HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A bill moving through the Pennsylvania House aims to help hunters control the population of predators in the state.
Pennsylvania law currently bans the use of thermal and night vision equipment for hunting.
“There would be some concern that people would use it as a means for poaching deer or other game,” said Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York), chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. “That’s why it’s important that we give the game commission the authority as to which species can be targeted, and it’s going to be exclusively for predators.”
House Bill 1188, introduced by Rep. Parke Wentling, would remove the statutory restriction on the equipment and give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to regulate its use.
Supporters of the bill point to the state’s growing coyote population. Despite it being legal to hunt coyotes anytime, any day, they say more needs to be done to control their numbers.
“It’s going to give the hunters, the predator hunters, in particular, an extra tool in their toolbox,” Gillespie said.
The bill passed the Game and Fisheries Committee by a nearly unanimous vote on Tuesday.