HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Game Commission today reopened shooting ranges on additional state game lands in counties upgraded to the yellow phase in the state’s three-phase matrix to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Those counties include: Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike and Schuylkill.

Within those counties, any rifle, shotgun, pistol and archery ranges on state game lands have been reopened and regular hours of operation have resumed.

Where counties 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 remain closed.

The latest upgrades also will reopen to the public the Game Commission’s Southcentral and Northeast Region Offices, which will resume regular lobby hours beginning June 1.

This is the fourth round of shooting-range reopenings to be announced, and only five of the Game Commission’s shooting ranges remain closed.

The latest upgrades reopened ranges on five additional game lands: State Game Lands 91 in Luzerne County; State Game Lands 206 in Luzerne County; State Game Lands 127 in Monroe County; State Game Lands 183 in Pike County and State Game Lands 211 in Dauphin County.

Shooting ranges that reopened previously include those on: State Game Lands 203 in Allegheny County; State Game Lands 108 in Cambria County; State Game Lands 141 in Carbon County; State Game Lands 176 in Centre County; State Game Lands 72 in Clarion County; State Game Lands 77 in Clearfield County; State Game Lands 58 in Columbia County; State Game Lands 230 in Cumberland County; State Game Lands 109 in Erie County; State Game Lands 51 in Fayette County; State Game Lands 24 in Forest 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 159 in Wayne County; State Game Lands 42 in Westmoreland County; and State Game Lands 242 in York County.

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

Following the June 1 office reopenings, the Southeast Region Office, located in Reading, will be the only of the agency’s six region offices to remain closed to the public. The agency’s Harrisburg headquarters also will remain closed to the public until further notice.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said Gov. Tom Wolf’s latest round of COVID-19 upgrades, which also include the upgrade of 17 yellow-phase counties to green phase, represents another important accomplishment in the fight against COVID-19.

“With the reopenings taking place today and scheduled for June 1, nearly all shooting ranges on Pennsylvania’s state game lands again are available for hunters, trappers and other properly permitted shooters to use, and nearly all of the agency’s offices will be open to the public,” Burhans said. “We look forward to continued progress in the fight against COVID-19, as well as reopening the ranges and offices that remain closed.”

The Game Commission closed all shooting ranges on state game lands in late March in accordance with Gov. Tom 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.

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