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A04453
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2106
Session of
2024
INTRODUCED BY STEELE, PROBST, DELLOSO, GUENST, HILL-EVANS, KHAN,
WAXMAN, HADDOCK, DALEY, FRIEL AND SCOTT, MARCH 14, 2024
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON GAME AND FISHERIES, MARCH 14, 2024
AN ACT
Amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, in game or wildlife protection, further providing
for regulations; in hunting and furtaking, repealing
provisions relating to hunting on Sunday prohibited,
providing for hunting on Sunday, repealing provisions
relating to trespass on private property while hunting and to
hunting on Sunday without written permission, providing for
the offense of trespass on private land while hunting or
furtaking and for the offense of hunting, trapping or taking
game or wildlife without written permission and further
providing for training dogs on small game; in special
licenses and permits, further providing for field dog trials;
and imposing penalties.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 2102(b)(2) of Title 34 of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
§ 2102. Regulations.
* * *
(b) Seasons, possession, bag limits and devices.--
* * *
(2) If in any year the commission fails to establish
seasons or bag limits or fails to establish other hunting or
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furtaking regulations under authority of this title, the open
seasons and bag limits for game or furbearers, [Sundays
excepted,] unless otherwise provided by this title, and all
other hunting or furtaking regulations adopted under
authority of this title, shall be the same as set by
regulation of the commission for the previous license year,
and all seasons shall open and close one calendar day earlier
than the previous license year. In the event the commission
fails to establish seasons and bag limits for a license year
beginning in a leap year, the seasons shall open and close
two calendar days earlier than the previous license year.
* * *
Section 2. Section 2303 of Title 34 is repealed:
[§ 2303. Hunting on Sunday prohibited.
(a) General rule.--Except as otherwise provided in this
title, it is unlawful for any person to hunt for any furbearer
or game on Sunday.
(b) Construction of section.--This section shall not be
construed to prohibit:
(1) The training of dogs.
(2) The participation in dog trials as provided for in
this title.
(3) The removal of lawfully taken game or wildlife from
traps or the resetting of the traps on Sunday.
(b.1) Exceptions.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to:
(1) The hunting of foxes.
(2) The hunting of coyotes.
(3) Any hunting which occurs on noncommercial regulated
hunting grounds holding a valid permit under section 2928(b)
(2) (relating to regulated hunting grounds permits).
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(4) Hunting on three Sundays each calendar year, as
follows:
(i) One day of Sunday hunting shall be instituted by
the commission during the deer rifle season.
(ii) One day of Sunday hunting shall be instituted
by the commission during the Statewide deer archery
season.
(iii) One day of Sunday hunting as determined by the
commission shall be instituted by the commission.
Authority to hunt on any Sunday instituted by the commission
under this paragraph shall not apply to any person required
to secure a hunting license who attempts to hunt on private
land without obtaining written permission of the landowner,
an agent of the landowner or lessee.
(c) Penalty.--A violation of this section is a summary
offense of the fifth degree.]
Section 3. Title 34 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 2303.1. Hunting on Sunday.
(a) General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (b), an
individual who has secured a hunting license may lawfully hunt
for any furbearer or game on any day of the week, including
Sunday, in accordance with other State law that is not
inconsistent with this section.
(b) Exception.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to an
individual who attempts to hunt on private land without
obtaining written permission of the owner, an agent of the owner
or a lessee of the private land or another authorized person.
Section 4. Sections 2314 and 2315 of Title 34 are repealed:
[§ 2314. Trespass on private property while hunting.
(a) General rule.--A person, while engaged in hunting or
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furtaking, commits an offense if, knowing that the person is not
licensed or privileged to do so, the person:
(1) enters or remains on any land of another without
authorization to do so, when the land is posted in a manner
prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the
person's attention or is fenced or enclosed in a manner
manifestly designed to exclude trespassers; or
(2) enters or remains on any land of another without
authorization and defies an order not to enter or to leave
that has been personally communicated to the person by the
owner of the land or other authorized person.
(b) Applicability.--This section shall not apply to an
unarmed person who enters onto posted property for the sole
purpose of retrieving a hunting dog.
(c) Penalty.--An offense under this section shall be graded
as follows:
(1) A person who violates subsection (a)(1) commits a
summary offense of the third degree.
(2) A person who violates subsection (a)(2) commits a
misdemeanor.
(3) A person who commits a second or subsequent
violation of this section within a seven-year period commits
a misdemeanor, and the second or subsequent violation shall
result in forfeiture of the privilege to hunt or take game or
wildlife anywhere within this Commonwealth for a period of
one year.
(d) Enforcement.--The director shall authorize the police
department of each municipal corporation to assist in the
enforcement of this section as necessary, in addition to those
under section 903 (relating to delegation of enforcement
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powers).
§ 2315. Hunting on Sunday without written permission.
(a) General rule.--A person required to secure a hunting
license to hunt commits an offense if, while engaged in hunting
on Sunday under section 2303(b.1)(4) (relating to hunting on
Sunday prohibited), the person enters private land without
obtaining written permission of the landowner, an agent of the
landowner or lessee.
(b) Penalty.--A person who violates subsection (a) commits a
summary offense of the third degree.]
Section 5. Title 34 is amended by adding sections to read:
§ 2316. Trespass on private land while hunting or furtaking.
