Wildlife Conservation Officers in Pennsylvania: What You Need to Know

Justin McShane, Independent Program Attorney for U.S. LawShield in Pennsylvania, explains that the state’s agencies work together and that a Wildlife Conservation Officer’s authority can even extend onto private property. [Read The Full Transcript Below The Video]

It’s August in Pennsylvania. That means two things are in season, generally speaking: coyotes and groundhogs.

And it’s great to smoke one of those groundhogs. It makes a really good impression and they’re tough sometimes, at a distance, to hit, aren’t they?

Well one of the questions that comes up quite a bit is, “What happens if I misidentify my target or I mean to shoot the groundhog, and I miss, and I get a deer?”

That could be a potential problem, because we have very aggressive and capable game wardens here in Pennsylvania who work along with agents from the Fish & Boat Commission. They have crossed-jurisdiction, which means they can enforce each other’s laws, under their limited jurisdiction-related agreements.

That’s why you would have the U.S. Law Shield Hunter Protection Program. If you’re not a member and you don’t have it then, I suggest highly that you look it up.

Wildlife Conservation, The Law, and Your Rights

What is on the law books is different from reality; what I mean by that is, all of those different statutes or written laws that govern the Game Commission and the Fish & Boat Commission sometimes conflict with your rights under the Pennsylvania state constitution and even your rights under the United States Constitution, specifically the 5th and 4th Amendments.

Just because you’re out hunting doesn’t mean your constitutional rights get thrown away.

In addition to the cross jurisdiction of those two different commissions, you must also be aware of what you have to say under different circumstances and the powers of the game warden, which can even extend onto private property, believe it or not.

The hunter program is something I highly recommend that will help you stay on the right side of the law, and make sure you don’t talk your way into trouble. We’re here to help you out.

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