Is it legal to carry while hunting in PA?


Johnny Lightning
February 5, 2011, 08:42 PM
I have a carry permit for PA and am also a hunter and was wondering if it is still legal to carry a pistol/revolver while hunting.

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February 5, 2011, 10:59 PM
yes as long as you have a carry permit. If it is a revolver of sufficent caliber you could hunt with it and you would not need a permit as long as you unloaded it when you get to the car. The problem in pa is the game laws. If you are spotting deer at night with a loaded gun on the seat you could be charged with a game law violation. If you are out in the woods during hunting season with a long barreled firearm on your hip you could be charged with a hunting without a license violation. I dont think a concealed discrete carry(with a permit) would cause you any grief. Or for that matter open carry with the obvious hiking look.

Steve in PA
February 5, 2011, 11:49 PM
Don't listen to the above.

Yes, you can hunt with a revolver or single shot handgun.

You need either a Sportman's Permit or a License To Carry Firearms to carry the firearm concealed or to transport it to the place you desire to hunt (or fish). It doesn't matter if it is unloaded, you need one or the other.

The Game Law was changed a few years ago to allow a person with a LTCF to carry a firearm for self-defense purposes while hunting, to include archery and spring turkey. This firearm can either be a revolver or a semi-auto.

The law change even allows a person with a LTCF to carry while spotlighting.

It takes more than the mere possession of a firearm to constitute "hunting".

General Geoff
February 6, 2011, 01:39 AM
It takes more than the mere possession of a firearm to constitute "hunting".
Isn't the prohibition on carrying a loaded long gun in a vehicle, a game violation? Something about prima facie evidence of poaching?

February 6, 2011, 09:58 AM
Steve, how is what I said any different than what you said. The word "could" was used not "would" . You carry a 6" 357 handgun and go driving through deer country back roads(my county POTTER) in hunting season and see who hassels you. You had better have a ccw if you are driving with a a loaded handgun because that is the law. And if you have a rifle in the car and loose ammo on the seat you COULD end up with a fine. Practical advice from a friend of the game warden.

February 6, 2011, 10:18 AM
If you have a hunting permit only and the handgun is loaded while driving to go hunting you are NOT legal.
Steves advice will get you arrested. It is the same as a loaded rifle for hunting purposes and cannot be in a motor vehicle. A ccw permit or in pa a license to carry firearm
would allow for a loaded handgun in a vehicle.

Steve in PA
February 6, 2011, 02:29 PM
Wrong. Read the laws.

First, there is no such thing as a "hunting permit". It's called a Sportman's Permit which covers hunting, fishing and trapping. Also no where, repeat no where in the law does it say that the firearm must be unloaded while hunting, fishing, trapping, going to or coming from those places.

Also, I will give you $100.00 is you show me where it says it must be unloaded!!!

Third, we can not talking about rifles, we are talking about handguns. Big difference.

Do NOT listen to TK, as god only knows where he is getting his information from.

§ 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
(a) Offense defined.--
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.
(b) Exceptions.--The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to:
(9) Persons licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting, taking furbearers or fishing as permitted by such license, or are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take furbearers or fish or returning from such places.
(10) Persons training dogs, if such persons are actually training dogs during the regular training season.
(c) Sportsman's firearm permit.--
(1) Before any exception shall be granted under paragraph (b)(9) or (10) of this section to any person 18 years of age or older licensed to hunt, trap or fish or who has been issued a permit relating to hunting dogs, such person shall, at the time of securing his hunting, furtaking or fishing license or any time after such license has been issued, secure a sportsman's firearm permit from the county treasurer. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be issued immediately and be valid throughout this Commonwealth for a period of five years from the date of issue for any legal firearm, when carried in conjunction with a valid hunting, furtaking or fishing license or permit relating to hunting dogs. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be in triplicate on a form to be furnished by the Pennsylvania State Police. The original permit shall be delivered to the person, and the first copy thereof, within seven days, shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police by the county treasurer. The second copy shall be retained by the county treasurer for a period of two years from the date of expiration. The county treasurer shall be entitled to collect a fee of not more than $6 for each such permit issued, which shall include the cost of any official form. The Pennsylvania State Police may recover from the county treasurer the cost of any such form, but may not charge more than $1 for each official permit form furnished to the county treasurer.

Steve in PA
February 6, 2011, 02:31 PM
A loaded long gun is both a game law violation and a violation of the Crimes Code.

§ 6106.1. Carrying loaded weapons other than firearms.
(a) General rule.--Except as provided in Title 34 (relating to game), no person shall carry a loaded pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle, other than a firearm as defined in section
6102 (relating to definitions), in any vehicle. The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons excepted from the requirement of a license to carry firearms under section 6106(b)(1), (2), (5) or (6) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license) nor shall the provisions of this section be construed to permit persons to carry firearms in a vehicle where such conduct is prohibited by section 6106.
(b) Penalty.--A person who violates the provisions of this section commits a summary offense.

