RULES AND REGULATIONS
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 141 ]
Hunting and Trapping; Special Regulations Areas
[42 Pa.B. 3588]
[Saturday, June 23, 2012]
To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission) at its April 24, 2012, meeting amended § 141.1 (relating to special regulations areas) to permit hunters to legally harvest deer during any deer season through the use of bait on properties authorized under a valid deer control permit (red tag farms) in southeastern Pennsylvania special regulations areas.
The final rulemaking will not have an 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 42 Pa.B. 1235 (March 10, 2012).
1. Purpose and Authority
On March 31, 2010, the Commission's 3-year evaluation of the effectiveness of a broad scale and widely accessible authorization permitting the baiting of white-tailed deer across the southeast special regulations areas expired. The Commission's final review of the baiting authorization generally concluded that broad scale and widely accessible baiting did not establish viable increases in harvest rates to justify an extension of the experimental program. Agricultural deer damage continues to be a challenge in the more developed areas of this Commonwealth. Special hunting regulations exist for these areas but hunting and permitted control provisions at times create conflicting regulations. On February 1, 2011, the Commission amended §§ 147.552 and 147.556 (relating to application; and lawful devices and methods) to create a focused limited authorization permitting the baiting of white-tailed deer in the southeast special regulations areas on approved properties enrolled in the Red Tag Program. In furtherance of the Commission's continuing efforts to find effective tools to manage the population on agriculture lands in this area of this Commonwealth, the Commission amends § 141.1 to permit hunters to legally harvest deer during any deer season through the use of bait on properties authorized under a valid deer control permit (red tag farms) in the southeast special regulations areas.
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 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 § 141.1 are adopted under this authority.
2. Regulatory Requirements
The final-form rulemaking amends § 141.1 by permitting hunters to legally harvest deer during any deer season through the use of bait on properties authorized under a valid deer control permit (red tag farms) in the southeast special regulations areas.
3. Persons Affected
Persons wishing to hunt deer through the use of bait in the southeast special regulations areas will be affected by the final-form rulemaking.
4. Comment and Response Summary
There were no official comments received regarding the final-form rulemaking.
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 be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and will remain in effect until changed by the Commission.
7. Contact Person
For further information regarding the final-form rulemaking, contact Richard R. Palmer, 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 upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
CARL G. ROE,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-333 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 and bear 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) Harvest more than one deer at a time when multiple harvests of deer per day are authorized without first lawfully tagging previous harvests, provided all deer harvested are lawfully tagged immediately thereafter.
(6) Hunt or take deer during any deer season through the use of or by taking advantage of bait on private property currently operating under a valid deer control permit where approval for limited baiting activities has previously been obtained under § 147.552 (relating to application). This limited authorization is valid only to the extent that persons comply with the standards and conditions in § 147.556 (relating to lawful devices and methods).
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 12-1155. Filed for public inspection June 22, 2012, 9:00 a.m.]
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