New technology raises legal issues for hunting in Pennsylvania

LANCASTER, Pa.-- Bow season is in full swing in the state and will last until mid-November. One of the new features for trail cameras is wireless connection of phones. They can now send photos instantly to your phone.

"It's basically a scouting tool 24/7," P.J. Reilly of Lancaster Archery Supply said. "When it captures an image, it will send a text to your phone. It will send an email to your computer, however you want to send it."

So it begs the question, are these legal in Pennsylvania. Short answer is yes, and they are legal during hunting season. With that said, you still need to be careful.

"It would be unlawful for a hunter to be sitting in his tree stand and receive that text from a trail camera that's located anywhere nearby," Pennsylvania Game Commission Press Secretary Travis Lau said.

The same goes if you receive an alert and immediately seek out the animal from anywhere. If you use the cameras as a scouting tool, you are within the law.

"That tells me there's deer in the area," Reilly said. "I'm not going to drop everything I do and go hunt. I'm going to work that into my plan."

Lau said the Game Commission has to prove intent when it comes to violation of this law.

"Like any good law enforcement investigation, the facts become clearer as you move along and discover," Lau said.

He said if someone violates the law, they could face stiff fines anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the situation.