Pennsylvania allows more types of electronic hunting gadgets

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania hunters got permission this week to use four types of electronic devices as they pursue their quarry.

The state Game Commission earlier this month dissolved York County's deer management program area — established in 2012 after a farm-raised deer at a captive facility tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease — meaning only general hunting regulations apply.

The state Game Commission voted Tuesday to approve the use of electronic decoys for hunting waterfowl and doves, electronic scent dispensers and electronic ozone gas dispensers.

Pennsylvania generally prohibits electronic hunting devices, but the latest decision means that 10 types of them are now permitted.

The ozone dispenser is designed to help eliminate the smell of a hunter that could scare off animals. The motorized duck and dove decoys have plastic bodies with spinning wings, a feature known to draw in passing birds.

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Commission officials determined the four newly approved devices won’t have a negative impact on hunting.

The four devices can be deployed in the field once the changes are published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and take effect, a process that should take six to eight weeks.

The commission board also gave preliminary approval for a free disabled person access permit to use all-terrain vehicles, golf carts and other devices on designated routes in state game lands.

Hunters using mobility devices would be allowed to go up to 100 yards (91 meters) from a designated route.

If the proposal gets the final OK in January, hunters who use wheelchairs can go anywhere on game lands where people walk. They would not need the disabled person access permit to do so.

Hunters also would be allowed to find and flush game and carry loaded guns while in a wheelchair.