(a) Offense defined.--An individual, while engaged in
hunting or furtaking, commits an offense if, knowing that the
individual is not licensed or privileged to do so or using dogs
for the hunting or furtaking, the individual does any of the
following:
(1) Enters or remains on private land without
authorization to do so, if the private land is posted in a
manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the
individual's attention.
(2) Enters or remains on private land without
authorization to do so and defies an order not to enter or an
order to leave that has been personally communicated to the
individual by the owner, an agent of the owner or a lessee of
the private land or another authorized person.
(3) Enters or remains on private land without
authorization to do so, if the private land is fenced or
enclosed in a manner manifestly designed to exclude
trespassers.
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(4) Subject to subsection (d)(1), enters or remains on
private land without authorization to do so, if notice
against trespass is given by the placement of identifying
purple paint marks on trees or posts on the private land as
prescribed by 18 Pa.C.S. § 3503(b)(1)(vi) (relating to
criminal trespass).
(b) Grading.--
(1) For a first violation:
(i) An individual who violates subsection (a)(1),
(3) or (4) commits a summary offense of the second degree
and may be subject to the forfeiture of the privilege to
hunt or take game or wildlife anywhere in this
Commonwealth for a period of one year.
(ii) An individual who violates subsection (a)(2)
commits a summary offense of the third degree.
(2) For a second violation:
(i) An individual who violates subsection (a)(1),
(3) or (4) for a second time commits a summary offense of
the first degree and may be subject to the forfeiture of
the privilege to hunt or take game or wildlife anywhere
in this Commonwealth for a period of two years.
(ii) An individual who violates subsection (a)(2)
for a second time commits a summary offense of the second
degree and may be subject to the forfeiture of the
privilege to hunt or take game or wildlife anywhere in
this Commonwealth for a period of one year.
(3) For a third or subsequent violation:
(i) An individual who violates subsection (a)(1),
(3) or (4) for a third or subsequent time commits a
misdemeanor of the third degree and may be subject to the
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forfeiture of the privilege to hunt or take game or
wildlife anywhere in this Commonwealth for a period of
three years.
(ii) An individual who violates subsection (a)(2)
for a third or subsequent time commits a summary offense
of the first degree and may be subject to the forfeiture
of the privilege to hunt or take game or wildlife
anywhere in this Commonwealth for a period of two years.
(c) E nforcement.--The director shall authorize the police
department of each municipal corporation, in addition to any
person described under section 903 (relating to delegation of
enforcement powers) to assist in the enforcement of this section
as necessary.
(d) Applicability.--
(1) Subsection (a)(4) shall not apply in a county of the
first class.
(2) As follows:
(i) Subject to subparagraph (ii), this section shall
not apply to an unarmed individual who enters onto posted
or marked property for the sole purpose of retrieving a
hunting dog.
(ii) Subparagraph (i) shall not apply to an
individual described under subparagraph (i) if the
property is private land that is fenced or enclosed in a
manner manifestly designed to exclude trespassers or if
the property is private land posted as an agricultural
biosecurity area, as defined in 3 Pa.C.S. § 2303
(relating to definitions), unless the individual attempts
to make contact with the landowner of the private land,
or an agent of the landowner, prior to entering onto the
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private land.
(2) (3) The penalties prescribed under this section
shall be in addition to any other penalty prescribed by law.
§ 2317. Hunting, trapping or taking game or wildlife without
written permission.
(a) Offense defined.--An individual commits an offense if
the individual enters or remains on private land while engaged
in the hunting, trapping or taking of game or wildlife, by any
means or manner or device, including the use of dogs, and fails
to:
(1) possess written permission of the owner, an agent of
the owner or a lessee of the private land or another
authorized person to use, occupy or access the property; or
(2) produce the written permission described under
paragraph (1) upon request to the owner, an agent of the
owner or a lessee of the private land, another authorized
person or an officer or other person whose duty is to assist
in the enforcement of this title.
(b) Grading.--An offense under subsection (a) constitutes a
summary offense of the third degree.
Section 6. Sections 2382(c) and 2943(c) of Title 34 are
amended to read:
§ 2382. Training dogs on small game.
* * *
[(c) Sunday limitation.--It is unlawful to train dogs on
privately owned property on Sunday. This limitation shall not
apply to:
(1) National or State forest land.
(2) State game lands.
(3) Privately owned property when the consent of the
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person in charge of the land is first obtained.]
§ 2943. Field dog trials.
* * *
(c) Trials for raccoons.--It is lawful to hold trials or
meets where dogs may work on drags or live raccoons at any hour,
if permission is obtained to use privately owned land [when the
meet or trial is to be held on Sunday]:
(1) During the period of the year when dog training is
permitted by this title.
(2) During the period of the year when dog training is
prohibited by this title if a raccoon dog field trial permit
is obtained.
* * *
Section 7. The following shall not affect any fine or other
penalty imposed for a violation under this title that was
committed before the effective date of this section:
(1) The repeal of 34 Pa.C.S. § 2303, 2314 or 2315.
(2) The addition of 34 Pa.C.S. § 2303.1, 2316 or 2317.
(3) The amendment of 34 Pa.C.S. § 2382(c) or 2943(c).
Section 8. The addition of 34 Pa.C.S. §§ 2316 and 2317 shall
apply to an offense committed on or after the effective date of
this section.
Section 9. This act shall take effect as follows:
(1) This section shall take effect immediately.
(2) The remainder of this act shall take effect in 60
days.
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