night vision in Pennsylvania

Thermal and Night Vision Hunting in Pennsylvania is Getting Closer

Pennsylvania legislators look determined to get control of the growing coyote population.

It's no secret coyote populations have been on the rise, and many states are beginning to change their regulations to create more opportunities for hunters to intervene.

Most states with coyote issues already have open seasons for the havoc-wreaking predators, but not all of them allow nighttime hunting. Pennsylvania has some very odd regulations, however, as hunters can hunt in the dark, but are limited in what kind of equipment they can use.

It looks like that could be changing very soon, though, as state lawmakers are looking into lifting restrictions on thermal imaging and night vision equipment, giving the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to use their own discretion to regulate various night hunting devices.

Representative Parke Wentling introduced House Bill 1188, which passed the Game and Fisheries Committee with flying colors.

"There would be some concern that people would use it as a means for poaching deer or other game as a result of that," Representative Keith Gillespie told "And that's why it's important that we give the game commission the authority as to which species can be targeted. And it's going to be exclusively for predators."

As the chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, Gillespie believes the bill has the potential to make a huge dent in the coyote population.

"It's going to give the hunter—the predator hunters in particular—an extra tool in their toolbox and an advantage over these extremely cunning creatures."

He's confident the bill will easily make it to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk.

"Again, it's going back, giving the Game Commission the authority, who are the experts in this field, and I don't see any opposition as we go forward with this."