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Semi-Auto Hunting In PA Legalized...Sort Of


Tuesday's meeting of the PA Board of Game Commissioners legalized hunting with semi-automatic rifles in Pennsylvania, but unlike the original unanimously approved proposal, it did not include the legalization of semi-autos for big game.  Some of the more common big game animals in Pennsylvania include bear, elk, deer, and turkey.  The Game Commissioners cited surveys of hunting-license purchasees, in which merely 28 percent supported leagalizing semi-autos for big game, with 52 percent strongly opposed.  Additionally, magazine capacity is limited to 5 rounds.

The use of surveys in the process of making such decisions is of course, odd, as people’s opinions and perceptions are not always in line with the facts and good reasons.  The publicly portrayed unique characteristics of semi-auto rifles are often wrongly limited to their increased rate of fire and ammunition capacity, which are also sometimes portrayed as being of no use to hunters.
 
However, the action and mechanics of rifles like the AR-series of rifles have additional benefits.  One such is their recoil mitigation.  The buffer and buffer spring in an AR rifle soak up much of the recoil that would otherwise be directly transferred to the shooter’s shoulder in a bolt action rifle.  This greatly benefits big game hunters, especially younger and elderly hunters who may have a hard time handling the recoil of a cartridge large enough to bring down big game.
 
Additionally, the ability to make a quick follow up shot without taking your head off the stock, and keeping your eyes on the target, that semi-auto rifles allow, benefits ethical hunting.  If a deer is wounded by a first shot, it will most likely run, and it is near impossible for most hunters to cycle a bolt action rifle fast enough to bring the animal down with a second shot in order to prevent it from escaping into the woods, where it will most likely suffer for hours before it finally succumbs to its injury

On the bright side, semi-autos are still approved for small game, and furbearers.  Small game in PA includes squirrel, fox, grouse, pheasant, quail, groundhog and crow.  Furbearers in PA include coyote, raccoon, fox, opossum, skunks, weasels, and bobcat.  


created: 3/30/2017 6:00 PM

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tommy.jones commented on 4/25/2017 7:48 PM
I don't understand why everyone is stuck that a semi-auto rifle is an AR-15. If they want to ban MSR's, then ban MSR's, but I have been hunting with a Remington 742 in .30-06 that my grandfather gave me since the late 70's. It only has a 5 shot magazine and being a left handed shooter, is easier for me operate a tool that was designed inherently for a right hander. The gun my grandfather bought was what Remington sold as a left handed version of their rifle, but all they did was put the cheek pad on the opposite side. The brass still ejects a crossed my face. Running a bolt action is much more difficult for a follow up shot.
chuckschwinger commented on 4/18/2017 12:49 AM
"AR-15 offers recoil mitigation" bahahaha..........as if .223 Remington needs its recoil "mitigated"....what a crock....just so a buncha yahoos can go blast their toys at squirrels and woodchucks...
Tim50 commented on 4/17/2017 4:17 PM
What would we expect from our political BOC!!!
Jason Sherwood commented on 4/14/2017 9:55 AM
buytoddsguns commented on 4/9/2017 8:39 PM
Pennsyltucky is always 50 years behind everyone else.
garyholmes commented on 4/9/2017 5:38 PM
I have always hunted with a semi automatic rifle which is a browning BAR in 30-06. I have tried bolt actions and it's just not the same feeling and once in a while that fast follow is nice when needed.
unclewiddy commented on 4/9/2017 3:13 PM
I think a gun like an SKS with be a big advantage as I get older because of the recoil. Also I stay on point
shawnb71 commented on 4/7/2017 12:55 AM
Its a start.
ggreenup1 commented on 4/6/2017 5:04 PM
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