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Game Commission extends life of shooting-range permits

Pennsylvania Game Commission 2019-20 shooting-range permits will remain valid for an additional two months after their printed expiration date to make up for lost opportunity from the agency closing ranges in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Permits for 2019-20 have a printed expiration date of June 30, 2020. However, the Game Commission will continue to consider them valid through Aug. 31, 2020.

Pennsylvania 2019-20 hunting and furtaker licenses, which also are set to expire June 30, 2020 and allow holders to use shooting ranges on game lands, will be honored for range use through Aug. 31, 2020, as well. However, hunters and trappers are reminded that beginning July 1, 2020, they will need 2020-21 licenses before engaging in any hunting or trapping activity through June 30, 2021.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said extending the life of 2019-20 shooting-range permits is only fair considering state game lands shooting ranges closed statewide March 20, and the first ranges – those in counties upgraded to COVID-19 “yellow phase” – didn’t open until today.

“The state’s COVID-19 guidelines offered little choice but to close ranges statewide initially,” Burhans said. “Still, the Game Commission wants to be fair to those who pay to use ranges on state game lands, and making 2019-20 shooting range permits, as well as 2019-20 hunting and furtaker licenses, valid to use shooting ranges through Aug. 31 will enable shooters to make up for lost time.”

Ranges on game lands in counties upgraded to COVID-19 “yellow phase” have resumed regular hours.

The shooting ranges that reopened include those on: State Game Lands 24 in Forest County; State Game Lands 72 in Clarion County; State Game Lands 109 in Erie County; State Game Lands 176 in Centre County; and State Game Lands 77 in Clearfield County.

Ranges on game lands in other counties remain closed.

Future changes regarding the opening of additional game-lands shooting ranges will be announced by the Game Commission as they are authorized.

The reopening of ranges includes any rifle, shotgun, pistol and archery ranges on state game lands.

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