Pennsylvania Game Commission

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Pennsylvania Game Commission
Pennsylvania Game Commission Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed1895; 126 years ago (1895)
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Pennsylvania
HeadquartersHarrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • 714 Full time - 2015 - 2016
  • 1,000+ part time & volunteer
Annual budget$117,147,608 Fiscal Year 2018[a]
Agency executives
  • Bryan J. Burhans, Executive Director
  • Richard Palmer, Deputy Executive Director
  • Thomas P. Grohol, Deputy Executive Director

The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) is the state agency responsible for wildlife conservation and management in Pennsylvania in the United States. It was founded 125 years ago and has more than 700 employees.[2]

Mission and duties[edit]

The mission of the Pennsylvania Game Commission is:

  • To manage and protect wildlife
  • To manage wildlife habitat
  • To inform and educate the public on wildlife and safe hunting practices

The duties of the Pennsylvania Game Commission include:

  • Set hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits
  • Issuing hunting and fur taking licenses
  • Conduct tests for wildlife disease
  • Pheasant release
  • Animal Reintroduction

Game Warden - Specific duties may include investigating complaints or working with schools, communities and service groups to promote environmental conservation and compliance with laws. Game Wardens may be required to teach Information and Education courses along with hunter education to the public, including wildlife programs for schools and community organizations. They may be involved with inspecting falconers, wildlife rehabilitators, bait dealer, taxidermists and gamer breeders. Other job duties may include:

  • Documenting state and federal misdemeanors, felonies and other violations of environmental conservation laws.
  • Implementing plans to find violations.
  • Processing violators and evidence and submitting reports.
  • Conducting audits of commercial operations to ensure environmental compliance.
  • Communicating environmental conservation goals to the public and media.
  • Conducting safety courses for recreational vehicles, such as snowmobiles or off-road vehicles.
  • Maintaining relationships with outside law enforcement agencies.
  • Working with hunters and anglers to ensure conservation laws are being followed.
  • Patrolling assigned areas to ensure there are no violations occurring.
  • Checking hunters and anglers for correct licensing.

Game Wardens[edit]

Game Warden vehicle in Harrisburg, PA.

The main workforce of the Pennsylvania Game Commission are Game wardens, formerly known as Wildlife Conservation Officers and originally Game Protectors.[3] These men and women are trained at the Ross Leffler School of Conservation in Harrisburg. New recruiting classes are formed when positions open up, which is normally every 2nd or 3rd year. Classes are usually kept below 30 students. Training is an 11-month program in Law Enforcement, Natural Resource Management, Wildlife Management, and other subjects.

Pennsylvania Game Commission patch

Game Wardens serve as the police for wildlife crimes; enforcing the hunting and trapping laws as well as many other laws. They patrol the Pennsylvania State Game Lands and teach hunter-trapper education courses as well as providing many other educational opportunities for the Pennsylvania public.[2]

Deputy Game Wardens are part-time, whereas State Game Wardens are full-time, career-oriented positions. Serving as a Deputy does not lead to promotion into a State Game Warden position. Deputies do not receive regular salary or wages, however, they may receive limited compensation for certain duties. function in all phases of activity Game Commission activities and assume the powers as authorized by the Game and Wildlife Code, subject to limitations established by Commission regulations and operating procedures.[4]

Deputies are commonly involved in: law enforcement patrols and investigations, answering complaints and calls for service, nuisance wildlife control, hunter-trapper education classes, educational programs, and assisting other agencies.[5]

Pennsylvania Game News[edit]

  • Pennsylvania Game News is the PGC's monthly publication, dealing with wildlife conservation and the financial and legislative functions of the Game Commission.
  • Monthly Field Notes, written by Game Wardens and their Deputies, are funny stories about happenings in the fields. They are a monthly favorite of many.[6]

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, ten officers have died while on duty.[7]

Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove was shot and killed on Schriver Road, near Red Rock Road, in Freedom Township, Adams County, at approximately 10:45 pm on 11 November 2010. Officer Grove was in the area to investigate reports of ongoing night-time shooting and poaching. He had stopped a suspected poacher just south of Gettysburg National Military Park. As he handcuffed the man a struggle ensued and the subject opened fire. Although mortally wounded, Officer Grove was able to return fire, wounding the suspect in the hip. The suspect, who was a convicted felon, was captured the following morning at a nearby hunting camp and charged with Officer Grove's murder. He stated that he shot Officer Grove because he didn't want to return to prison.[8]

On October 2, 2012, the subject was convicted of first degree murder in connection. He was subsequently sentenced to death.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The PGC does not receive General Fund appropriations from the state legislator.


  1. ^ Pennsylvania Game Commission (2018). "2018 PGC Annual Legislative Report" (PDF). p. 27. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b "About the Pennsylvania Game Commission". Pennsylvania Game Commission. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  3. ^ Leader, Times (2018-01-08). "New name, same job for PGC game wardens". Times Leader. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  4. ^ "Game Laws".
  5. ^ "Deputy Game Warden". Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Pennsylvania Game News". Pennsylvania Game Commission. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  7. ^ "Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania, Fallen Officers". The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP). Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  8. ^ "ODMP WCO David Lynn Grove. EOW 11 Nov 2010". Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  9. ^ Herr, Megan (29 January 2016). "Execution notice signed for Christopher Johnson in WCO David L. Grove's murder near Fairfield". Retrieved 2 November 2020.

External links[edit]