Provisions vary from those implemented elsewhere statewide.
When the Pennsylvania Game Commission in April approved the use of semiautomatic rifles and air guns for hunting small game and furbearers, the provision could not be extended to the state’s Special Regulations Areas, which are covered under a separate section of the law.
But a measure adopted today by the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will allow hunters and trappers within Special Regulations Areas also to use semiautomatic rifles and air guns.
It will take approximately six to eight weeks for the changes to become official.
Only rimfire ammunition will be allowed when hunting or trapping with semiautomatic rifles in Special Regulations Areas.
Special Regulations Areas include all of Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and Ridley Creek and Tyler state parks during special controlled hunts.
Hunters within Special Regulations Areas must follow different guidelines than in other parts of the state, and have been limited to using manually operated rimfire rifles, shotguns, muzzleloading long guns and archery equipment.
The amendment adds air rifles to that list, and lifts the requirement that rimfire rifles be manually operated.
Air guns will need to be between .177 and .22 caliber when used within Special Regulations Areas to hunt small game, woodchucks or furbearers.
Semiautomatic rifles would need to be .22 caliber or less to hunt small game, woodchucks or furbearers within Special Regulations Areas.
Regulatory changes become official upon their publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.