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RULES AND REGULATIONS

Title 58--RECREATION

GAME COMMISSION

[58 PA. CODE CHS. 143 AND 147]

Internet Sale of Licenses; Deer Management; Remedial Hunter Education Course; Elk Licenses; Bobcat Hunting

[31 Pa.B. 2926]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 4, 2000, meeting, adopted the following changes:

   Amend § 143.11 (relating to Internet license sales) by adding language to allow persons to purchase hunting licenses through the Commission's website.

   Amend § 143.42 (relating to definitions) by eliminating the words ''private land'' and replacing them with ''unsold,'' and to allow hunters to apply for multiple licenses without restricting use for private land only.

   Amend §§ 143.49, 149.51, 143.54 and 143.55 to change the name of antlerless licenses, other than regular antlerless licenses, from private land tags to unsold tags and amend issuance procedures.

   Amend Chapter 143, Subchapter G (relating to restoration of hunting and furtaking privileges of offenders in hunting related shooting incidents, or other mandatory revocations) by requiring a remedial hunter education course for persons whose hunting and trapping privileges have been revoked under mandatory revocation. Courses may be taken no earlier than 3 months prior to the end of the period of revocation and a fee of $50 will be charged.

   Amend Chapter 143, by adding Subchapter K (relating to elk licenses) to establish methods for applying for elk licenses.

   Amend § 147.701 (relating to general) to give applicants the opportunity to also apply for a bobcat permit through the Commission's website and to improve the administration of the drawing to provide a reliable crosscheck of the database for duplicate applications.

   These amendments are adopted under 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

Amendment to § 143.11

1.  Introduction

   To more effectively issue hunting and furtaking licenses, the Commission at its January 23, 2001, meeting proposed, and at its April 10, 2001, meeting finally added § 143.11 to provide for Internet license sales. This addition was adopted under section 2722(g)(2) of the code (relating to authorized license--issuing agents).

2.  Purpose and Authority

   The act of December 20, 2000 (P. L. 452, No. 111) (Act 111) amended section 2708 of the code (relating to application requirements) to allow for the electronic application for and issuance of hunting licenses. Act 111 also added a subsection (c) to section 2708 which authorizes the Director, with approval of the Commission, to establish additional policies and procedures with regard to accepting and processing of electronically filed license applications. As a result, the Commission added § 143.11 to provide procedures for issuance of additional hunting licenses by means of the Internet.

   Also, section 2722(g)(2) of the code authorizes the Commission to adopt regulations for the administration, control and performance of license issuance activities. This provision supplies the authority for the amendment.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The change will allow printing of additional license privileges on hunting license back tags and the validating of those privileges by the assigning and entering of a web order number.

4.  Persons Affected

   Individuals wishing to take advantage of additional license issuance by Internet will be required to follow the new procedures.

5.  Comment and Response Summary

   No official comments were received with regard to the adopted change.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The adopted change should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

Amendments to §§ 143.42, 143.49, 143.54 and 143.55

1.  Introduction

   At its April and June 2000 meetings, the Commission proposed and adopted restricting the use of unsold antlerless deer licenses to ''private land.'' After one hunting season of the restriction, the Commission has decided that is not the most effective means of deer management. In addition, the Commission is in the process of revamping its entire deer management program.

   As a result, the Commission at its January 23, 2001, meeting proposed, and at its April 10, 2001, meeting finally adopted amendments to §§ 143.42, 143.49, 143.51, 143.54 and 143.55 to redesignate ''private land'' tags back to ''unsold'' tags and eliminate the private land restrictions contained in those sections. The changes are being made under the authority of section 2102 of the code (relating to regulations).

2.  Purpose and Authority

   As was indicated in Introduction, the Commission is in the process of changing its deer management program. Originally, it was thought that restricting the use of unsold antlerless deer licenses to private land and public land with an approved management plan would increase hunting pressure on private lands. It is important, however, to maintain hunting pressure on public lands also. The designation back to ''unsold antlerless deer tags'' should accomplish this purpose.

