PENNSYLVANIA, USA — An article titled "Tom Wolf & Game Commission Issue New Orange Mask Requirements for PA Hunters" is making its rounds on social media. In the article, there is a photo of a mannequin which wears a fluorescent orange mask that bears the Pennsylvania Game Commission's logo. It states that the brightly colored masks are required for hunters and can be bought at game commission regional headquarters for $29.99.
The author says Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Game Commission are requiring the masks for visual safety and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
FOX43's VERIFY team looked into this article to see if its claims are factually correct.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission states on Facebook and its website this article is not true.
The false information is posted on the website channel22news.com. A simple Google search shows there is no channel 22 news in the Commonwealth.
It's important to know: The Game Commission does require fluorescent orange in some instances; those are outlined in the 2020-2021 hunting and trapping digest.
Page 10 shows there is a minimum 250 square inches of fluorescent orange required on the head, chest and back combined to be visible at 360 degrees. That's for all small game seasons, deer, bear, or elk fire arm seasons, and October muzzleloader antlerless deer & bear seasons.
You'll notice it does not say anything about face masks.
However, even when orange isn't required, the commission states on its website it highly recommends wearing bright orange. For example, it recommends a fluorescent orange hat for turkey hunters while moving.
The bogus article later states failure to wear orange specific masks can result in fines exceeding $500, and those who wear no mask at all may forfeit their hunting privileges for up to two years.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission says this too is not true. Travis Lau, a spokesman for the agency, said in an email to FOX43, "Masks are not required, and the agency has no specific recommendation [for face coverings while hunting]. It recommends compliance with all department of health guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19."
People who only read and share headlines could be fooled. If you click into the bogus article, you will find 'you got owned' on a website designed to prank people. At the very end, the author urges people to not fall for things they read on the internet.