Outdoors enthusiasts in Central Pennsylvania may soon be required to leave their young children at home when they’re hunting for deer or turkeys. The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s board is expected to vote on a pair of proposals that could change the future of the sport in the Commonwealth.
The Commission is voting on two proposals. The first deals with the Mentored Youth Hunt Program. In 2006, any child 11 years old or younger could harvest game. Under the proposal, the board would limit the age for a child to hunt deer and turkeys to nine years and older. The proposal would allow kids under nine to only hunt squirrel, woodchuck and coyote. A spokesman for the commission says a reason for establishing the minimum age is suspicion that mentors may be taking the younger-aged children out to fill another tag.
Travis Lau is a spokesman for the PA Game Commission. He says, "Wildlife protection and enforcement of our game laws and ensuring that hunters don't take over the bag limit and that all hunters are licensed to hunt is essential to what we do."
The second proposal on the agenda is for a non-hunter or trapper usage permit for state game lands. Without a permit, you wouldn't be allowed to hike, cycle, snowmobile or horseback ride during hunting seasons in the spring, fall and winter. You would also be limited to the designated trails on Sundays. The Commission will meet Sunday through Tuesday at the main headquarters on Elmerton Avenue, in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County. Doors open at noon on Sunday ahead of the 1:00 p.m. meeting. The meeting will consist of public comment and a number of people who are against the proposals are expected to attend.