Game Lands Remain Open During ‘Shutdown’
federal government shutdown that has closed national parks and other federal
lands might have implications for some Pennsylvania hunters.
National Park Service has advised that hunting and other activities are
prohibited in national parks while the shutdown is ongoing, and other federal
lands also might be considered off limits.
shutdown comes as hunting seasons for many game species are approaching their
long-awaited opening days. Saturday marks the statewide opener for the archery
deer season, and small game season kicks off a week later.
State game lands remain open as usual. Other state lands such as state forests
and those portions of state parks normally open to hunting also remain
since many in Pennsylvania take advantage of the recreational opportunities
federal lands ordinarily have to offer, the Game Commission wants hunters and
others to know their upcoming plans on federal property might be affected by
are urged to know the rules applying to the specific tracts they intend to
hunt. If a federal property is closed because of the shutdown, hunters should
find a different property they know they can access legally.
hunters who made plans that might change because of the shutdown, it could be a
blessing in disguise,” said Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. “We
have in the Commonwealth more than 1.4 million acres of state game lands that
hold good public-hunting opportunities and remain open, so fate could still
work in the favor of any hunters who affected by the shutdown.”
lands that are closed won’t reopen until the shutdown ends, or an agreement
otherwise is reached to open the lands to the public. And while the lands are
closed, those violating the order to keep out could face federal charges.
any game harvested on closed lands would be considered illegally taken and
subject to seizure.
seeking alternate public-hunting opportunities can visit the Game Commission’s
website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. The State Game Lands Mapping Center, which can be
accessed through the site’s homepage, offers detailed maps of game lands and
other tracts that are open to public hunting.