   The adopted changes to § 143.42 (relating to definitions) will substitute ''unsold'' for ''private land'' in the definitions and delete the definition of ''public land.'' The change to § 143.49 (relating to issuing licenses) makes an exception to the United States Postal Service delivery deadline for private land licenses which are redesignated as unsold tags. The changes to § 143.51 (relating to application and issuance of unsold tags) involve substituting ''unsold'' wherever ''private land'' is found, deleting provisions for approval of deer management plans on public land, and setting the eligibility date for applying for unsold tags. The change to § 143.54 (relating to validity of license) involves the deletion of a provision that private land tags are valid only on private land or public land with an approved management plan. The changes to § 143.55 would essentially substitute ''unsold'' for ''private land.''

   Section 2102 of the code directs the Commission to promulgate the amendments it deems necessary and appropriate concerning game or wildlife and hunting. This section provides authority for the adopted changes.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The changes will relax current requirements.

4.  Persons Affected

   Those wishing to harvest antlerless deer could be affected by the adopted changes.

5.  Comment and Response Summary

   No official comments were received with regard to the adopted changes.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The adopted changes should not result in any additional cost or paperwork.

Amendment to § 143.124

1.  Introduction

   Act 111 amended section 929 of the code (relating to revocation or denial of license, permit or registration) to require persons whose hunting privileges have been revoked or suspended under a mandatory provision code to successfully complete a separate remedial hunter education course prior to obtaining a hunting license. To implement this change in the law, the Commission at its January 23, 2001, meeting proposed, and at its April 10, 2001, meeting finally adopted amendments to § 143.124 (relating to restoration of hunting and furtaking privileges of offenders in hunting related shooting incidents) to provide for the required remedial hunter education course. This change was made under a specific mandated contained in Act 111 which is now part of section 929 of the code.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   The act of December 19, 1996 (P. L. 1442, No. 184) (Act 184) amended section 929 of the code to require persons whose hunting privileges were revoked or suspended under a mandatory provision of the code to successfully complete a hunter education course. After a great deal of consideration, the Commission decided to propose to the General Assembly that the requirement involve a remedial hunter education course separate from the course designed for those desiring to be first-time hunters. This proposal was accepted in the form of Act 111.

   Act 111 specifically provides that ''the Commission shall promulgate regulations establishing the curriculum, administration and any associated fees of such a remedial course. . . .'' In addition, section 929(b) of the code generally authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations relating to revocation of hunting and furtaking privileges. These provisions provide the authority for the adopted changes.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The adopted changes specify the minimum content of the remedial hunter education program and direct the Commission's Hunter-Trapper Education Division to develop and administer the program. In addition, those enrolling in the remedial course will be required to pay a fee of $50.

4.  Persons Affected

   Individuals whose hunting license privileges have been revoked or suspended under mandatory provisions of the code would be affected.

5.  Comment and Response Summary

   No official comments were received with regard to the adopted changes.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   Persons required to enroll in the remedial hunter education course will be required to pay a $50 fee under the change. The Commission will also need to develop a program of instruction which will entail additional paperwork.

Addition of Chapter 143, Subchapter K

1.  Introduction

   Act 111 added a paragraph (15) to section 2705 of the code, which provides for issuance by the Commission of elk hunting licenses. In addition, the Commission has adopted regulations providing for an elk hunting season in this Commonwealth in 2001. As a result, the Commission at its January 23, 2001, meeting proposed, and at its April 10, 2001, meeting finally adopted, the addition of Subchapter K. The new subchapter, which includes §§ 143.201--143.205, establishes policies and procedures for the issuance of elk hunting licenses. This subchapter is adopted under authority contained in sections 2705(15) and 2722(g)(2) of the code.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   The elk population in this Commission has been increasing in recent years. This has resulted in increased complaints of nuisance elk and a larger number of incidents of elk being shot for crop damage. Also, as was previously stated, the legal framework for an elk hunting season is being established. One of the final steps is the establishment of policies and procedures for issuing elk licenses. The addition of Subchapter K will accomplish this purpose.

