Permits for Hunters with Disabilities

General Information

Permits are available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission for persons with disabilities who meet certain guidelines established in 34 Pa. C.S., the Game and Wildlife Code.

Permit applications and the required physician's statement forms may be obtained through a download on this page, or from each of the Commission's six regional offices or the Bureau of Wildlife Protection at the Harrisburg Headquarters.

In addition to a disabled person permit, all permit holders must be in possession of a valid Pennsylvania hunting or furtaker license as required by the Game and Wildlife Code.

(Authorized by Section 2923, of the Game and Wildlife Code)

Minimum Requirements
Applicant must provide documentation of any of the following medical disabilities:
  • Has a permanent or irreversible physical disability, and is unable to ambulate and requires a wheelchair, walker, one leg brace or external prosthesis above the knee, 2 leg braces or external prostheses below the knees, 2 crutches or 2 canes for mobility.
  • Suffers significantly from lung disease, to the extent that forced expiratory volume for one second when measured by spirometry is less than one liter or the arterial oxygen tension (po) is less than 60 millimeters of mercury on room air at rest. This subparagraph would also apply to someone who is oxygen dependent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Suffers significantly from cardiovascular disease, to the extent that functional limitations are classified in severity as class 3 or 4, according to the current standards accepted by the American Heart Association and where ordinary physical activity causes fatigue, palpitation, dyspnea or anginal pain.
  • Has a disability or combination of disabilities creating a minimum impairment of function of or equivalent to no less than 90% loss of function in one leg or no more than 10% maximal functional use in one leg regardless of the functional level of the other leg.
  • Has a temporary disability that restricts mobility or ambulation of any distance due to illness or injury and operative procedures and who either has a leg, hip or back, or any part thereof, casted by a licensed physician due to a fracture or has leg, hip or back surgery.

Permittee May: Possess a loaded firearm in a parked vehicle. The vehicle, however, must be completely off the right-of-way of a public highway and at a complete stop with the motor turned off. The parked vehicle may be used as a blind, or as a shooting platform.

Permittee May Not: Possess more than one loaded firearm in, or on the vehicle at any one time; travel or park on private property without advance permission of the owner or person in control of the property; contrary to federal regulations, hunt for or take migratory game birds (waterfowl, woodcock, snipe, rails, doves or gallinules) by use of a vehicle; possess a pistol or revolver contrary to the provisions of 18 Pa. C.S. §101-9183, the Uniform Firearms Act; use a vehicle to flush or locate game; or travel on State Game Lands except on those roads posted open to public travel or specifically designated for use by a hunter who has been issued a disabled person permit.

Designated Game Lands Roads

It is unlawful to travel on lands by means of vehicle or conveyance propelled by motorized power. This prohibition does not include the travel by individuals permanently confined to a wheelchair propelled by electric power obtained from batteries. Individuals desiring to hunt from an electric powered wheelchair shall have a disabled person permit to use a vehicle as a blind. (Section 2923, of the Game and Wildlife Code).

Certain Game Lands roads are open for vehicular traffic to Disabled Persons Permit holders. (Section 2923(a), of the Game and Wildlife Code).

Roads are open for one-way vehicular traffic, weather permitting, 14 days prior to the opening day of archery season to the closing day of the muzzleloader/archery season. A list of designated roads open to vehicular traffic will be made available to each Disabled Persons Permit holder by the Commission.

Vehicles or conveyances must be licensed or authorized for operation on a public highway under the provisions of 75 Pa. C.S. §101-9910, the Vehicle Code.

The permittee may be accompanied by only one other person who also must be in possession of a valid Pennsylvania hunting or furtaker's license. The permittee also may be accompanied by one or more of the permittee's children holding a valid junior hunting or furtaker's license.

Gates on designated roads will be closed but unlocked. It shall be the responsibility of the permittee to open and close the gates upon entry and exit.

Designated Game Lands Open to ATVs
A permanent Disabled Persons Permit holder may apply for a Towing Vehicle Placard that will allow the use a ATVs, by the permitted person, on designated State Game Lands roads open to ATVs. Towing Vehicle Placard Applications will be made available by the Commission to permanent Disabled Persons Permit holders.

Designated State Forest Roads

For information on roads within State Forests that are open to disabled persons, contact the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry at 717-787-2703.

Permit: Regulated Hunting Grounds

(Authorized by Section 2923, of the Game and Wildlife Code)

Minimum Requirements: Applicant must present a doctor's certificate showing that the person is physically unable to walk for an extended period of time.

Permittee May: Hunt for, pursue, and kill, from an automobile or other vehicle (ATV, snowmobile, etc.), those small game birds authorized for release on lands operated as either Commercial or Noncommercial Regulated Hunting Grounds; possess one loaded firearm lawful for taking small game in a vehicle when on Regulated Hunting Grounds and only when actually hunting.

Permittee May Not: 1.) Use his/her permit, except when on an established Regulated Hunting Grounds; 2.) hunt for or take migratory game birds (waterfowl, etc.) by use of a vehicle; 3.) possess a pistol or revolver contrary to the provisions of 18 Pa. C.S. §101-9183, the Uniform Firearms Act.

Semiautomatic Firearm for Big Game
(No Permit Required)

Minimum Qualifications: Amputation or total loss of use of one or both hands.

Qualified Persons May: Use a semiautomatic shotgun, rifle, or pistol to take deer or bear. Firearms must be modified to one shell in the chamber and no more than four shells in the magazine.

Qualified Persons May Not: Possess a loaded firearm in a vehicle unless the person additionally holds a Disabled Persons Permit, described in Section 2923, of the Game and Wildlife Code.

Veterans with Disabilities License Fee Exemptions
Only for veterans with Regular Hunting and Furtaker Licenses

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be a resident of Pennsylvania
  • Disability must consist of the loss of one or more limbs, or the loss of the use of one or more limbs, or medically certified as totally disabled.
  • Disability was service incurred.
  • Must be a veteran of any war or armed conflict.
  • Must be otherwise mentally and physically fit.
  • Must meet all other requirements of the Game and Wildlife Code.

Disabled Veteran Licensing Procedure

  • Application for license must be made to any County Treasurer.
  • Applicant must produce discharge papers.
  • If applicant is claiming total disability, applicant must produce Veterans Administration disability certification detailing total disability.
  • Application must contain a statement that the applicant is a war or armed conflict veteran and disability was service incurred.

Further information concerning special accommodations for sportsmen with disabilities, or other special needs, is available from any of the following Game Commission Region Offices. Click on the office of interest for contact information, or consult your Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, issued with your hunting or furtaker license:

NORTHWEST REGION OFFICE serving Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango and Warren counties.

SOUTHWEST REGION OFFICE serving Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION OFFICE serving Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga and Union counties.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION OFFICE serving Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Snyder and York counties.

NORTHEAST REGION OFFICE serving Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties.

SOUTHEAST REGION OFFICE serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill counties.

Pennsylvania Game Commission, 2001 Elmerton Ave, Harrisburg Pennsylvania 17110-9797