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There is legislation headed to the Governor that would allow the game commission to write regulations that would allow the use of semi auto rifles to hunt. Assuming it becomes law, I wonder what PA hunters would like to see the pgc do with it. Small game ? Predators like fox and coyote? Groundhogs? What about fall turkey or deer and bear for that matter? If big game, should there be a minimum caliber? Right now deer and bear can be hunted with any centerfire. What do you all think?
 

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The bill also legalizes air rifles.

For next year, I would like to see air rifles legal for all small game, groundhogs, and trapping dispatch. I would like to see semiautomatic rimfire with no magazine restrictions for all small game, groundhogs, and trapping dispatch. I would like to see semiautomatic centerfire legal for furbearers and groundhogs with a 5 round magazine restriction.
 

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I think wouldn't bother me to see them legal for all game.

Our anti-gun neighbor to the north (ny) allows semi autos even on Sunday, and in the years since rifles have become legal in the area I hunt, I haven't noticed anything different than pa. I hunt there with a bolt action and would continue to hunt with a bolt here for deer most likely.

No legitimate reason for additional caliber restrictions...a .223 is the same whether fired from an ar or rem 700.

I would be interested in a browning buckmark for shooting a few rabbits and maybe a 10/22 for squirrel though...
 

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I do not support using semi's for any kind of game. It takes away the time honored tradition from hunting (where stealth and marksmanship were learned assets to ensure success. IMO it now becomes just shooting at an animal where a barrage of bullets is thought to be necessary to make up for one's inability to hit a target with consistency. Also, an inarguable fact is the more lead thrown out in the field increases the likelyhood of ricochets or errant rounds downrange due to unintended fire. Lastly, the majority of people in rural areas can accept the volley of fire from a current PA legal firearm, but become distraught when the rate of fire becomes rapid.....just the way it is. So I see more land being posted and more landowner and resident confrontations that the Game Commission will be required to respond to. And the compelling reason seems to be "well every other state does it". Not a reasoned response to effect change in my view.
 

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I do not support using semi's for any kind of game. It takes away the time honored tradition from hunting (where stealth and marksmanship were learned assets to ensure success.
??? How does a semi auto do that?

A semi auto rifle is no different than any other modern rifle. The person carrying the rifle provides the "stealth" and the "marksmanship".
 

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I do not support using semi's for any kind of game. It takes away the time honored tradition from hunting (where stealth and marksmanship were learned assets to ensure success. IMO it now becomes just shooting at an animal where a barrage of bullets is thought to be necessary to make up for one's inability to hit a target with consistency. Also, an inarguable fact is the more lead thrown out in the field increases the likelyhood of ricochets or errant rounds downrange due to unintended fire. Lastly, the majority of people in rural areas can accept the volley of fire from a current PA legal firearm, but become distraught when the rate of fire becomes rapid.....just the way it is. So I see more land being posted and more landowner and resident confrontations that the Game Commission will be required to respond to. And the compelling reason seems to be "well every other state does it". Not a reasoned response to effect change in my view.
Fortunately for us, the garden variety attitude reflected above is dying off.
With each passing year we make more progress pushing aside the stubborn and factually wrong.
I am looking forward to the day when the duplicitous, sanctimonious and curmudgeonly attitude, that has kept Pa. in the 19th century, is in the rear view mirror.
 

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I don't think semi-autos belong in the deer woods. Right now it is unlawful to load more than 3 rounds in your AR if you're using a PGC range. Since that law is largely ignored, I think any hunting regulation would also be ignored.
 

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I don't think semi-autos belong in the deer woods.
In the great majority of the country, semi autos are part of the deer hunting tradition.

Right now it is unlawful to load more than 3 rounds in your AR if you're using a PGC range.
And what percentage of folks shooting ARs at PGC ranges are hunters?

Since that law is largely ignored, I think any hunting regulation would also be ignored.
I guess the answer to your assumption lies in our current regulations and violations. Is there widespread abuse of the current 3 round restriction for shotguns for small game?
 

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In the great majority of the country, semi autos are part of the deer hunting tradition.

Rifle or shotgun?

And what percentage of folks shooting ARs at PGC ranges are hunters?

Have no idea, but if they are legalized, I'm sure it would grow. I've already been pelted with lead fragments from them, as well as spent shells.

