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Old July 9, 2007, 10:31 AM   #1
Willie D
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Target Shooting on PA Game Lands

I'm going to be up in the Poconos in a few weeks and was wondering if I could get away with some plinking on state game lands (provided I could find a safe area with a natural backstop). I went hiking in one last year about 5 miles from the nearest house and almost walked into a bear but I never saw any sign that humans had been in there at all during the summer months.

I'd like to shoot the .22 a bit and unload the 4 boxes of #6 birdshot that some the guy at the gunshop said would be "just fine" for skeet and that no range will let me use (My fault for not checking online first)


I'm not sure it's legal but a couple of old-timers said "bahh, go ahead and shoot" so I'm considering doing it as a side trip while I'm up there.

I'm probably not staying that far (30mi) from the SGL 127 range but the last thing I read about that place makes me feel like I would be safer NOT going there.
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Old July 9, 2007, 11:40 AM   #2
Steve in PA
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Sec. 2507. Restrictions on shooting.

(a) General rule. - It is unlawful for any person during the open season for the taking of any big game other than turkey to:

(1) Shoot at any mark or target other than legal game or wildlife with a firearm of any kind or a bow and arrow.

(2) Discharge at any time any firearm or release an arrow at random in the general direction of any game or wildlife not plainly visible for the purpose of routing or frightening them.

(3) Discharge at any time any firearm or release an arrow at random or in any other manner contrary to this section.

(b) Exceptions. - This section shall not be construed to apply in any manner to:

(1) The discharge of any firearm for the sole purpose of signaling for aid or assistance while in distress.

(2) The use of rifle, pistol or archery ranges owned, leased or maintained by a State or Federal military or police organization or by any regularly organized rifle, pistol, shotgun or archery range, shooting association or club while shooting at a regularly established and properly safeguarded range or to any public shooting exhibition properly safeguarded and conducted under the direction of any organization for the promotion of marksmanship.

(3) The discharge of a muzzle-loading firearm at a proper target for the purpose of safe transportation of the muzzle-loaded firearm.

(4) Shooting at a properly constructed target or mark or a dead tree protected by a natural or artificial barrier so that the ball, bullet or arrow cannot travel more than 15 yards beyond the target aimed at, after making due allowance for deflection in any direction not to exceed an angle of 45 degrees. Target shooting shall only be lawful when it is done:

(i) Upon property owned by the shooter or by a guest of the property owner.

(ii) Within 200 yards of the camp or other headquarters where the person shooting is quartered or is an invited guest or visitor.


(c) Penalty. - A violation of this section is a summary offense of the fourth degree.
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Old July 9, 2007, 11:45 AM   #3
firestorm9mm
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just find yourself a public range to shoot. BTW state ranges do not allow you to fire multi projectile shot. IE no shotgun shooting. If you want to shoot trap with your #6 shot feel free to stop by the nuangola rod and gun club on wed. night. If you are interested pm me for directions.
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Old July 9, 2007, 09:45 PM   #4
Willie D
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Hmm. Probably better off not pushing my luck.


I don't think I'll bring the guns this time but thanks for the invite, Firestorm.
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Old July 10, 2007, 05:07 AM   #5
RocketFoot
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Might not be able to shoot at any PA facilities right now...this state budget thing has already temporarily closed my local state park! State ranges are probably closed also.
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Old July 10, 2007, 07:16 AM   #6
firestorm9mm
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Its open anytime you are in town!
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Old July 10, 2007, 10:45 AM   #7
Casimer
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The Pa. game commission ranges - http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/v...a=480&q=161297
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Old October 5, 2011, 02:57 PM   #8
GunGord
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I know this thread is old, but I had the same question as the original poster. I get the idea that its best to use a public range, but if one is not close by to you I'd like to know the options. Thanks for posting the laws, can anyone clarify:

"(a) General rule. - It is unlawful for any person during the open season for the taking of any big game other than turkey to:"

Does that mean when it is NOT open season for big game that it is OK to target shoot on public hunting grounds in PA where not otherwise prohibited by some posting?

On a related note, assuming it is OK to target shoot in the "off-season" on public hunting property, do you need a hunting license if you are only target shooting in these locations? (I understand that public ranges now require either a hunting license or range permit, but I'm not talking about that).


Thanks!
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Old November 27, 2011, 12:38 PM   #9
Casimer
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Quote:
Does that mean when it is NOT open season for big game that it is OK to target shoot on public hunting grounds in PA where not otherwise prohibited by some posting?
No. The prior law had allowed target shooting where it was safe to do so, but the Game Commission never really approved of the practice. But the current law explicitly prohibits it outside of established PA GC ranges.

And even at GC ranges you need a hunting or trapping license, or a permit from the GC.
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Old November 27, 2011, 07:10 PM   #10
mkk41
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Can't shoot at random on PA Game Lands during hunting season.

There is , (or was) , a private range on Rt.715 . just north of 611 in Tannersville. Near the House of Candles.

Can
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Old November 30, 2011, 03:30 PM   #11
mete
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There's one close to me on Rt 6 in Pike county east of Hawley. New regs this year , IIRC either a hunting licence or pay for a use permit.
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Old December 5, 2011, 02:04 AM   #12
ClydeFrog
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WCOs, rules-SOPs...

Before you go & do any target shooting or use loaded firearms, make fully sure you know and/or understand the range safety rules or PGC policy.

My good friend & I were cited by a crooked WCO(Wildlife Conservation Officer) and his nitwit deputy in SW Pa in 1999.
We each got tickets by the PGC officer(a sworn LEO who was armed).
The WCO lied repeatedly, never advised us of our rights, searched our private property w/o consent & blamed us for actions on a PGC range that we didn't do.
We pled not guilty & a district justice later sided with us in a court hearing.
The same WCO later "moved" to a new county(Clarion) & became "Officer of the Year" by the PGC in the mid 2000s.

Clyde
ps; As we left the office, my friend heard the District Justice say to the WCOs; "I told you to stop doing this to people on state ranges."
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