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Electronic hunting devices will be legal in Pennsylvania

Written by Maddie Crocenzi/The York Daily Record | Sep 27, 2017 1:48 PM
deer_hunting_sign.jpg

FILE PHOTO: A pair of bear hunters walk up the road towards the sign marking a game commission's deer hunter focus area at Pennsylvania state game lands 74 in Fisher. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(Undated) -- The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners is making four electronic devices lawful for hunting and has given preliminary approval to make state game land access easier for individuals with mobility challenges. 

Electronic decoys for hunting waterfowl and doves was approved at Tuesday's board meeting.

Hunting devices for other game, including electronically heated scent or lure dispensers and those that distribute ozone gas for scent-control purposes also were approved.

The four devices will be legal in six to eight weeks. 

"Next year they will be written into the digest and publicized even more so than they are now," Wildlife Conservation Officer Supervisor Bert Einodshofer said.

The Game Commission began considering the use of these devices when sportsmen's interest grew. Many hunters use the them legally in other states, including Maryland.

Springfield Township Farmers' and Sportsmen's Association board member Nate Ehrhart says he has used the electronic decoys while hunting waterfowl in Maryland.

He describes the decoys as efficient and a better version of wind-driven or pull-string decoys. 

 "They worked well," he said. "They help decoy the geese and the ducks." 

Einodshofer said these devices have not had a negative impact in other states. He doesn't see any negative impact to wildlife or for "fair ethical chase" in Pennsylvania. 

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The board also gave preliminary approval for several changes to state game land access for individuals with mobility challenges.

The proposal includes a free Disabled Person Access Permit that would allow individuals to use ATVs, golf carts and other devices on certain state game land routes.

If given final approval, wheelchair-bound hunters can travel anywhere on the game lands where individuals are able to travel on foot. Wheelchair-bound hunters can also locate and flush game, and may carry loaded sporting arms while on or in wheelchairs.

The board will vote on the proposal at the Jan. 28-30 quarterly meeting. 


This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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