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Local Fishing and Hunting

PA Game Commission Considering Semiautomatic Rifles for Big Game

This is the first big game hunting season in Pennsylvania in which semiautomatic shotguns were allowed in the field.

Now, the PA Game Commission is considering allowing semiautomatic rifles for hunting big game in the Commonwealth.

If the Game Commissioners approve this plan, it would go into effect as soon as the 2019-2020 big game hunting season.

Semiautomatic rifles were allowed for the first time in hunting small game and furbearer animals in 2018.

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The Game Commission could approve this plan to expand which weapons can be used in big game hunting as soon as April. That’s when Game Commissioners will meet again.

Until then, the Game Commission is open to public comments on this semiautomatic rifle proposal. You can email your comments directly to the Game Commission at

Comments will be accepted up until that meeting in April.

A final adoption of the plan, if it’s approved in April, could come by June 2019.


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