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Old 01-22-2003, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Hey guys,

I was wondering if any of you knew this question. If you were to plant a food plot in Pennsylvania, could you hunt over it. The PGC regulations book is a little sketchy on this. It says ...

Taking Advantage of Food or Bait: It is unlawful to hunt in or around any area where artificial or natural bait, food, hay, grain, fruit, nuts, salt, chemicals, or minerals, including their residues, are used or have been used within the past 30 days as an enticement to lure game or wildlife regardless of type or quantity. Hunters should remember that they are responsible for ensuring that the hunting area has not been baited before they begin hunting. They should physically inspect the field, marsh, or woodlands; question landowners, guides, and caretakers, and take other reasonable steps to verify the legality of the hunting area.

I am just not sure how to read this. I would like to plant a plot this spring, well, no matter what I am going to, but, I was just wondering if I started seeing nice bucks in it, if I would be allowed to hunt it in archery season. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks guys.

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Old 01-22-2003, 03:34 PM   #2
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

BM,That is one of the game laws like so many others here in Pa. that is pretty much up to the game warden, one might interpet the law one way the next guy another.The key words there are lure or intice.I hunt around corn fields alot but the main reason they were planted was not to lure deer (even though it does) so that is legal.If wardens followed the law to the T even deer lures would be illegal.A few years ago they actually added the sentance that excluded these lures.Makin them legal.The best advice I can give you is to contact your local warden and see how he interpets the law.

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Old 01-22-2003, 06:16 PM   #3
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Javlja and BM

You are right about the lure thing a Few years back. We can thank Bob Kirschner for clearing that up. He asked the PGC in writing years ago when he gave up his regular job whether scents were legal because the law was very ambiguous then as well. The PGC responded in writing then that scents and lures were OK. Then they did a 180 and said they weren't. Kirschner immediately sued them for over a million and that BS went away real quick!

I believe that there is/was something in the game code making planting food that was "part of normal agricultural practices" OK.

The one thing I wouldnt do is just ask your WCO. They are human and have their own interperetations too. The only way to get an answer to something not "black and white" is to ask in writing and get a written response in "black and white" directly From Harrisburg.

PS: I got the Kirschner story directly from him. This is not a second hand heresay story!

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Old 01-22-2003, 10:05 PM   #4
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

The way I read into it is if you plant a food plot consisting of soybeans,corn or any other agri crop-it would be o.k. to hunt over it.If you plant a deer crop such as Biologic or something like that which is definitely made for deer consumption-you could be in violation of the law if you hunt it.Like BTB said-get something in black-and-white from Harrisburg.
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Old 01-22-2003, 11:07 PM   #5
 
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Buck Magnet, might I suggest instead of hunting over the food plot, try to hunt the trails between the plot and the bedding areas. If the deer are getting good nutrition from your plots, why take a chance that you may pressure them into feeding elsewhere, like on your neighbors property. If you leave to much odor, or spook deer from your plots to often, those big bucks aren't going to stick around. If you hunt the trails, say 2 to 3 hundred yards from the plots, there is less chance of you violating any laws, and you are more apt to catch that big buck while you still have light enough to shoot.

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Old 01-23-2003, 06:07 AM   #6
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

They way I see it the "30 days" is the key here. Plants are on their own, growing by themselves and after 30 days they cannot be considered as "Bait". Plant in the spring and hunt in the fall..

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Old 01-23-2003, 06:09 AM   #7
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

BTB,I'll see Bob at the Monroeville outdoor show again this year.Wonder if he'll lend me $10.lol
BBH,Great advice.

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Old 01-23-2003, 12:08 PM   #8
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

He didnt win the million. He simply sued for it and dropped the case when the PGC did a 180 and immediately declared scents and lures legal again! We all owe Bob a thank you.

BBH good advice in terms of not hunting right on the food plot from a hunting/ disturbing the herd standpoint but that doesnt help if the PGC decides its bait. The law prohibits "taking advantage" of a baited site and specifically say that taking advantage of any pattern wildlife forms as a result of the baited site is a no-no.

Just thinking though, the PGC themselves plant food plots on the game lands so I would think that an arguement could be made that they've set the precedent that food plots aint bait.

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Old 01-23-2003, 01:01 PM   #9
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

You can hunt over any food plot, doesnt matter whats planted in it. It could be biologic or just plan clover. What you cant do is drop a pile of corn somewhere and then hunt over it, but if you plant it and it grows you can hunt over it. I didnt know there was this kinda of confusion of this subject.

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Old 01-23-2003, 07:58 PM   #10
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Default RE: IS IT ILLEGAL TO HUNT FOODPLOTS IN PENNSYLVANIA?

i agree it sounds like spreading hay and grain and such is illegal but hunting over growing plants should be alright...you got some time..call and find out for sure....i dont see a problem...i can hunt under an acorn tree and thats deer food to me...i cant see how it would be a problem..but before id put money into anything like that id call and find out...
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