RULES AND REGULATIONS
[58 PA. CODE CH. 141]
Hunting and Trapping; Crossbow
[34 Pa.B. 3710]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its April 20, 2004, meeting, adopted the following rulemaking:
Amend §§ 141.41 and 141.43 (relating to general; and deer) to permit all hunters to hunt and take deer with a crossbow during any firearms deer season and also permit hunters within Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 2B, 5C and 5D to hunt and take deer with a crossbow during any deer season.
The final-form rulemaking will have no adverse impact on the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth.
The authority for the final-form rulemaking is 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to Game and Wildlife Code) (code).
Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 34 Pa.B. 1781 (April 3, 2004).
The Commission amends §§ 141.41 and 141.43 to permit all hunters to hunt and take deer with a crossbow during any firearms deer season and also permit hunters within WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D to hunt and take deer with a crossbow during any deer season.
2. Purpose and Authority
Formerly, the use of a crossbow for deer hunting purposes was permitted, but only in limited circumstances. Most hunters were permitted to hunt and take deer with a crossbow only during the regular firearms deer season. Disabled hunters possessing a valid disabled persons crossbow permit were additionally permitted to hunt and take deer with a crossbow during archery season. The final-form rulemaking provides expanded deer hunting opportunities for all hunters in this Commonwealth by permitting the use of crossbows to hunt and take deer during any firearms season. In addition, the final-form rulemaking allows even greater hunting opportunities in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D by permitting hunters within these WMUs to hunt and take deer with a crossbow during any deer season. The purpose of the increased allowance in these WMUs is to offset the increasing difficulty for hunters to safely hunt deer using firearms in these urban areas with high population centers.
Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) authorizes the Commission to ''promulgate regulations stipulating . . . 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 2102(a) of the code 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 and means 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 amendments to §§ 141.41 and 141.43 were adopted under this authority.
3. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking will permit hunters in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D to hunt and take deer with a crossbow during any deer season. For all other WMUs, the final-form rulemaking makes it unlawful for hunters to hunt and take deer with a crossbow during any deer seasons other any of the firearms seasons.
4. Persons Affected
Persons who wish to hunt deer with a crossbow are affected by the final-form rulemaking.
5. Comment and Response Summary
In total, 68 comments were received by letter and 141 comments were received by e-mail regarding the proposed rulemaking. Regarding the comments received by letter, 7 comments were in support while 61 comments were in opposition to the proposed rulemaking. Regarding the comments received by e-mail, 21 were in support while 120 were in opposition to the proposed rulemaking.
The comments received were very diversified in their support and opposition to the proposed rulemaking. Not all comments received solely supported or solely opposed the proposed rulemaking. Rather, a good portion of the comments received both supported and opposed different parts of the proposed rulemaking for a variety of reasons.
6. Cost and Paperwork Requirements
The final-form rulemaking should not result in additional cost or paperwork.
7. Effective Date
The final-form rulemaking will be effective on final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
8. Contact Person
For further information regarding the final-form rulemaking, contact Michael A. Dubaich, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.
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 these amendments 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 §§ 141.41 and 141.43 to read as set forth at 34 Pa.B. 1781.
(b) The Executive Director of the Commission shall certify this order and 34 Pa.B. 1781 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(c) This order shall become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
VERNON R. ROSS,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-178 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-1285. Filed for public inspection July 16, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]
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