I guess the answer to your assumption lies in our current regulations and violations. Is there widespread abuse of the current 3 round restriction for shotguns for small game?
All it takes is one

All your responses are speculative, as were my apprehensions.

I have no objection for their use in small game or predator hunting, but IMO, they don't belong in our often crowded deer woods. Every year we read here about people shot in mistake for game. I'd rather give that guy a bolt or pump where he has to pause between shots, and possibly think, over someone who hasn't seen a deer for 5 years and all that stands between him and me is his finger twitch.

"When it comes to hunting accidents, the number of incidents has actually been on the decline for decades. According to the PGC, the number of HRSIs has dropped by 80 percent in the state since hunter education programs began in 1959. In the 1990s, for example, there were anywhere from 83 to more than 100 shooting-related incidents annually, and just 10 years ago, there were still more than 60 each year. In 2012, however, the number of HRSIs was 33, down approximately 45 percent from even a decade ago.
"While one accident is too many, we are pleased to see that these types of shooting incidents continue to drop in Pennsylvania, and we look forward to continuing this impressive trend in safer hunting," said PGC Executive Director Carl G. Roe."
 

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When the act of hunting causes concern for one's life or limb due to numerous documented attacks by wildlife species found in PA.....then in my mind it becomes a legit reason to allow semi's. What's so difficult in operating a bolt, lever, or pump action- it has served well for generations of hunters here in PA. If a hunter has a physical disability that precludes using manually operated actions, I can see an exception.
Also, remember that pelt hunters use FMJ ammo which have a much greater incidence of ricochet.I have yet to see a valid argument for the use of semi's for hunting.....the every other state does it and the moving the state out of the dark ages has absolutely no merit. Our best days were when each state exercised it's own time honored traditions and did not bow to the whims of a few in the name of progress.
 

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"Pausing to think between shots" caused me to let loose with a small chuckle.

Having spent many years hunting deer where levers and pumps were in great favor, I recall quite a few situations where no thinking took place between shots - just lots of rapid fire volleys. Especially in the old three day doe seasons.

In my opinion, those "reasons" to oppose semis are just as emotional and without rational basis, as most of the reasons we see for opposition to just about any proposed changes in "how we do it here".

Using additional SH opportunities as an example - when that began to gain some momentum several years ago and generated lots of discussions, this is the most frequently expressed reason to oppose it, that I heard used over and over again: "We've never had that here in PA and we don't need it".

That argument continues. The one against broader use of semi rifles, is just beginning.

And yes, the fact that some of these things have been common practice in the vast majority of other states for many years, is actually relevant. Their experiences serve as a data base to refute arguments based primarily on emotion and bullheadedness.

As with most changes, those who do not wish to participate, are under no obligation TO participate, if it does not suit them. No one would be forced to use a semi; No one would be forced to hunt on a Sunday;

No one would have to do anything they didn't want to do - but many others might benefit. And that is the point of adopting changes that do appeal to someone other than yourself.
 

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Semi-auto's

I'm slightly OT in this forum, but thought I'd pass along my State Senator's response to my inquiry on the bill to allow semi-auto's for hunting in PA:

Got a quick reply back from my State Senator:

"You are correct. The language from SB 737 was amended into HB 263, which passed both the Senate and House. The last action on the bill was that it was “signed” in the Senate on November 9. That’s simply a legislative procedural step in the process. It will be received by the Governor this week.

If you’d like, I can email you once the Governor acts on the legislation."

I thanked him, and asked that he updates me when he knows something more.
 

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When the act of hunting causes concern for one's life or limb due to numerous documented attacks by wildlife species found in PA.....then in my mind it becomes a legit reason to allow semi's. What's so difficult in operating a bolt, lever, or pump action- it has served well for generations of hunters here in PA. If a hunter has a physical disability that precludes using manually operated actions, I can see an exception.
Also, remember that pelt hunters use FMJ ammo which have a much greater incidence of ricochet.I have yet to see a valid argument for the use of semi's for hunting.....the every other state does it and the moving the state out of the dark ages has absolutely no merit. Our best days were when each state exercised it's own time honored traditions and did not bow to the whims of a few in the name of progress.
So I have to assume that you are a one shot one kill guy that hunts only with flintlocks and single shots? There is no legitimate reason to have a repeating rifle at all if you are a competent marksman using proper ammunition.
 
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