   Section 2705(15) of the code specifically authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations to establish a limited number of elk licenses and allows the establishment of a nonrefundable application fee of $10. In addition, section 2722(g)(2) of the code directs the Commission to adopt regulations for the administration and control of issuance of hunting licenses. These sections provide the authority for the adopted regulations.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The adopted regulations will require the submission to the Commission's Harrisburg Headquarters of a complete and legible paper or electronic elk license application, the payment of a $10 nonrefundable application fee, and the random drawing of the successful applications. Successful applicants will be required to have a regular hunting license, unless they are exempt, and to attend an orientation session. Applicants receiving an antlered elk license will be disqualified from applying for another elk license for 5 years.

Amendment of § 147.701

1.  Introduction

   2000-2001 is the first year in which the Commonwealth has had a bobcat hunting and trapping season. To facilitate that season, the Commission at its April 4, 2000, meeting adopted § 147.701 and § 147.702 (relating to unlawful acts) which provide for the issuance of a bobcat hunting trapping permit. Primarily, to allow for submission of applications for bobcat hunting-trapping permits through the Internet, the Commission at its January 23, 2001, meeting proposed, and at its April 10, 2001, meeting finally adopted changes to § 147.701. These changes are made under authority contained in sections 2901, 2902 and 2904 of the code (relating to authority to issue permits; general categories of permits; and permit fees)

2.  Purpose and Authority

   After 1 year including a bobcat hunting-trapping season, some minor adjustments clearly need to be made. The adjustments include the option of applying for a bobcat permit over the Internet, changes in the application period, the addition of a provision that incomplete, illegible or duplicate applications will not be included in the drawing, and deletion of a provision that permits will be limited to the first 290 valid applications drawn.

   Section 2902(b) of the code (relating to general categories of permits) authorizes the Commission to promulgate regulations for the issuance of any permit. Section 2902(c) of the code authorizes the director to ''. . .issue other permits, with or without charge, as required to control the taking of game or wildlife. . .'' Finally, section 2904(18) of the code (relating to permit fee) mandates that the Commission ''. . .shall set a reasonable fee for any permit required by this title which is not specifically set forth in this section.'' These sections provide the authority for the adopted amendments.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The adopted amendment requires holders of furtaker or combination licenses to submit a complete, legible application together with a nonrefundable fee between July 1 and the third Friday in August in order to obtain a bobcat permit. Those receiving a permit and harvesting a bobcat will be required to comply with tagging requirements.

4.  Person Affected

   Persons wishing to harvest a bobcat by hunting or trapping will be affected by this rulemaking.

5.  Comment and Response Summary

   No official comments were received with regard to the adopted change.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirement

   The adopted change should not result in additional cost or paperwork.

Effective Date

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

Contact Person

   For further information on the changes, contact David E. Overcash, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.

Findings

   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 enforcement of the authorizing statute.

Order

   The Commission, acting under authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 143 and 147, are amended by amending §§ 143.11, 143.42, 143.49, 143.51, 143.54, 143.55 and 143.124 and by adding §§ 143.201, 143.204 and 143.205 to read as set forth at 31 Pa.B. 1566 (March 24, 2001); and by adding §§ 143.202 and 143.203 and amending § 147.701 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Commission shall submit this order, 31 Pa.B. 1566 and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (c)  This order is effective upon final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

VERNON R. ROSS,   
Executive Director

   Fiscal Note:  Fiscal Note 48-130 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A

TITLE 58.  RECREATION

PART III.  GAME COMMISSION

CHAPTER 143.  HUNTING AND FURTAKER LICENSES

Subchapter K.  ELK LICENSES

§ 143.202.  Application.

   (a)  Applications for elk licenses shall be submitted to the Commission's Harrisburg Headquarters. The Executive Director will set periods for accepting applications.

   (b)  Applications for elk licenses shall be made using an electronic application on the Commission's Internet website or a paper form made available by the Commission providing information as may be required by the Executive Director. A nonrefundable $10 application fee shall accompany each application.

   (c)  For the purpose of having a unique identifier assigned to each individual in the database, permitting a crosscheck for duplicates, applicants shall provide their Social Security number on the application, or some other appropriate form of individual identification.

§ 143.203.  Drawing.

