority to restrict the use of smoking materials on State game lands or to close State game lands to hunting, trapping, fishing, recreational use and other activity which may be or become detrimental to those lands or the flora or fauna thereon until the Director removes the restrictions. Emergency restrictions or closures will be announced to the news media.

   (2)  The Director has the authority to close State game lands or portions thereof, to recreational or other uses, when the specified uses may be or have become detrimental to those lands or the flora or fauna thereon, or where the uses conflict with legal hunting, furtaking or fishing activities or the Commission’s management or administration of State game lands. The closure may be seasonal or year-round and shall remain in effect until the Director removes the restrictions.

   (3)  It is unlawful to violate restrictions or closure placed on these lands by the Director.


 (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:

   (1)  Contaminate, pollute or degrade groundwaters or surface waters or any waterways.

   (2)  Graze or permit the grazing of livestock, place or maintain beehives or beekeeping apparatus.

   (3)  Solicit, or place advertisements, signs or posters.

   (4)  Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal, except on roads normally open to public travel, or designated routes as posted, or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.

   (5)  Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal from the last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and before 1 p.m. from the second Saturday in April through the last Saturday in May inclusive, except on Sundays or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.

   (6)  Ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal on roads open to foot travel only.

   (7)  Drive motor vehicles with or without attachments having a registered gross vehicle weight in excess of 12,000 pounds.

   (8)  Use a boat propelled by a motor or operate a boat in excess of slow, no wake speed. Boats propelled by electric motors are authorized for use on waterways when operated at slow, no-wake speed unless the waterway is otherwise posted closed to all boats or all boats propelled by a motor.

   (9)  Consume, possess or transport any alcohol, liquor, beer, malt or brewed alcoholic beverage.

   (10)  Use or possess any controlled substance or drug paraphernalia as defined or classified under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P.S. § §  780-101—780-143).

   (11)  Construct, place, maintain, occupy, use, leave or abandon any structures or other tangible property, except that portable hunting blinds or stands may be used subject to the following restrictions:

     (i)   Use may not cause damage to trees.

     (ii)   Except as provided in subparagraph (iii), overnight placement of portable hunting blinds or stands may not occur sooner than 2 weeks prior to the opening of the first deer season nor later than 2 weeks after the close of the last deer season within each wildlife management unit.

     (iii)   Overnight placement of portable hunting blinds is additionally permitted during the spring turkey season within each wildlife management unit.

     (iv)   Portable hunting blinds or stands placed under subparagraph (ii) or (iii) must be conspicuously marked with a durable identification tag that legibly sets forth in the owner’s first name, last name and legal home address in English or must bear a number issued by the Commission for this purpose.

   (12)  Feed wildlife or lay or place any food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt or other minerals.

   (13)  Release domestic animals, captive bred or captive raised game or wildlife.

   (14)  Operate a motor vehicle in willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property or in excess of posted speed limits, or where no speed limit is posted, in excess of 25 miles per hour.

   (15)  Target shoot with firearms, bows and arrows or devices capable of launching projectiles, unless the person is in possession of a valid hunting or furtaker license signed by its holder. Exercise of privileges shall be done in a manner as to not cause injury to persons or property, or on areas not otherwise posted closed to those activities.

   (16)  Except as provided in Subchapter J (relating to shooting ranges), discharge any firearm, bow and arrow, or device capable of launching projectiles that is not a lawful device to hunt game or wildlife.

   (17)  Engage in an activity or event involving more than ten persons, which may conflict with the intended purposes or uses as defined in section 722 of the act (relating to use of property), or poses a potential environmental or safety problem.

   (18)  Sell, distribute, deliver, service, guide or rent any equipment, material or commodity or otherwise transact or engage in any commercial activity. Commercial activity is any activity in which a person directly or indirectly accepts consideration of value as compensation for the provision of goods or services, including transportation.

   (19)  Use State game lands for any personal, organizational or commercial purpose other than the intended use as defined in section 722 of the act.

   (20)  Operate under authority of a contract, lease, agreement or permit and fail to abide by the terms and conditions contained in the contract, lease, agreement or permit.

   (21)  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.

   (22)  Shoot clay birds anywhere except areas designated by the Director by signs stating that clay bird shooting is permitted.

   (23)  Operate, control, retrieve or launch an unmanned aerial vehicle of any size, design or specification on or from lands or waters designated as State game lands. This provision may not be construed to limit activities specifically authorized by the Commission in writing or Federal, State or local governmental response to fire, rescue, police or other emergency matter, or engagement in legitimate governmental function.

   (24)  Engage in dog training activities on small game from the Monday prior to the start of the youth pheasant season until the opening of the regular pheasant season in §  139.4 (relating to seasons and bag limits for the license year). This paragraph may not be construed to limit dog training activities on any other public or private lands or waters not designated as State game lands.


   The provisions of this §  135.41 amended under 34 Pa.C.S. § §  322(c)(8), 721(a), 741(b), 2102(a) and (d), 2167(a) and 2901(b).


   The provisions of this §  135.41 adopted June 18, 1982, effective June 19, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 1869; amended June 19, 1987, effective July 1, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 2464; amended August 1, 1997, effective August 2, 1997, 27 Pa.B. 3788, amended August 30, 2002, effective February 1, 2003, 32 Pa.B. 4235; amended June 13, 2003, effective June 14, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 2748; amended March 23, 2007, effective March 24, 2007, 37 Pa.B. 1309; amended August 28, 2009, effective August 29, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 5121; amended March 25, 2011, effective March 26, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 1621; amended April 1, 2011, effective April 2, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 1764; amended March 14, 2014, effective March 15, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 1429; corrected March 28, 2014, effective March 15, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 1883; amended May 29, 2015, effective May 30, 2015, 45 Pa.B. 2596; amended August 19, 2016, effective August 20, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 5084; amended May 5, 2017, effective May 6, 2017, 47 Pa.B. 2600; amended September 18, 2020, effective September 19, 2020, 50 Pa.B. 4743; amended March 24, 2023, effective March 25, 2023, 53 Pa.B. 1668. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (390827) to (390828) and (402639) to (402640).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  135.2 (relating to unlawful actions); 58 Pa. Code §  135.61 (relating to State game farms); 58 Pa. Code §  135.81 (relating to Commission administrative lands); 58 Pa. Code §  135.101 (relating to designation of special wildlife management areas); and 58 Pa. Code §  147.1003 (relating to range permit).

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