On Jan. 1, Pennsylvania officially became the 36th member state of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, under which the worst of convicted wildlife violators will stand to lose their hunting privileges in all states enrolled in the Compact, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.
The new year "will bring a whole new penalty for those who are convicted of some of the worst violations of our state's hunting laws," Roe said. "Pennsylvania will band together with 35 other states in a united front against convicted poachers, who steal from all citizens, most especially, law-abiding hunters.
"Now, that we are an official member of the Compact, someone who loses his or her hunting license privileges in Pennsylvania for certain poaching offenses ... will lose those hunting license privileges in all states that are members of the compact. Those who lose their hunting privileges in other Compact member states will no longer be able to come to Pennsylvania and lawfully hunt."
Under the new law, the Game Commission must report to other Compact states those convicted of the following offenses under Title 34 (Game and Wildlife Code): hunting or furtaking while on revocation; unlawful use of lights to take wildlife; buying and selling game; hunting or furtaking under the influence; shooting at or causing injury to a human; counterfeit, alter or forge a license or tag; threatened or endangered species violations; assault/interference or bodily injury to a wildlife conservation officer; illegal taking or possession of big game in closed season; and accumulated wildlife violations for which the penalty provided by Title 34 is no less than a summary offense of the fourth degree and the violation is not the only violation in a 24-month period.