RULES AND REGULATIONS
[58 PA. CODE CH. 141]
Hunting and Trapping; Special Regulations Areas
[36 Pa.B. 7250]
[Saturday, December 2, 2006]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its October 3, 2006, meeting, adopted an amendment to § 141.1 (relating to special regulations areas).
The final-form rulemaking will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for the final rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 36 Pa.B. 5784 (September 16, 2006).
1. Purpose and Authority
The Commission is directed by law to use hunting in managing white-tailed deer. The Commission has encouraged and supported hunting as the primary means of managing deer populations by annually making hunting opportunities available, increasing hunter opportunities and providing deer hunters with tools to increase their success. With the recent creation of the ''Plan to Reduce Human-Deer Conflicts in Developed Areas,'' also known as the Urban Deer Management Strategy, this same approach will be used when safe and appropriate in developed areas.
Strategy 1.1.3 of the Urban Deer Management Strategy calls for the use of regulated baiting to increase hunter harvest in developed wildlife management units. In 2004, the Legislature authorized the Commission to regulate the use of bait for deer removal in special regulations areas in southeastern Pennsylvania. While traditional hunting, that is, hunting without bait, is the most economical way to manage deer populations, by allowing the use of bait while hunting there is a potential to increase harvest, hunter success and hunter opportunity in developed areas. Providing this tool in the most developed areas will be beneficial to hunters, urban residents and the Commission's deer management program. Therefore, the Commission amended § 141.1 to permit hunters to use or take advantage of bait while hunting deer within the southeast special regulations area of this Commonwealth.
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 andmeans 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 § 141.1 was adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking amends § 141.1 to permit hunters to use or take advantage of bait while hunting deer within the southeast special regulations area of this Commonwealth.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to hunt deer within the southeast special regulations area of this Commonwealth may be affected by this final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
Out of a total of 18 comments received concerning this topic, 9 support the lawful use of bait in the southeast special regulations area, 8 oppose the lawful use of bait in the southeast special regulations area and 1 supports limiting the lawful use of bait for the hunting of antlerless deer only.
5. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
6. Effective Date
The final-form rulemaking will become effective December 26, 2006, and expire on March 31, 2010.
7. Contact Person
For further information regarding the final-form rulemaking, contact Richard A. Palmer, Acting Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection, 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 § 141.1 to read as set forth in Annex A.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(c) This order shall become effective December 26, 2006, and expire March 31, 2010.
CARL G. ROE,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-235 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART III. GAME COMMISSION
CHAPTER 141. HUNTING AND TRAPPING
Subchapter A. GENERAL
§ 141.1. Special regulations areas.
(a) Name. The areas shall be known and referred to as special regulations areas.
(1) Southwest area. Includes the County of Allegheny.
(2) Southeast area. Includes the Counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia and also includes Tyler and Ridley Creek State Parks and other publicly-owned lands therein.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (d), it is unlawful to take, kill or attempt to take or kill wildlife through the use of a firearm of any description which discharges single-projectile ammunition, or, while hunting for wild birds or wild animals, to possess single-projectile ammunition, except for employees of political subdivisions and other persons who have a valid deer control permit issued under the authority of Chapter 29 of the act (relating to special licenses and permits).
(2) It is unlawful to use buckshot in Allegheny or Philadelphia Counties without specific authorization of the Director.
(d) Permitted acts. It is lawful to:
(1) Except in Philadelphia County, Ridley Creek State Park, Delaware County and Tyler State Park, Bucks County, hunt and kill deer through the use of a muzzleloading long gun or a shotgun, at least .410 gauge (rifled barrels permitted), including semiautomatics which, upon discharge, propel a single projectile.
(2) Take deer with a shotgun 20 gauge or larger--including semiautomatic--using buckshot in the Southeast area only.
(3) Take small game, furbearing animals, crows or wildlife with a manually operated rimfire rifle or handgun .22 caliber or less.
(4) Kill an animal legally caught in a trap with a manually operated rimfire rifle or handgun .22 caliber or less while trapping.
(5) Hunt or take deer on private lands only in the southeast area through the use of or by taking advantage of bait.
(i) Bait may be placed or distributed 2 weeks prior to the opening of the first deer season through the close of the last deer season in each wildlife management unit.Bait accumulation in any one location may not exceed 5 gallons total volume at a given time.
(ii) This paragraph became effective December 26, 2006, and expires March 31, 2010, unless the Commission authorizes its continued legal effectiveness prior to March 31, 2010.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 06-2342. Filed for public inspection December 1, 2006, 9:00 a.m.]
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