Hunting in Pennsylvania: Additional electronic devices get preliminary OK

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners on Monday gave preliminary approval to a measure that would make three additional electronic devices lawful to use while hunting.

If the measure is adopted, hunters would be able to use electronic decoys in hunting waterfowl; electronically heated scent or lure dispensers; and electronic devices that distribute ozone gas for scent-control purposes.

The measure is scheduled to be brought back to the September meeting for a final vote. The board indicated it will consider adding electronic mourning dove decoys to the list when it’s brought up for a final vote.

Electronic devices generally are prohibited for hunting use in Pennsylvania, but the Game Commission over the years has received requests to review several specific electronic devices, and has approved some of them for hunting use. As part of the review process, the Game Commission evaluates to what degree a given device might negatively impact the principles of resource conservation, equal opportunity, fair chase and public safety.

In reviewing the devices that were preliminarily approved for hunting use, the Game Commission identified no negative impacts that would result from their use.

Other electronic devices that are permitted for use while hunting or trapping in Pennsylvania:

  • Firearms that use an electronic impulse to initiate discharge of their ammunition.
  • Electronic sound-amplification devices incorporated into hearing protection devices and completely contained within the hunters’ ear.
  • Electronic devices used for locating dogs while training and hunting.
  • Electronic illuminating devices affixed to the aft end of a bolt or arrow and used solely for locating or tracking a bolt or arrow after it is launched.
  • Electronic crow decoys used solely for hunting crows.
  • Electronic rangefinders, including handheld devices and those contained within a scope or archery sight, so long that it does not emit a beam.
Categories: Hunting News

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