   (a)  The Executive Director will set the date and location for the random drawing of applications for the issuance of elk licenses. Incomplete, illegible or duplicate applications will not be included in the drawing.

   (b)  In any given year, no more than 10% of the applications drawn and issued shall be nonresident. A yearly cap on the number of nonresident applications that may be drawn and issued shall be based on the percentage of nonresident general hunting licenses issued the previous year.

   (c)  An applicant issued an antlered elk license is not permitted to apply for another elk license for 5 license years.

   (d)  Qualified applicants and alternates drawn for an elk license shall be required to obtain a regular hunting license prior to attending an orientation session sponsored by the Commission before the elk license is issued. Persons who are eligible for license and fee exemptions and meet the requirements prescribed in section 2706 of the act (relating to resident license and fee exemptions) are not required to purchase a regular hunting license.

   (e)  The number of licenses shall be limited to a number set by the Bureau of Wildlife Management with concurrence of the Executive Director for the year 2001 only.

CHAPTER 147.  SPECIAL PERMITS

Subchapter S.  BOBCAT HUNTING--
TRAPPING PERMIT

§ 147.701.  General.

   This section provides for permits to be issued for the hunting and trapping of bobcat during the season established and in areas designated under § 139.4 (relating to seasons and bag limits for the license year).

   (1)  A permit will only be issued to residents of this Commonwealth who possess a valid resident furtakers license, junior combination license, senior combination license or qualify for license and fee exemptions under section 2706 of the act (relating to resident license and fee exemptions) or to persons who qualify under section 2363 of the act (relating to trapping exception for certain persons).

   (2)  The fee for an application for a permit to take a bobcat is $5.

   (3)  Applications shall be submitted on a form supplied by the Commission or by using an electronic application on the Commission's Internet website and shall contain the required information as requested. For the purpose of having a unique identifier assigned to each individual in the database, permitting a crosscheck for duplicates, applicants shall provide their Social Security number on the application, or some other appropriate form of individual identification. A $5 application fee shall accompany the application and is nonrefundable. Applications shall be submitted to the Commission's Harrisburg Headquarters.

   (4)  Applications may only be submitted between July 1 and the third Friday in August. Applications post marked later than the third Friday in August will be rejected.

   (5)  Only one application per person may be submitted. Anyone submitting more than one application for a permit will have all applications rejected.

   (6)  The selection of applications will be made by random drawing from all eligible applications submitted. Incomplete, illegible or duplicate applications will not be included in the drawing. The drawing will be held at the Commission's Harrisburg Headquarters on the second Friday in September and shall be open to the public.

   (7)  A special permit authorizing the lawful taking of one bobcat will be delivered to successful applicants by standard first class mail through and by the United States Postal Service. Permits shall be mailed by the first Friday in October. The number of permits issued shall be set by the Executive Director no later than the first day of June.

   (8)  Tagging requirements are as follows:

   (i)  A permitted person taking a bobcat shall immediately, before removing the bobcat from the location of the taking, fully complete a temporary carcass tag furnished with the permit, which contains in English the person'sname, address, special permit number, date of harvest, county and township of harvest, furbearer management zone of harvest and method of harvest and attach the tag to the bobcat. The bobcat carcass shall remain intact, that is, with entrails, until examined and tagged by a Commission representative. The temporary carcass tag shall remain attached to the animal until it is tagged with a numbered permanent interlocking tag. The person taking the bobcat may remove the pelt provided the pelt is kept with the carcass for examination and tagging.

   (ii)  A permitted person taking a bobcat shall contact the Commission within 48 hours of the taking by telephoning the number specified on the permit to arrange for carcass examination, data collection and tagging.

   (iii)  A bobcat taken under authority of a special permit shall be tagged with a numbered permanent interlocking tag no later than 4 p.m. on the 10th day following the closing of the bobcat season.

   (iv)  The tag shall remain attached to the bobcat until it is mounted, tanned, made into a commercial fur or prepared for consumption.

   (9)  An applicant issued a bobcat hunting-trapping permit is not permitted to apply for another bobcat hunting-trapping permit the next license year.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-985. Filed for public inspection June 8, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]



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