Why not repeal the idiotic rifle ban in the areas affected? It is totally not necessary and according to a Pa. study rifle bans accomplish nothing, and may even be detrimental to safety.
From an article I recently read:
In case anyone is interested in reading the Pennsylvania study: http://6fbd21e64bc817fd097aa54148bd3dab37bc10ee.gripelements.com/documents/AFWA_Presentation_9-18-07.pdf
I am a WDNR (Wisconsin) Hunter Safety Instructor, so we have to point to this scientific study often
when this topic arises. As a hunter, hunting in the shotgun only portion of Shawano County,
I am here to tell you that I have seen this "study" in practice. A number of years ago the
local farm gang was driving and deer ran across the plowed field between our cabin, and
the hunters. At about 500 yards from the cabin, the farm boys opened up, with Fosters slugs, and
smooth bore shotguns. My father standing outside the cabin, watching the circus, was diving under his
truck, as the reflected slugs were piling into the hard maple trees around our cabin. When confronted,
the farm boys had to be shown the fresh slug holes in the hard maples before they would believe
that 12 slugs could travel that far after hitting dirt in the plowed field. A rifle bullet would have
destabilized, and lost energy much faster. So safety wise, there is NO proof that shotguns are
safer, and if you read this study, you could come to the conclusion that in the majority of hunting
scenarios, the shotgun is more dangerous.
Now limiting the EFFECTIVE range of deer hunting weapons is a different issue.
A fully rifled shotgun, shooting an all copper sabot slug has the effective range
of the old standard 30-30 Win. deer rifle, as does the modern magnum black powder rifle. And not
to mention that the WI handgun rules open this effective range more. I have a 308 Win. chambered
bolt action pistol, with a 2-7x scope on it, and it is legal in WI "shotgun only" zones. So just strap
a butt stock on the thing, and it will look more like my 308 BAR. One is legal below HWY 29, and
one is not. This shows how stupid these laws have become.
So if the goal is to limit effective range, then to be honest about it, limitations to shotguns,
and muzzleloaders, need to be added. Only smooth bore shotguns, and non-magnum muzzleloaders,
ought to be in the rules.
Back on the topic of firearms restrictions, I am for the simplest rule. You choose. In firearms season, have
a minimum handgun, shotgun, and rifle restriction, and let the hunter choose which works best for them. It
sure would simplify enforcement, too.
Don't get me started on limiting firearms ranges, for management purposes...The justifications remind me of
a pile of deer droppings. There are many in a pile, and they are only good for fertilizer.