§ 2308.  Unlawful devices and methods.

(a)  General rule.--Except as otherwise provided in this title, it is unlawful for any person to hunt or aid, abet, assist or conspire to hunt any game or wildlife through the use of:

(1)  An automatic firearm or similar device.

(2)  A semiautomatic rifle or pistol, except as set forth in subsection (b.1).

(3)  (Reserved).

(4)  A semiautomatic shotgun or magazine shotgun for hunting or taking small game, furbearers, turkey or unprotected birds unless the shotgun is plugged to a two-shell capacity in the magazine.

(5)  (Deleted by amendment).

(6)  Any recorded call or sound or recorded or electronically amplified imitation of a call or sound of any description or any other call or sound or imitation of calls or sounds which are prohibited by regulations of the commission. The commission shall be authorized, by resolution, to adopt rules and regulations authorizing the limited use of recorded calls or sounds or recorded or electronically amplified imitation of calls or sounds when such use is necessary in the commission's judgment to protect the public health and safety or to preserve that species or any other endangered by it.

(7)  A vehicle or conveyance of any kind or its attachment propelled by other than manpower. Nothing in this subsection shall pertain to any of the following:

(i)  A motorboat or sailboat if the motor has been completely shut off or sail furled, and the progress thereof has ceased.

(ii)  A motorized wheelchair if the person has been issued a permit to hunt under section 2923(a.1) (relating to disabled person permits).

(8)  Any artificial or natural bait, hay, grain, fruit, nut, salt, chemical, mineral or other food as an enticement for game or wildlife, regardless of kind and quantity, or take advantage of any such area or food or bait prior to 30 days after the removal of such material and its residue. Nothing contained in this subsection shall pertain to normal or accepted farming, habitat management practices, oil and gas drilling, mining, forest management activities or other legitimate commercial or industrial practices. Upon discovery of such baited areas, whether prosecution is contemplated or not, the commission may cause a reasonable area surrounding the enticement to be posted against hunting or taking game or wildlife. The posters shall remain for 30 days after complete removal of the bait.

(9)  Any setgun, net, bird lime, deer lick, pit or pit fall, turkey blind except as permitted under subsection (b)(3) or turkey pen or any explosive, poison or chemical of any kind.

(9.1)  Any device which permits the release of two or more arrows simultaneously on a single full draw of a bow.

(10)  Any other device or method of any kind prohibited by this title or regulations promulgated under this title.

(b)  Exceptions.--The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:

(1)  (i)  Any archery sight or firearm's scope which contains and uses any mechanical, photoelectric, ultraviolet or solar-powered device to solely illuminate the sight or crosshairs within the scope.

(ii)  Except as otherwise provided under subparagraph (iii), no archery sight or firearm's scope shall contain or use any device, no matter how powered, to project or transmit any light beam, infrared beam, ultraviolet light beam, radio beam, thermal beam, ultrasonic beam, particle beam or other beam outside the sight or scope onto the target.

(iii)  (A)  A flashlight or spotlight may be mounted on a firearm to take furbearers if the sole source of power for the flashlight or spotlight is contained within the flashlight or spotlight or on the person.

(B)  For the purposes of this subparagraph, a flashlight or spotlight mounted on a firearm shall not include a device that projects a beam of laser light to indicate the intended point of impact for one or more projectiles discharged from the firearm.

(2)  (i)  Any political subdivision, its employees or agents, which has a valid deer control permit issued under section 2902(c) (relating to general categories of permits).

(ii)  Any licensed hunter in cities of the first class, while hunting on private property and using a bow and arrow or crossbow, using bait to attract deer for removal as provided by commission regulations.

(iii)  Any licensed hunter in special regulation areas, other than counties of the second class, using bait to attract deer for removal as provided by commission regulations.

(3)  Any artificial or manufactured turkey blind consisting of all manmade materials of sufficient density to block the detection of movement within the blind from an observer located outside of the blind.

(4)  Any natural or manmade nonliving bait used to attract coyotes for hunting or trapping.

(5)  Any electronic or mechanical device used to attract coyotes for hunting or trapping.

(6)  Any decoy used in the trapping or hunting of furbearers.

(b.1)  Additional exception.--A semiautomatic rifle may be used to hunt game in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commission.

(c)  Penalties.--

(1)  A violation of subsection (a)(1), (2), (4) or (5) is a summary offense of the fifth degree.

(2)  A violation of subsection (a)(7) is a summary offense of the third degree.

(3)  A violation of any other provision of this section is a summary offense of the fourth degree.


(Apr. 13, 1988, P.L.350, No.52, eff. July 1, 1988; Nov. 25, 1988, P.L.1082, No.125, eff. imd.; Mar. 29, 1996, P.L.41, No.13, eff. imd.; Dec. 19, 1996, P.L.1442, No.184, eff. 60 days; Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.783, No.111, eff. 60 days; Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.937, No.125, eff. imd.; June 28, 2002, P.L.474, No.79, eff. 60 days; Dec. 22, 2005, P.L.452, No.86, eff. 60 days; July 3, 2007, P.L.79, No.26, eff. 60 days; Dec. 10, 2015, P.L.446, No.76, eff. 60 days; Nov. 21, 2016, P.L.1317, No.168)


2016 Amendment.  Act 168 amended subsec. (a)(2), added subsec. (b.1) and deleted subsec. (a)(5), effective in 60 days to the deletion of subsec. (a)(5) and immediately as to the remainder of the section.

2015 Amendment.  Act 76 amended subsec. (a)(7).

2007 Amendment.  Act 26 amended subsec. (b)(1). Section 2 of Act 26 provided that Act 26 shall apply to offenses committed on or after the effective date of section 2.

2005 Amendment.  Act 86 amended subsec. (b).

2000 Amendments.  Act 111 amended the entire section and Act 125 amended subsec. (a)(9) and added subsec. (b)(3). Act 125 overlooked the amendment by Act 111, but the amendments do not conflict in substance and have both been given effect in setting forth the text of section 2308.