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House Game and Fisheries Committee
Wednesday, March 13, 9:00 a.m., Room 205 Ryan Office Building


These bills are going to be voted on by the members of the House Game and Fish Committee on March 13th:


(Click on higherst printer number for most current text)


<span style="font-weight: bold">HB 577</span> (Haluska) Amends Title 34 to provide that the Commission shall annually conduct a special raffle for the purchase of one elk license, which raffle shall be open only to residents of the elk management area.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/bill...e=B&BN=0577

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 14, 2013 12:03 PM

From: Representative Gary Haluska

To: All House members

Subject: Legislation Regarding Elk Hunting Licenses (Former HB 1899)
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation to ensure that at least one resident of the Elk Management Area receives an opportunity to purchase an elk hunting license each year the Pennsylvania Game Commission conducts an elk hunting season.

As you may know, Pennsylvania is home to several hundred free-roaming elk. These elk are found in the northern portion of the state, primarily in the region known as the Elk Management Area, as defined by the Commission.

The Commission annually calculates the number of elk hunting licenses that must be issued to manage the herd. Currently, the Commission allocates the opportunity to purchase elk hunting licenses through an annual drawing, which is not restricted to residents of the Commonwealth. Each year, approximately 20,000 applications from throughout the country are submitted for a chance to purchase a handful of licenses.

Since a significant portion of the Elk Management Area consists of privately owned lands, farmers in this region frequently contend with crop damage caused by elk. In addition, other residents are inconvenienced and harmed by elk/human conflicts. The annual drawing provides a means to distribute elk hunting licenses, but it fails to adequately recognize the contributions made by Elk Management Area residents in maintaining Pennsylvania’s elk herd.

The legislation that I will be re-introducing would ensure that at least one resident of the Elk Management Area receives an opportunity to purchase an elk hunting license each year by means of a raffle. The raffle would be open only to residents of this area. All unsuccessful applicants for the raffle would be eligible for the subsequent drawing (or other future means of selection) conducted by the commission. By instituting this raffle, the Commonwealth would be recognizing the contributions and sacrifices made by residents of the Elk Management Area in maintaining the elk herd for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians.




<span style="font-weight: bold">HB 723</span> (Baker) Amends the definition of “wild animal” in Title 34 to provide that the definition shall not be construed to include a species or variation of swine, pig or boar that is held in captivity.


http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/bill...e=B&BN=0723


MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 1, 2013 11:33 AM

From: Representative Matthew Baker

To: All House members

Subject: Amending the definition of “Wild animal” under Title 34 Pa. C.S. (Game & Wildlife Code)


In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Game Code to clarify wild boars and all other variations or species of swine kept behind fences on game farms or hunting preserves are not defined as “wild animals” under the Game Code, and therefore not under the regulatory purview of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC).

Specifically, my legislation amends the definition of “Wild animal” under Title 34 Pa. C.S. (Game & Wildlife Code) adding language to specifically provide that the definition shall not be construed to include any species or variation of pig, swine or boar held in captivity. Currently, the definition simply provides that all mammals other than domestic animals as defined under Title 1 Pa. C.S. (General Provisions) subsection 1991 (relating to definitions). The definition of “domestic animals” under Title 1 includes any equine animal, bovine animal and sheep, as well as any pig.

However, even though all variations of pigs, swine and boars share the same DNA, and the definition under Title 1 should technically include all these types of pig, the PGC has been forced by court decision to regulate “wild boars”, even if they are kept behind fences on hunting preserves or game farms. Such responsibility is generally that of the Department of Agriculture, which regulates all other non-exotic animals held in captivity, including but not limited to deer, elk, stag and sheep.

As a result of the court decision (Seeton V. PGC), the PGC has taken recent action to approve a preliminary regulation that would ban the importation of feral swine or wild boar into the Commonwealth 30 days after final approval of the regulation, and barring such animals from being held in captivity one year after final approval. Final approval is expected to be considered during the next PGC quarterly meeting April 14-15.

This proposed regulation, if put into place, would have a devastating effect on hunting preserves in our Commonwealth. I believe my legislation would effectively take regulation of any swine, boar, etc. held in captivity away from the PGC as such animals would no longer be considered “wild animals”, thus allowing our hunting preserves to continue operating as they currently are.




<span style="font-weight: bold">HB 451</span> (Pyle) Amends Title 34 to create an exception to the prohibition on using dogs to hunt big game when the dog is a leashed blood tracking dog being used to pursue a deer or bear that was injured or killed during a lawful hunting season.


http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/bill...e=B&BN=0451


MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 16, 2013 03:49 PM

From: Representative Jeffrey Pyle

To: All House members

Subject: Leashed Blood Tracking Dogs


In the near future, I plan to re-introduce previous House Bill 881, 2011-12, amending the Pennsylvania Game Code providing an exemption to allow the use of a leashed blood-tracking dog to track white-tailed deer in an attempt to recover an animal which has been legally killed or wounded. Currently under the Game Code, it is unlawful for any person to make use of a dog in any manner to hunt or take big game, other than wild turkey during the fall season, or to permit a dog under a person’s ownership or control to pursue big game.

As sportsmen know, it can sometimes be very difficult to track a wounded or harvested deer that may have traveled some distance, especially in areas of varied terrain or when weather conditions are poor. The use of a properly trained and controlled blood-tracking dog can prove instrumental in recovering a mortally wounded animal, and greatly decrease the chances of leaving deceased white-tailed deer unrecovered in our Commonwealth’s woods and wild lands. I believe this simple and humane proposed change in the law will be of great benefit to both our sporting community and one of our most valued natural resources, the white-tailed deer.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.
 

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This is when your opinions count.

Failure to make your views known allows others to drive the show. Not making your views known lets others determine your future actions via law.

Take a stand and make your thoughts known to those voting on the issues.
 

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Today's results:


03/13/2013 HR129 Report Bill As Committed

Resolution for a study to merge PGC and PFBC.


03/13/2013 HB723 Report Bill As Committed

HB 723 (Baker) Amends the definition of “wild animal” in Title 34 to provide that the definition shall not be construed to include a species or variation of swine, pig or boar that is held in captivity.



03/13/2013 HB577 Report Bill As Committed

HB 577 (Haluska) Amends Title 34 to provide that the Commission shall annually conduct a special raffle for the purchase of one elk license, which raffle shall be open only to residents of the elk management area.


03/13/2013 HB451 Report Bill As Committed

HB 451 (Pyle) Amends Title 34 to create an exception to the prohibition on using dogs to hunt big game when the dog is a leashed blood tracking dog being used to pursue a deer or bear that was injured or killed during a lawful hunting season.
 

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Committed: passed in committee
 
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