Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 52 Pa.B. 6342 (October 1, 2022).

58 Pa. Code § 79.6. Venomous snake permits.

§ 79.6. Venomous snake permits.

 (a)  Application. The Commission finds, under section 2904 of the code (relating to permits for protection and management of particular fish), that it is necessary for the proper protection and management of the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and Eastern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) that persons who hunt, take, catch or kill these species have a permit for the activity. Application for a permit must be made on a form prescribed by the Commission and accompanied by the appropriate fee. Permits may be obtained by applying to: Natural Diversity Section Chief, Division of Environmental Services, 450 Robinson Lane, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 16823-9616. The fee for residents is $30 per year; the fee for nonresidents is $60 per year. The denial of a permit under this section is appealable in the manner provided by Chapter 51, Subchapter E (relating to permit procedures).

 (b)  Required permit. It is unlawful to hunt, take, catch, kill or possess a timber rattlesnake or Eastern copperhead, in whole or in parts, without first procuring the required permit from the Commission. The required permit shall be in the possession of the permittee at all times while hunting. Permittees shall comply with the terms and conditions of the permit and furnish the reports required thereby. It is unlawful to alter, borrow, lend or transfer a permit under this section.

 (c)  Reporting. Within 10 business days following the capture or kill, or if no snake is captured or killed, within 10 days of the conclusion of the season, the permittee shall complete a report on the form prescribed by the Commission and shall mail the report to the Commission’s Natural Diversity Section, 595 East Rolling Ridge Drive, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania 16823.

 (d)  Tagging of timber rattlesnakes.

   (1)  A person who takes, catches, kills or possesses a timber rattlesnake shall immediately complete the possession tag that is attached to his permit and detach the tag from the permit in the field. The possession tag shall be completed in accordance with the instructions printed on the tag, and the information to be provided includes, but is not limited to, the municipality and county where the snake was captured or killed, the date of capture or kill and a description of the snake, including color phase, sex, number of subcaudal scales and length in inches. The possession tag shall be kept in a safe location so that it can be presented along with the timber rattlesnake to which it pertains upon the request of an officer authorized to enforce the code.

   (2)  After the possession tag is detached from the permit, it is unlawful to take, catch, kill or possess another timber rattlesnake except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

   (3)  It is unlawful to alter, borrow, lend or transfer possession tags under this section.

   (4)  When presenting a timber rattlesnake to a taxidermist for mounting, the tag must remain with the rattlesnake while in the possession of the taxidermist.

 (e)  Field dressing of timber rattlesnakes. A permittee may field dress a timber rattlesnake so long as the head and tail remain intact.

 (f)  Measurement of timber rattlesnakes. Upon the request of an officer authorized to enforce the code, a permittee shall measure a timber rattlesnake to determine its length. If the permittee is unable to measure the timber rattlesnake, the officer may seize the snake so that a measurement may be taken at another location.


   The provisions of this §  79.6 issued under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. § §  2102 and 2904; amended under section 506 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  186); and the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S.


   The provisions of this §  79.6 amended March 19, 2010, effective March 20, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 1500; amended March 23, 2018, effective March 24, 2018, 48 Pa.B. 1672; amended December 14, 2018, effective January 1, 2019, 48 Pa.B. 7640; amended September 20, 2019, effective September 21, 2019, 49 Pa.B. 5450. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (395086) to (395088).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  79.7 (relating to organized reptile and amphibian hunt permits).

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