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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question concerning target shooting of PA State Forest Land. My father and I used to shoot at an area in Huntingdon County on State Forest Land that was clear cut a few several years ago. They had pushed a large pile of dirt and tree limbs at the end of an access road off limits to motor vehicles. This provided a safe backstop to shoot into. This was not a sanctioned shooting range by any means however it served our purpose. It was not in a State Park area and the area is open to public hunting.

According to the 2009-2010 Hunting Digest on page 30 it states under
<span style="color: #3366FF">Shooting at Random: During the open seasons for deer and bears, it is unlawful to shoot at any target other than legal game. Target shooting is lawful only when done: 1) on property owned by the shooter or by a guest of the property owner; 2) within 200 yards of a camp or headquarters where the shooter is either quartered or an invited guest; 3) at an established shooting range. The target must be protected by a natural or artificial barrier so that the bullet or arrow cannot travel more than 15 yards beyond the target.</span> <span style="color: #000000"> </span>

Does this mean it would be illegal to target shoot on State Forest Land or Game Lands when bear and deer season is closed? Or does it mean as long as it is not Deer or Bear Season you may target shoot? Does this include Archery & Muzzleloader seasons? Are there any WCO's or State Forest Rangers who wish to comment?
 

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Re: ISsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

interesting question. i have shot in the allegehny national forest in the summer months while camping and wondered what the ruling would be if a warden were to talk to you. i know alot of people that do it, that doesnt make it legal though, im interested to see the answer.
 

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Re: ISsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

I think it would be illegal based off of numbers 1, 2, and 3.

You dont own the land is the biggest reason outside the fact that its not a designated range. State game lands are not only used for hunting activities, someone could be walking on the otherside of the "safe backstop" just maybe the bullet could find its way through and now you accidently killed them.
 

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Re: ISsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

Not saying it's legal, but I've done it for years. Actually shot with some state troopers over the years. They lived close by, and just wanted to blow a few rounds without having to drive far.
 

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Re: ISsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

hunt/fish365 said:
Not saying it's legal, but I've done it for years. Actually shot with some state troopers over the years. They lived close by, and just wanted to blow a few rounds without having to drive far.
my father would always take me camping way in the cut in the allegheny national forrest and we would shoot for hours, never had any problems. always made sure we had a backstop, saw and heard other people doing the same thing.
 

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Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

PANRA said:
Shooting at Random: During the open seasons for deer and bears, it is unlawful to shoot at any target other than legal game. Target shooting is lawful only when done: 1) on property owned by the shooter or by a guest of the property owner; 2) within 200 yards of a camp or headquarters where the shooter is either quartered or an invited guest; 3) at an established shooting range. The target must be protected by a natural or artificial barrier so that the bullet or arrow cannot travel more than 15 yards beyond the target.
As I read over the wording I started to wonder if #'s 1, 2, & 3 are in effect during Bear and Deer season only or are they in effect all of the time. I believe it could be interpreted that "Shooting at Random: During the open seasons for deer and bears, it is unlawful to shoot at any target other than legal game. Target shooting is lawful only when done: 1) on property owned by the shooter or by a guest of the property owner; 2) within 200 yards of a camp or headquarters where the shooter is either quartered or an invited guest; 3) at an established shooting range. The target must be protected by a natural or artificial barrier so that the bullet or arrow cannot travel more than 15 yards beyond the target" would apply only during Deer and Bear Seasons from this statement.
 

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Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

171farm said:
I think it would be illegal based off of numbers 1, 2, and 3.

You dont own the land is the biggest reason outside the fact that its not a designated range. State game lands are not only used for hunting activities, someone could be walking on the otherside of the "safe backstop" just maybe the bullet could find its way through and now you accidently killed them.
However if you were within 200 yards of a camp or headquarters where the shooter is either quartered or an invited guest I take it that it would be legal to target shoot on State Forest or Game Lands, provided you are 150 yards away for the safety zone regulation if you do not own the building.
 

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Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

Game land ranges are open during the hunting seasons, safety zones only apply to hunting and trapping, they do not apply to target shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

My question was in reference to target shooting on State Forest Land that is not a sanctioned shooting range.

This is what a municipal police officer told me when I asked him about my Townships policy on target shooting on my own private property.

<span style="color: #3366FF">"There are no specific laws forbidding shooting on your own property. The general rule is that is being done safely. There is no requirement for a back stop and if the bullet trajectory will allow it to fall within the property that meets the requirements of a “back stop”. As to the hours, it falls under the noise ordinance which is basically a case by case basis when considering a late night or early morning target shooting. </span>
 

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Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

The lawyers got to the DCNR powers to be back at the end of the 1990's and convinced then that there is a remote possibility that someday, someway, a person might walk into the path of a bullet that miraculously avoided all the trees in the forest. So based on that "what if" scenario, they outlawed any shooting range on state forest lands that didn't provide a primary and a secondary backstop.
A large shale bank may provide a place for you to shoot and most decent, logically thinking DCNR forest rangers will allow that. At least the ones in my area do. It pizzed a lot of camp owners off because they almost all had a range/backstop at their camp and had to remove them.

And a word of caution too. This goes for bows, BB guns, and slingshots too, in fact blowguns would also be prohibited because the wording is any projectile launching weapon.

§ 21.65. Target shooting. Target shooting with firearms, bows and arrows or devices capable of launching projectiles and causing injury to persons or property is prohibited except where authorized by the District Forester or a designee.
 

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Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

Exactly shooter we used to have a blue rock shoot after our wood cutting weekend at camp. Since the new rules went into effect we have had to stop.
 

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Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

DCNR Rules & Regs. 21.65 Target Shooting ---Target Shooting with Firearms, Bows and Arrows or devices capable of launching projectiles and causing injury to persons or property is prohibited except where authorized by the District Forester or designee.
 

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Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

my cousin and her boy friend just got a 200 dollar fine this past summer for doing exactly that shooting into a log pile warden said it was not an approved range even though the gc closed the only public range within 30 miles of here thank god for private clubs
 

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Re: IsTarget Shooting on PA State Forest Land Legal?

If there is a legal range on the SGL then you are fine. If you bump your gun and decide to shoot into a target on the bank of a parking area then I strongly suggest that you DO NOT DO IT! I found that out the hard way. I am thankful that the WCO realized that I was Polish and had a ligitimet excuse so he let me go with a very strong verbal warning.
 
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