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05/21/2020

COVID-19 UPGRADES TO OPEN MORE SHOOTING RANGES

HARRISBURG, PA -

The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced that, on Friday, May 22, it will reopen shooting ranges on additional state game lands in counties to be upgraded to the yellow phase in the state’s three-phase matrix to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Those counties include: Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming and York.

Within those counties, any rifle, shotgun, pistol and archery ranges on state game lands will be reopened beginning Friday, May 22 and regular hours of operation will resume.

Where counties will remain in the matrix’s red phase, and where stay-at-home orders remain in place and large gatherings are prohibited, shooting ranges on state game lands will remain closed.

This is the third round of shooting-range reopenings to be announced. The combined May 8 and May 15 upgrades of 37 counties to the matrix’s yellow phase reopened shooting ranges on 14 game lands.

The upgrades scheduled for Friday, May 22 will reopen ranges on five additional game lands: State Game Lands 230 in Cumberland County; State Game Lands 242 in York County; State Game Lands 141 in Carbon County; State Game Lands 58 in Columbia County; and State Game Lands 159 in Wayne County.

Shooting ranges that reopened previously include those on: State Game Lands 72 in Clarion County; State Game Lands 109 in Erie County; State Game Lands 24 in Forest County; State Game Lands 203 in Allegheny County; State Game Lands 108 in Cambria County; State Game Lands 51 in Fayette County; State Game Lands 179 in Greene County; State Game Lands 223 in Greene County; State Game Lands 248 in Indiana County; State Game Lands 50 in Somerset County; State Game Lands 245 in Washington County; State Game Lands 42 in Westmoreland County; State Game Lands 176 in Centre County; and State Game Lands 77 in Clearfield County.

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

With the reopening of additional shooting ranges, as permitted by Gov. Tom Wolf’s updated COVID-19 guidance to take effect May 22, more than half of the ranges operated and maintained by the Game Commission will be back up and running, said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans.

“With the May 22 round of reopenings, most of shooting ranges on Pennsylvania’s state game lands again will be available for hunters, trappers and other properly permitted shooters to use,” Burhans said. “That this third round of reopenings so closely followed the second surely is welcome news to many, and I look forward to announcing the next. If each of us continues to strive to stay safe and follows the state Department of Health’s guidelines for limiting the spread of COVID-19, it only can help to make it happen.”

The Game Commission closed all shooting ranges on state game lands in late March in accordance with Gov. Wolf’s developing guidance to help control the spread of COVID-19.

To enable hunters and target shooters to make up for lost opportunity due to ranges being closed, the Game Commission has extended the life of 2019-20 shooting-range permits, which have a printed expiration date of June 30, 2020. The permits will be considered valid to use on state game lands shooting ranges until 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

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