Steve in PA
February 6, 2011, 02:36 PM
It takes more than the mere possession of a firearm to constitute hunting or poaching. Other factors are needed.

Steve in PA
February 6, 2011, 02:42 PM
Also, if you have a LTCF, you can carry either a semi-auto or a revolver. However, you could ony use th semi-auto in defense of yourself. Depending on the hunting season and firearm requirements, you could use the revolver to take or put down game.

For example, you could carry your Glock while archery, bear or deer hunting, but you can only use your Glock to protect yourself.

During deer or bear season, if you were carrying a revolver, you could shoot or put down a deer or a bear, since the revolver would be an authorized weapon.

You could not use either one during archery season to put down a deer you hit with an arrow since neither the semi-auto or revolver are authorized weapons for archery deer.

February 6, 2011, 04:30 PM
I stand corrected on the sportsmans license loaded carry requirement. I "heard otherwise". I stick with what I said about garnering a game law violation. The wardens have a lot of discretion so my "could" statements still are valid.
All depends on your swagger with them. You may be legal but...

February 6, 2011, 04:49 PM
IDK if carrying a firearm during archery season would be legal or not.

Johnny Lightning
February 6, 2011, 08:03 PM
So if I were to carry my .357 along w/ my 30-06 during rifle season and decided to shoot a deer w/ the .357 would that be legal considering I have a concealed carry permit? I seem to think not since I think there is a law that you are only allowd to carry one firearm at a time while hunting. So I would only be able to carry the rifle or the revolver not both at the same time. also since I have a concealed permit for the .357 would i need to hide it under garments while entering the woods or can I have it exposed?

February 6, 2011, 10:37 PM
where does it say you cant have both while hunting? Of course you can have the revolver with you and you could hunt with it. Pa is open carry so you could have the sidearm exposed even without a permit. The issue has always been with you in a vehicle. Get a LTCF. so that you are legal and loaded in your vehicle.

Steve in PA
February 7, 2011, 02:05 AM
The game law was changed to allow the carrying of a handgun (for self-defense purposes) during all hunting seasons, including archery......and spotlighting.

Sec. 2525. Possession of firearm for protection of self or others.
(a) General rule.—It is lawful for a law enforcement officer or any person who possesses a valid license to carry a firearm issued under 18 Pa C.S. Section 6109 (relating to licenses) to be in possession of a loaded or unloaded firearm while engaged in any activity regulated by this title.
(b) Construction.
(1) This section shall supersede any prohibition on the possession of firearms or ammunition contained in any other provision of this title.
(2) This subsection shall not be construed to permit the hunting or harvesting of any wildlife with a firearm or ammunition not otherwise permitted by this title.
(c) Definitions.—As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
"Firearm." As defined in 18 Pa C.S. §6102 (relating to definitions).
"Law enforcement officer." As defined in 18 Pa C.S. §6102 (relating to definitions).

Steve in PA
February 7, 2011, 02:08 AM
You can carry a revolver while hunting with a rifle or shotgun for that matter. Many people carry a handgun while hunting. And depending on the season, you may use your revolver for taking a game animal.

I was hunting with my deer rifle on the second day and had a doe walk within 25 yards of me. Had I been carrying my revolver instead of my Glock 26, I would have taken her with my handgun.

Steve in PA
February 7, 2011, 02:14 AM
I'd really love to know where some of you are getting your "knowledge" of gun and game laws.

There is no law that says you can only carry one firearm. That's absurd!

Also, you don't need to "hide" anything.

Johnny Lightning
February 7, 2011, 03:32 PM
I am asking because I am not sure and obviously from the mixed responses I have gotten neither are other people answering the question at hand. I was always taught that you are only allowed one firearm/bow at a time while hunting any animal. Example is when Fall Turkey season falls during Archery for deer, I was taught that you could not bring a shotgun along w/ your bow just incase a turkey comes strolling would have to take a shot w/ your bow.

Steve in PA
February 8, 2011, 07:44 AM
Carrying a handgun while archery, small game, turkey, deer or bear hunting is not the same as carrying say a shotgun and a bow.

I have not found anything in the game code which would prohibit you from carrying both a shotgun and a bow, although on a PA hunting forum I have seen a retired PA Game Commission Officer say, pick one or the other.

However, if you are archery hunting, carrying a shotgun would be considered having an illegal weapon for archery hunting deer.

But then, who is to say you are archery hunting? You could be small game hunting where a shotgun or a bow is legal, but you also have an archery license and the opportunity presents itself to take a deer........then you are archery hunting.

So he is probably right in that you need to pick one, either hunting with a shotgun or archery hunting.

February 8, 2011, 10:55 AM
You could always shoot at the turkey with the bow.

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