Pa. bill seeks to promote self-reporting of honest hunting mistakes

(FILE - AP Photo)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania hunters who mistakenly kill a bear or elk could avoid a license suspension under a new bill pending in the state legislature.

Reps. Hal English (R-Allegheny) and Bill Kortz (D-Allegheny) said their proposal, House Bill 2315, would remove the threat of license suspension for hunters who make an honest mistake and then contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission, turn in the animal, plead guilty and pay a fine.

Kortz said the borders of wildlife management units and of special areas within them can be easily confused, and the Game Commission is using staggered dates around the state for some big game seasons. He said hunters can think they’re legally hunting when they aren’t, and they shouldn’t face the same penalties as a poacher hunting out of season or at night.

Hunters can already avoid a license suspension for self-reporting the accidental killing of a deer or turkey.

Kortz and English said the Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs support their bill, which is awaiting a committee assignment in the state House.

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