SGL Shooting Ranges
For your shooting enjoyment and to make you a better hunter, the Game Commission maintains public shooting ranges across the state.
To find out which state game lands have shooting ranges, visit the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov.
The online list also shows any ranges that may be closed temporarily for repairs.
Game lands shooting ranges are for use by hunting or furtaker license holders, and those who possess valid shooting range permits.
Range permits now are valid 365 days from the date of purchase and do not follow a license year. Permits can be purchased online at HuntFish.PA.gov or at any license-issuing agent.
Each licensed hunter or range permit holder using a shooting range may have one guest.
Range permits are not needed when using archery ranges on state game lands.
Archery ranges are open from dawn to dusk.
Rifle and handgun ranges are open from 8 a.m. until sunset, Monday through Saturday, and from noon until sunset Sundays, unless otherwise posted. On Sundays immediately preceding or within regular deer and bear firearms seasons, hours are from 8 a.m. to sunset.
A complete list of shooting range rules can be found online.
A change to the state Crimes Code, gives landowners the option of using purple paint, rather than signs, to post their properties and alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn’t permitted.
This law is effective in all but Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.
Landowners using purple paint to post their properties use vertical purple lines that are at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. The bottom of the mark must be no less than 3 feet or more than 5 feet from the ground. And painted marks are not more than 100 feet apart.
Now that the “purple paint law” is effective, hunters and trappers should know they might encounter purple markings on trees and that these marks are meant to define the boundary of an adjoining private property that’s posted against trespassing.
The new law also authorizes unarmed persons to go onto private property for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog.
In Pennsylvania, failure to obey purple painted marks, as well as signs or verbal commands to keep out, is considered defiant trespass, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. If trespassing occurs while hunting, additional game-law violations – and additional penalties – also might apply.
A legislative act has provided the Game Commission the authority to investigate trespassing complaints and enforce trespassing violations as a primary offense, even if game-law violations aren’t alleged, and the agency will do so.
Hunters are reminded that hunting or dis- persons exercising the privileges of a valid huntcharging firearms, and use of off-road vehicles, ing, furtaker or fishing license and through-hikers including ATVs, are prohibited on National Park within the corridor of the Appalachian Trail. Service (NPS) lands acquired for the protection This exception to the prohibition on fires is apof the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. plicable only where the small fires are located at
Individuals can possess firearms on national places where adequate precautions are taken to park or refuge lands if they are legally permitted prevent the spread of fire, and the index rating to carry a firearm in the state and municipality used by the state Department of Conservation where they are located. and Natural Resources is not High, Very High or
Sections of the Appalachian Trail that run Extreme for that area. through State Game Lands are not subject to the The Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area listed regulations.
Please be advised that State Game Lands regulations require any group consisting of 10 or more people using the game lands, including trails, to obtain a Special Use Permit.
Maps that show NPS lands where hunting is prohibited can be viewed at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Regional Office in Boiling Springs, Pa. (717-258-5771).
Small open fires for cooking or warming purposes may be kindled, used and maintained by persons exercising the privileges of a valid hunting, furtaker or fishing license and through-hikers within the corridor of the Appalachian Trail.
This exception to the prohibition on fires is applicable only where the small fires are located at places where adequate precautions are taken to prevent the spread of fire, and the index rating used by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is not High, Very High or Extreme for that area.
The Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area (DEWA) is a unit of the NPS. Trapping, hunting over bait, hunting in standing unharvested crops, Sunday hunting and spotlighting are prohibited. Only portable tree stands can be used and must be removed each day. A PA hunting license is required to hunt in the PA portion of the park. A NJ license is required to hunt in the NJ portion of the park. Most areas of the DEWA are open to hunting. Check the Compendium of Regulations for any closures at www.nps.gov/dewa/learn/management/compendium.htm
Green Means Go
On State Game Lands, the recreational riding of horses and bicycles is allowed only on designated trails, marked by the GREEN signs above. Trails that are closed are marked with YELLOW signs. Recreational off-trail riding is not permitted.
Discover the PA Hunting Interactive Map
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission have teamed up to create a new interactive map specifically for hunters. Collectively, state forest land and state game lands offer more than 3.7 million acres open to hunting in Pennsylvania. Hunters can use this map to:
State Forests & State Parks
Firearms and archery equipment may be uncased only in designated hunting areas during the seasons state recreation areas are open to hunting. Target shooting is restricted to designated shooting ranges only. The feeding of wildlife or laying or placing food, fruit, hay, grain, chemical, salt, or other mineral is prohibited on state park/state forest lands.
The Bureau of State Parks may restrict hunting areas or hunting seasons in state parks. Hunting and trapping by licensed hunters and furtakers is permitted in designated areas in compliance with Game Commission regulations. Contact the park office for hunting information for each park. In park areas not open to hunting, or during closed hunting season, firearms and archery equipment must be kept in the owner’s car, trailer or camp.
Groundhog hunting is prohibited in state parks. Dog training is permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas.
For more information about hunting in state parks, contact the Bureau of State Parks, 1-888-PA-Parks, visit www.dcnr.pa.gov, or write State Parks, P.O. Box 8551 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8551, or call your nearest state park office.
The Bureau of Forestry welcomes hunters and trappers to more than 2.2 million acres of state forests. Only small areas around occupied buildings are posted. Overnight camping is permitted only in areas designated by the district forester. Ground blinds and tree stands may be placed on state forest lands subject to following the requirements set forth in the Bureau of Forestry Rules and Regulations. Required permits are available from local forest offices.
The Bureau opens gated administrative roads annually for hunter access, participates in DMAP and offers an interactive map online. Current information related to hunting on state forests can be found online at: https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/Recreation/WhatToDo/Hunting/Pages/default.aspx
For more information or maps concerning hunting and recreational activities on state forests, contact the Bureau of Forestry, P.O. Box 8552, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8552. Phone: 717-783-7941, visit www.dcnr.pa.gov or call your nearest forestry office.