Hunter ID Reminder

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Following a Commonwealth Court ruling issued on May 24, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross reminded hunters and trappers that they must carry some form of proof-positive identification, such as a driver's license, with them to present to a Wildlife Conservation Officer in the field.

Stemming from a 1999 case (Commonwealth v. Ickes), Commonwealth Court concluded that Section 904 of the Game and Wildlife Code (Title 34) was unconstitutional. Section 904 stated: "When an officer is in the performance of any duty required by this title, it is unlawful for any person to resist or interfere in any manner or to any degree or refuse to produce identification upon request of the officer."

However, as Ross noted, Section 904 is only one part of Title 34 requiring Pennsylvanians to produce proper identification.

"Hunting and furtaking are regulated activities, which require participants to obtain the appropriate license from the Game Commission or one of its issuing agents," Ross said. "Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some to attempt to illegally share a license, or for nonresidents to attempt to purchase a resident license.

"So, as part of our officers' responsibilities to make sure that hunters or trappers possess a valid license, they must check both the hunting or furtaking license and compare that information to other forms of identification."

Specifically, Ross pointed to Title 34, Section 2711 (a) 12, which states that it is "unlawful for any person to, while exercising any of the privileges granted by any license provided for in this title, refuse or fail to satisfactorily provide positive identification to any landowner upon whose land that person may be occupying or to any officer whose duty it is to enforce this title."