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Night vision optics now legal in PA!

Jack Danchak - Columnist
Posted 8/13/20

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently signed into law, legislation that eliminated the ban on the use of infrared, thermal and night vision optics for hunting.

Sheri Baity, who is an avid coyote …

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Night vision optics now legal in PA!

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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently signed into law, legislation that eliminated the ban on the use of infrared, thermal and night vision optics for hunting.

Sheri Baity, who is an avid coyote hunter said, “There are thousands of predator hunters wanting to see this happen. This will be an effective tool as we seek to control coyote numbers in the state.”

House Bill 1188, that was introduced by Rep. Parke Wentling, simply removes the restriction on infrared, thermal and night vision optics, and now it's up to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to decide when and how it will be implemented.

Game Commission spokesman, Travis Lau, said it will be up to the board of commissioners to determine which species of game and seasons to use such optics, and it might not be implemented until the 2021-22 license year.

While the bill doesn't specifically outline which species could be hunted with night vision optics, Baity said the intent is geared toward predator hunting such as coyotes and foxes and not species like deer. The use of optics won't necessarily make you more proficient at bagging coyotes at night, but it will make things safer. It also doesn't make you a better shooter or caller, but it helps to clearly identify your target and makes the background very clear and that is a good safety feature.

Baity relates that on her family's farm property she once harvested 17 coyotes in a single month. She believes the use of the optics will attract more people to coyote hunting, but she cautioned that it will not result in a severe reduction of the coyote population because a female coyote can double her litter size in an area hit hard by hunting pressure and by using these optics it will not wipe out the coyote population. But you need to be able to balance that, and by using night vision optics it will help to do that more efficiently and safely.

Wyoming feeds game

to the hungry!

Wyoming's First Lady Jennie Gordon has teamed up with the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to raffle off two separate once-in-a-lifetime Commission Tags to support Food from the Field, a program enabling hunters to share their harvest with those in need of food. A Wyoming Commissioner Tag yields a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a Wyoming deer, antelope or elk tag in any open management unit with any legal means across the state.

The First Lady said, “I launched the Wyoming Hunger Initiative because over 70,000 of our Wyoming neighbors experience food insecurity and that's not okay with us.”

Proceeds from the raffle will be used to ensure the longevity of the Food from the Field program, covering the meat processing costs in instances where hunters are unable to donate both the game meat and fees.

Jack Danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.

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