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Old 02-19-2011, 08:12 PM
X Hunter X Hunter is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Default Game Commission Rule - Heads Up

Most of us that participate in match shooting belong to private clubs that host the competition. I travel around and sometimes schedule a practice at a PA Game Commission (PGC) public shooting range.

It is common knowledge that some years ago there was a 3 rounds maximum in the rifle rule on the PGC ranges implemented. It kind of cramped the style of those that wanted to practice CMP rapid fire but it keeps the gang bangers from shooting up the place.

A new rule is going into effect this spring and I thought I might let the PA folks that are match shooters but not hunters (no doubt a small number) in on the new rule so you don't get a fine. Starting April 1, to use a PGC public range, one must posses a valid furtaker or hunting license. If you're not a hunter then you will have to purchase a "range use permit". Not an early April Fools joke, see page 43 of the March PA Game News magazine.

I think it's a good thing; hunters should not have to carry the weight of the public when it comes to public range maintenance.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2011, 08:43 PM
4th_AD_son 4th_AD_son is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
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I took my daughter to the range in Lehigh County today.
Cold and windy, but she pasted the black with the carbine I put together for her.
She'll laugh when I tell her she needs a hunting license.
Thanks for the heads up.

p.s. I have a 5 clip magazine, but nobody else was respectful of 3 round limit.
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2011, 01:49 AM
Steve in PA Steve in PA is offline
 
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If you have the hunting license or permit, you are allowed to bring (1) guest to shoot. So if you are bringing your daughter, she will be okay.
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2011, 08:46 AM
Fogtripper Fogtripper is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: UT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X Hunter View Post
Most of us that participate in match shooting belong to private clubs that host the competition. I travel around and sometimes schedule a practice at a PA Game Commission (PGC) public shooting range.

It is common knowledge that some years ago there was a 3 rounds maximum in the rifle rule on the PGC ranges implemented. It kind of cramped the style of those that wanted to practice CMP rapid fire but it keeps the gang bangers from shooting up the place.

A new rule is going into effect this spring and I thought I might let the PA folks that are match shooters but not hunters (no doubt a small number) in on the new rule so you don't get a fine. Starting April 1, to use a PGC public range, one must posses a valid furtaker or hunting license. If you're not a hunter then you will have to purchase a "range use permit". Not an early April Fools joke, see page 43 of the March PA Game News magazine.

I think it's a good thing; hunters should not have to carry the weight of the public when it comes to public range maintenance.
I haven't hunted in about a decade. That said, the SGL range in Wexford looks like a bomb went off. "Carry the weight" you say? I suspect that no weight whatsoever is being carried. The 10 and 50 yard target supports look like beavers ransacked them. The only thing holding targets up is the old targets.

What they need to do before getting all huffy and wondering where the money should come from, is have a RO there on a regular basis, so that the range doesn't get absolutely thrashed by bozos speed-shooting.

I would add, that we can thank the powers that be that decided to have all of the SGL ranges cleared of lead and such. That alone cost a pretty penny, and was done all at once statewide, during the heaviest shooting months.

Also, putting it in Game News is not exactly the way to advertise a supposed change like this to non-hunters. Heck, the publication is geared towards wardens in any event.

I have a lot of respect for the wardens, but the Game Commission better rethink this. If they think they have the manpower to enforce a ridiculous rule like this, then they have enough manpower to act as ROs. ROs = ranges do not get torn to pieces.

Last edited by Fogtripper; 03-10-2011 at 08:48 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2011, 02:22 PM
X Hunter X Hunter is offline
 
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I have shot at the Wexford range you describe. Every time I have been there in the past 4 years, I have seen many shooters that are friendly and courteous. I have also seen multiple wardens show up to see how things are going and to make sure everyone is safe and following the rules. That range gets lots of use and is always in need of some kind of repair. They try to keep up as evidenced by the large pile of scrap lumber behind the impact berms to be burned when weather and time permits. Last time I was there, about Christmas, I took down all the old targets and picked up the trash that had blown about. I don't live in that area, haven't for the past 35 years, but still try to do things to set an example rather than complaining.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2011, 06:04 PM
MKdrat MKdrat is offline
 
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Location: Western Pa
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The cold weather had the posts frozen into the ground at Wexford. You would need a flame thrower to get them out. The winter has been bad this year. I have been told that the place has been repaired. Plenty of shooter's try to keep things clean. Mom always said play nice!
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:01 PM
Fogtripper Fogtripper is offline
 
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Location: UT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X Hunter View Post
I have shot at the Wexford range you describe. Every time I have been there in the past 4 years, I have seen many shooters that are friendly and courteous. I have also seen multiple wardens show up to see how things are going and to make sure everyone is safe and following the rules. That range gets lots of use and is always in need of some kind of repair. They try to keep up as evidenced by the large pile of scrap lumber behind the impact berms to be burned when weather and time permits. Last time I was there, about Christmas, I took down all the old targets and picked up the trash that had blown about. I don't live in that area, haven't for the past 35 years, but still try to do things to set an example rather than complaining.
Absolutely. Don't get me wrong, my ire is aimed at the folks that abuse the place. The large majority of folks that I see at the range really are nice courteous folk. It is the small % that do a heck of a lot of damage to the place.

My point is that if they have the manpower to have enough presence to enforce a pay/license plan, then they have the manpower to have a presence such that would prevent the damage from happening.

The pistol end of the range is a mess. I would bet that if the pistol side was swapped to be closer to the entrance, we'd see less yahoos all but going full -auto on the stands. It's too easy for folks to act like children that far away from the RO shack.

In the past 2 or 3 years of going there I have seen a warden once, and he was just stopping by. Perhaps it sees more oversight on weekends. I mainly go there during the week to avoid the crowds.

Perhaps I'll contact the local SGL office and offer to help do some repairs if they close the range for a day.
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2011, 09:29 PM
BuddyBGood BuddyBGood is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW Pa.
Posts: 1,082
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No one ever seems to see the culprits that do range damage anywhere.An observation I have made is this scenario.Have you everbeen on the range and noticed a car pull in and slowing look around,they see somebody using the range,then leave.Take a good look at them,it might keep them from coming back .These people can't shoot when anyones around because they're screwups and don't want anybody telling them so.When you go to the range and it's being used don't leave stretch your legs see whats going on.Maybe it won't be such a mess the next time.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2011, 05:55 PM
johnk johnk is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 402
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The range fee is news to me. I stopped hunting so I don't get the game news magazine anymore. I wonder how the word is going to get around to non-hunters. It's is going to be a shock to the occasional shooter and will really discourage a dad taking his kid to range and teaching him to shoot for the first time.

Also, I wonder how the Game Commission is going to enforce the new rules. Will the officers be at the ranges all the time checking permits instead of doing all their other duties.

How much is a hunting license now anyway ?
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:34 PM
MKdrat MKdrat is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Western Pa
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You will need a permit April 1'st, I had false info about July 1'st. Sorry
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