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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: August 12, 2015 03:05 PM
From: Senator Ryan P. Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Trespass while hunting
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Pennsylvania Game Code to address the offense of trespass while hunting, making this violation a primary offense and subsequently increasing the penalties.

Currently, in order for a violator to be charged with trespass while hunting, he or she must also have violated or be violating another unlawful provision of the Game Code to be charged with trespass by Wildlife Conservation Officers. The penalty for trespass while hunting is a summary offense of the fifth degree, with second or subsequent offenses potentially resulting in forfeiture of the privilege to hunt or take game or wildlife anywhere within this Commonwealth for a period of one year.

My legislation would make the offense of trespass while hunting a primary offense by amending the Game Code language and penalties to parallel that of Agricultural Trespass in the Crimes Code, which carry higher misdemeanor penalties of varying degrees dependent on circumstances. Additionally, under my legislation, the license suspension provisions for repeat offenders currently in the Game Code will remain.

By making trespassing while hunting a primary offense, it will be enforceable by Wildlife Conservation Officers, as well as other law enforcement. For years we have heard complaints from landowners about hunters trespassing on their lands; and there is always confusion about who must be called dependent on the situation, whether it be the State Police, local police, or the Game Commission enforcement officers. My legislation seeks to correct this problem and create a proper deterrent to trespass while hunting.

If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Buchanan at 717-787-6709 or sbuchanan@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB1036