Three Electronic Devices Could Be Approved for Hunting

| July 8, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners recently gave preliminary approval to a measure that would make three additional electronic devices lawful to use while hunting.

If the measure is adopted, hunters would be able to use electronic decoys in hunting waterfowl; electronically heated scent or lure dispensers; and electronic devices that distribute ozone gas for scent-control purposes.

The measure is scheduled to be brought back to the September meeting for a final vote.

The board indicated it will consider adding electronic mourning-dove decoys to the list when it’s brought up for a final vote.

Electronic devices generally are prohibited for hunting use in Pennsylvania, but the Game Commission over the years has received requests to review several specific electronic devices, and has approved some of them for hunting use.

As part of the review process, the Game Commission evaluates to what degree a given device might negatively impact the principles of resource conservation, equal opportunity, fair chase and public safety.

In reviewing the devices that today were preliminarily approved for hunting use, the Game Commission identified no negative impacts that would result from their use.

Other electronic devices that are permitted for use while hunting or trapping in Pennsylvania are:

• Firearms that use an electronic impulse to initiate discharge of their ammunition;

• Electronic sound-amplification devices incorporated into hearing protection devices and completely contained within the hunters’ ear;

• Electronic devices used for locating dogs while training and hunting;

• Electronic illuminating devices affixed to the aft end of a bolt or arrow and used solely for locating or tracking a bolt or arrow after it is launched;

• Electronic crow decoys used solely for hunting crows;

• Electronic rangefinders, including handheld devices and those contained within a scope or archery sight, so long that it does not emit a beam.


Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) allocates permits that allow licensed falconers in states throughout the Atlantic Flyway a chance to capture migrating Arctic peregrine falcons.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners in 2015 adopted a measure that allows the state’s falconers to apply for any permits the USFWS allocates for Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania issued its first permit last year, and thus far has accepted permit applications only from master-class falconers who reside in Pennsylvania. That limits the pool of applicants, and eventually could create a situation where there are more permits than people eligible to apply for them, especially if the allocation continues to rise.

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