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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-1675



[58 PA. CODE CHS. 141 AND 143]


[32 Pa.B. 4714]

   To effectively manage the wildlife resources of this Commonwealth, the Game Commission (Commission), at its July 28, 2002, meeting, adopted the following changes:

   Amend § 141.43 (relating to deer) by allowing any long gun muzzleloading firearm to be used in the early muzzleloading season to make available more options and opportunities to hunters.

   Amend § 143.82 (relating to definitions) by removing the word ''flintlock'' in the license definition to allow the use of any long gun muzzleloading firearm to be used in the early muzzleloading season.

   These final-form amendments were adopted under the authority of 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Game and Wildlife Code) (code).

   Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 32 Pa.B. 2889 (June 15, 2002).

1.  Introduction

   The Commission is amending § 141.43 to allow any long gun muzzleloading firearm to be used in the early muzzleloading season and § 143.82 to change ''flintlock'' to ''muzzleloading.'' This will expand opportunities for hunters to use a wider range of firearms during the early muzzleloading season.

2.  Purpose and Authority

   Under current § 141.43, those wishing to hunt deer during the flintlock muzzleloading and muzzleloading seasons are limited to single-barrel long guns manufactured prior to 1800 or a similar reproduction. Although this provides a primitive touch to the seasons, it severely limits the options available to those wishing to hunt deer during those seasons. As a result, the Commission is amending § 141.43 to allow the use of any .44 caliber or larger muzzleloading single barrel long gun during the early muzzleloading season. This amendment also necessitated deleting ''flintlock'' and only having ''muzzleloading'' in the definition in § 143.82.

   Section 322(c)(5) of the code (relating to powers and duty of commission) authorizes the Commission to fix the type and number of devices which may be used to take game and wildlife. Section 2102(d) of the code (relating to regulations) directs the Commission to promulgate regulations stipulating the size and type of traps, 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 device may be used for and the season when the device may be used.

3.  Regulatory Requirements

   The final-form rulemaking will authorize the use of any muzzleloading long gun during the early muzzleloading season, easing current restrictions.

4.  Persons Affected

   Individuals wishing to hunt with muzzleloading long guns during the early muzzleloader season will be affected by this final-form rulemaking.

5.  Comment and Response Summary

   A total of 91 comments were received with regard to this final-form rulemaking. Those supporting liked the opportunity to use what they viewed as more effective firearms in this deer season. They also pointed out that they could use muzzleloading firearms currently legal in other states. Those opposing voiced fear that these changes would take away from the tradition of flintlock muzzleloader hunting in this Commonwealth.

6.  Cost and Paperwork Requirements

   The final-form rulemaking should not result in any additional cost or paperwork.

7.  Effective Date

   The final-form rulemaking will be effective on 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 David E. Overcash, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-9797, (717) 783-6526.


   The Game 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.


   The Commission, acting under authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 141 and 143, are amended by amending § 141.43 to read as set forth at 32 Pa.B. 2889 and by amending § 143.82 to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Executive Director of the Game Commission shall certify this order, 32 Pa.B. 2889 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.

Executive Director

   (Editor's Note: The amendment to § 143.82 was not included in the proposed rulemaking at 32 Pa.B. 2889.)

   Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48-142 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A





§ 143.82.  Definitions.

   The following words or terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   License--The special stamp issued by a license issuing agent authorizing the holder thereof to hunt deer with a muzzleloading firearm during the special season.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-1675. Filed for public inspection September 27, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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