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  • TBO Staff

Night-Vision Could Be Approved In PA For Hunting Furbearers

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave preliminary approval to a regulatory change that would allow handheld and sporting-arm mounted night-vision and infrared optics to be used while hunting furbearers.

The change will not become effective unless the board casts a second vote at another meeting to adopt it. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 25 and 26.

The preliminarily approved change would permit night-vision and infrared optics only when hunting furbearers. There are hunting seasons for the following furbearers: raccoons, foxes, coyotes, opossums, striped skunks, weasels, bobcats, and porcupines.

Today’s vote follows the recent passage and signing into law of state House Bill 1188, which permits the Game Commission to regulate night-vision and infrared optics. Previously, the hunting use of these devices was prohibited by state law.

The board took swift action to begin the process of regulating these devices in response to comments the agency has received since the bill’s passage.

“In the days since HB 1188 became law, the Board of Commissioners has been flooded with comments asking us to move forward with adopting regulations permitting the use of night vision equipment,” said Board President Charlie Fox. “We are confident that the use of this equipment will provide predator hunters an additional tool in their toolbox, one that will allow them to be efficient and safe when hunting predators.”

The regulations voted on by the Board were drafted by the Bureau of Wildlife Protection which reviewed data from other states that permit the use of night vision equipment and determined there were no safety concerns regarding their use for hunting furbearers in Pennsylvania.

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