Question on how Safety Zones work - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question on how Safety Zones work

I heard a story this weekend about a guy who, along with three others in his party, got cited for going through a safety zone. Apparently, they knew it was a safety zone as the entire party made sure to unload their shotguns before walking through it. When they were confronted by the warden, they told him that they had no intention to hunt in the zone as evidenced by the fact that they all unloaded. Nor were they trying to push any game through the zone to hunt on the other side of the zone. I don't know how that could be proven one way or another but they were pheasant hunting and I don't know that this would be a very effective way of getting a pheasant even if you were doing it on purpose.

Apparently the warden called up his supervisor to assist with the citations and all told, held up the party for an hour and a half before allowing them to be on their way with the rest of their hunt and by that time, it was starting to get late in the day and almost too dark to hunt.

So, how is one to traverse a safety zone when you are out hunting if not finding a way to not even step foot in it. Keep in mind that just because a sign is present that warns of residences in the area and stating the 150 yard rule, it doesn't mean that all of those signs are at the exact border of the 150 yard perimeter. Furthermore, SGLs actually have some parking lots that are within safety zones so if one cannot have an unloaded gun within a safety zone for any reason, how does one legally use those parking lots?
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 02:22 PM
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
I heard a story this weekend

sometimes that's exactly what they are stories...some true some not. Believe what you will.
bad primer and Marcus99 like this.

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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by timberdoodle View Post
sometimes that's exactly what they are stories...some true some not. Believe what you will.
Admittedly, I got this second hand but from someone who I trust entirely so I don't think for a minute that it's just --. The guy who it happened to was a genuinely nice guy as evidenced by his actions with my good hunting buddy. He was hunting with the guy and explained to my friend before they started off that he is very cautious about safety zones and explained his impending court appearance as the reason.
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 02:44 PM
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There is two sides to every story. Even if you fully trust the guy, you only heard one side. I don't know the circumstance, but I would wonder why they were in the zone or felt the need to walk through it?

Below is what is says in the reg book:
Safety Zones: It is unlawful to hunt for, shoot at, trap, take, chase or
disturb wildlife within 150 yards of any occupied residence, camp, industrial or commercial building, farm house or farm building, or school or
playground without the permission of the occupants. It is unlawful to shoot
into a safety zone, even if you are outside of the zone. Driving game, even
without a firearm or bow, within a safety zone without permission is unlawful. For comparison, think of a safety zone as about one and a half
football fields. Hunting on hospital and institutional grounds, and in cemeteries, is also prohibited. It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 150
yards of a Game Commission vehicle whose occupants are releasing pheasants. The safety zone for archery hunters statewide is 50 yards. This also
applies to crossbows during any season where they can be used. Archery
hunters carrying muzzleloaders during any muzzleloader season must abide
by the 150-yard safety zone regulation. Around playgrounds, schools, nursery schools or day-care centers, the safety zone remains 150 yards.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 02:45 PM
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Like I said believe what you will.. but remember you are hearing only one side of the incident.

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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus99 View Post
There is two sides to every story. Even if you fully trust the guy, you only heard one side. I don't know the circumstance, but I would wonder why they were in the zone or felt the need to walk through it?

Below is what is says in the reg book:
Safety Zones: It is unlawful to hunt for, shoot at, trap, take, chase or
disturb wildlife within 150 yards of any occupied residence, camp, industrial or commercial building, farm house or farm building, or school or
playground without the permission of the occupants. It is unlawful to shoot
into a safety zone, even if you are outside of the zone. Driving game, even
without a firearm or bow, within a safety zone without permission is unlawful. For comparison, think of a safety zone as about one and a half
football fields. Hunting on hospital and institutional grounds, and in cemeteries, is also prohibited. It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 150
yards of a Game Commission vehicle whose occupants are releasing pheasants. The safety zone for archery hunters statewide is 50 yards. This also
applies to crossbows during any season where they can be used. Archery
hunters carrying muzzleloaders during any muzzleloader season must abide
by the 150-yard safety zone regulation. Around playgrounds, schools, nursery schools or day-care centers, the safety zone remains 150 yards.
I guess I was surprised because whether you believe the story or not, this was the first time I heard that if you encountered a safety zone and went about getting through it by unloading your gun and proceeding through it is illegal. So I read up on the regulation that Marcus99 copied above and sure enough, they could still cite you for "driving game" whether that was your intent or not. Sometimes there is no practical way to get from point A to point B on a gameland without going through a safety zone. Like I said earlier, they even have some SGL-designated parking lots that are within a safety zone!
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberdoodle View Post
Like I said believe what you will.. but remember you are hearing only one side of the incident.
I guess I was surprised because whether you believe the story or not, this was the first time I heard that if you encountered a safety zone and went about getting through it by unloading your gun and proceeding through it is illegal. So I read up on the regulation that Marcus99 copied above and sure enough, they could still cite you for "driving game" whether that was your intent or not. Sometimes there is no practical way to get from point A to point B on a gameland without going through a safety zone. Like I said earlier, they even have some SGL-designated parking lots that are within a safety zone!
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 06:12 PM
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I have asked about SGL parking lots on here before when this subject comes up. There are quite a few here in the SE that fall within safety zones. Some are relatively new as houses have been built but others are 50 yrs. old or older.

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I should have clearly stated that the party of hunters were in a Safety Zone inside a SGL. If it were just on private land, that would be a different matter.
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