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Carrying in the woods. Poaching?
#1
So this weekend was my friends bachelor party, so we all spent the weekend at my other friends cabin up in Juniata county. The one night we decided to just take a walk in the woods and I was told to leave my 1911 at the cabin. Later after we got back I asked them why and they said that you can't have a gun and a flashlight in the woods because I could get charged for poaching.

I tried to ask them what actually made it poaching, was it the time of the night? In a wooded area? While on SGL(which we weren't on)? Because I also had a flashlight? I tried telling them that just because I had a flashlight and a CC'ed gun can't constitute poaching because if I took my dog for a walk on the main road at night I would have my flashlight and my gun. I couldn't see it just be because it was wooded, because if I walked around a wooded area lets say at a park in a city(minus the trespassing part of it) I can't see getting in trouble for poaching.

I'm just trying to figure out what part makes this poaching. We were on private land at the time and also walked down a public road.
6speed, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#2
Title 34

Sec. 2525. Possession of firearm for protection of self or others.
(a) General rule.—It is lawful for a law enforcement officer or any person who possesses a valid license to carry a firearm issued under 18 Pa C.S. Section 6109 (relating to licenses) to be in possession of a loaded or unloaded firearm while engaged in any activity regulated by this title.
(b) Construction.
(1) This section shall supersede any prohibition on the possession of firearms or ammunition contained in any other provision of this title.
(2) This subsection shall not be construed to permit the hunting or harvesting of any wildlife with a firearm or ammunition not otherwise permitted by this title.
© Definitions.—As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
"Firearm." As defined in 18 Pa C.S. §6102 (relating to definitions).
"Law enforcement officer." As defined in 18 Pa C.S. §6102 (relating to definitions).
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#3
Yosemitesam;87516 Wrote:Title 34

Sec. 2525. Possession of firearm for protection of self or others.
(a) General rule.—It is lawful for a law enforcement officer or any person who possesses a valid license to carry a firearm issued under 18 Pa C.S. Section 6109 (relating to licenses) to be in possession of a loaded or unloaded firearm while engaged in any activity regulated by this title.
(b) Construction.
(1) This section shall supersede any prohibition on the possession of firearms or ammunition contained in any other provision of this title.
(2) This subsection shall not be construed to permit the hunting or harvesting of any wildlife with a firearm or ammunition not otherwise permitted by this title.
© Definitions.—As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
"Firearm." As defined in 18 Pa C.S. §6102 (relating to definitions).
"Law enforcement officer." As defined in 18 Pa C.S. §6102 (relating to definitions).
So because I have misread these many times, it's saying that I was right, that since I have my LTCF that there was nothing illegal about walking in the woods with a flashlight and gun at night?

So where does this poaching and spotting(they mentioned that also) come into play? Is there a way to get charged with this without ever firing the gun and/or killing an animal?
6speed, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#4
From General Hunting Regulations:

Firearms - Handguns: A Sportsman’s Firearms permit or a License to
Carry Firearms is required to carry a handgun, or have in a motor vehicle.
Licenses to Carry Firearms permits are issued by county sheriffs or
the Philadelphia Chief of Police. The License to Carry Firearms permit
only entitles bowhunters or spotlighters, for instance, to carry firearms
that fall within this classification.
County treasurers issue Sportsman’s Firearms Permits. A person holding a Sportsman’s Firearms Permit may not carry a concealed handgun or a loaded handgun in a vehicle, and may not carry a handgun while bowhunting or spotlighting.

There may be certain hours when spotlighting is not permitted, especially during deer season.
MikeP, just an old guy that smells of garlic.
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#5
But if he's not bowhunting or spotlighting (wtf is that?) then it's no issue, right?

Like anything though 6speed...you can be accused of anything, you need to be able to defend yourself and they have to prove it.

I wouldn't go into the woods at night without being armed--no doubt there.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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#6
Thanks everyone for the responses, I didn't think it could be possible to be illegal to carry a firearm just because of it being in the woods. The owner of the cabin said he say a bear not even 75 yards from the cabin a few years ago which in my opinion is enough reason to want to be armed. But I wasn't to worried that night, you know what they say, you don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the other people Big Grin

I do wonder were 4 long time hunters would have got the idea that they can't have a handgun in the woods though. I didn't really argue the fact to much since it was 4 on 1 and I thought maybe it was some crazy hunting law that somehow I didn't know about.
6speed, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#7
6speed;88034 Wrote:Thanks everyone for the responses, I didn't think it could be possible to be illegal to carry a firearm just because of it being in the woods. The owner of the cabin said he say a bear not even 75 yards from the cabin a few years ago which in my opinion is enough reason to want to be armed. But I wasn't to worried that night, you know what they say, you don't have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the other people Big Grin

I do wonder were 4 long time hunters would have got the idea that they can't have a handgun in the woods though. I didn't really argue the fact to much since it was 4 on 1 and I thought maybe it was some crazy hunting law that somehow I didn't know about.

Because the game laws were amended in 2006.

Sec. 2525. Amended November 29, 2006, Act No. 162, Effective January 28, 2007.
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http://www.experienceelkcountry.com/
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#8
It takes more than the mere possession of a firearm in the woods to be charged with poaching.
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#9
In my experience with the game commission people, their agents have a "charge first, don't ask questions" attitude.

Someone brought up the question of concealed carry in a hunter safety course I took several years ago. The agent flat out said not to carry a handgun because if you shoot an animal they will charge you for illegally shooting the animal with the handgun - even if you have a rifle with you. Their logic: you can't prove that you didn't shoot the animal with the handgun, so we will charge you.

With a mentality/attitude like that, I can see them charging anyone with a flashlight and a handgun at night - regardless of the reason or location. Good luck being found NOT guilty in court...
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#10
rmagill;102592 Wrote:In my experience with the game commission people, their agents have a "charge first, don't ask questions" attitude.

Someone brought up the question of concealed carry in a hunter safety course I took several years ago. The agent flat out said not to carry a handgun because if you shoot an animal they will charge you for illegally shooting the animal with the handgun - even if you have a rifle with you. Their logic: you can't prove that you didn't shoot the animal with the handgun, so we will charge you.

With a mentality/attitude like that, I can see them charging anyone with a flashlight and a handgun at night - regardless of the reason or location. Good luck being found NOT guilty in court...

Well, several years ago the only handgun you could carry in the woods while hunting was a revolver or single shot.

The laws have been changed to allow the carrying of semi-auto handguns (for defensive purposes only) while hunting. This includes seasons such as archery where the possession of any handgun was illegal.

I don't have to prove I didn't shoot the animal with a handgun, they have to prove I did.
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