Wildlife feeding is a significant activity throughout Pennsylvania, however it can run afoul of numerous provisions in the state’s Game and Wildlife Code.

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According come the Pennsylvania video game Commission, searching through the use of bait is just one of the many cited offenses by its wildlife conservation officers.


Wildlife feeding of any sort, consisting of bird feeding, can end up being illegal if the attracts bear or, in the Pennsylvania elk range, elk to an area. A wildlife conservation officer that the Pennsylvania game Commission can concern an order because that the feeding task to be quit temporarily.

According come the commission, the prohibition on feeding bears and elk reduce the opportunity of the large and powerful wild animals losing their are afraid of humans and also potentially coming to be dangerous.


Everywhere in Pennsylvania it is illegal to deliberately feed bear or come place any type of food, chemicals, salt or other products that cause bears to conference or habituate in one area.

In addition to protecting people from bear expecting hand-outs from them or close to their homes, the prohibition help to defend bears native being removed as nuisance animals and from the spread of ailments such as mange, i m sorry is frequently fatal to the bruins and can be spread to healthy bears the congregate in the same area together infected bruins.

Feeding elk is fully banned in Pennsylvania, although in practice the law is only used in the state’s elk range, the only component of the state v wild, free-ranging elk.

In addition to help to stop elk from ending up being habituated to areas around homes and also camps, the ban might provide an additional layer of security for elk against chronic wasting disease, i beg your pardon is constantly fatal to elk, deer and also other cervids.


All wildlife feeding is banned from the almost 1.5 million acres of state video game lands purchased and also managed by the Pennsylvania video game Commission because that hunting and also trapping.


In areas of the state where the video game Commission has actually established condition Management areas in an answer to the detection that chronic wasting disease in deer, feeding the deer is prohibited. And, any type of feeding of various other wildlife the is attracting deer is thought about feeding deer, and unlawful.

Feeding reasons deer come congregate in unnaturally high densities, and by prohibiting feeding, this need serves to slow-moving the spread and also decrease the prevalence of CWD in areas where it’s been detected. The usage or field possession the urine-based deer attractants are prohibited in ~ DMAs because that the very same reason.


Sportsmen searching near residences or other spots whereby wildlife feeding is gift done can be thought about to it is in baiting their quarry, depending on countless factors including just how far animals are being attracted to the feeding site.

It doesn’t matter if a hunter captured in a baited area placed the bait or not. Each hunter is responsible because that ensuring one area has actually not to be baited prior to searching there.

Buying wildlife food – every little thing from bird seed to sacks the corn to salt or mineral block – is fully legal. It’s the use of the food that determines whether it is illegal baiting or legitimate wildlife feeding.

All bait, and also any residues left by bait, should be gotten rid of from a hunting area at least 30 days prior to hunting there. If that need isn’t met, any hunter in that area is considered to be searching illegally over bait.

According come the Pennsylvania video game Commission, hunting through the use of bait is one of the optimal violations for which the commission’s wildlife conservation officers document charges.

In the 2015-16 patent year, which ended June 30, charges to be filed for searching over bait in 503 situations statewide. It is up from 468 hunting-over-bait prosecutions in 2014-15 and 422 in 2013-14.

Nothing in the regulation that prohibits baiting comes to normal or embraced farming, habitat-management practices, oil-and-gas drilling, mining, forest-management activities or various other legitimate commercial or industrial practices.

Hunters may hunt in areas with agricultural crops or wherein treetops have actually been felled through loggers. If they have actually permission, castle can even plant their own crops, food plots and trees, and hunt there lawfully.

But like many violations of the state’s Game and Wildlife Code, one violation could mean others space present.

For example, if someone searching illegally v the usage of bait kills a deer in that area, that or she not just would be charged with hunting over bait, yet for unlawfully taking the deer, i m sorry is a fee punishable by up to an $800 fine and a month in jail add to a replacement expense for the deer that at the very least $800.

pa.gov or directed either to the proper Game Commission an ar office or the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters in ~ 717-787-4250.

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