Thanks to you, “Sunday Hunting” legislation, House Bill 1374, has been officially introduced this week and will be making its way through the General Assembly. As introduced, HB 1374 would give discretion to the Pennsylvania Game Commission to implement Sunday hunting relative to seasons and bag limits in the Keystone state. Just as they are trusted to make science-based decisions Monday through Saturday, the management of hunting seasons, harvest limits and times on Sundays should rest with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the wildlife experts who advise it.
The prohibition on Sunday hunting is an old blue law left on the books in just a handful of states. Although Pennsylvania allows some private landowners to hunt and some varmint hunting on Sundays, a large sector of the hunting population and the benefits they bring to the economy are being ignored. This prohibition denies hunters access one day per week despite the fact that each year, hunters provide millions of dollars to habitat restoration and conservation through Pittman-Robertson funds and are primarily responsible for healthy ecosystems throughout Pennsylvania.
Furthermore, current law gives a select group of private landowners, whose property is enrolled as a noncommercial regulated hunting ground, the privilege to hunt on Sundays. This law amounts to tens of thousands of acres being hunted on Sundays by landowners who can afford to own and enroll their 100+ acre plots as a noncommercial regulated hunting ground. This exemption, which became law more than a decade ago, only allows those who own large tracts of land the pleasure of hunting on Sundays, while continuing to deny the majority of Pennsylvania hunters the same freedom.
Many hunters are prohibited from introducing their children or friends to hunting because they are competing with organized sports and other activities on Saturday, which is currently their only opportunity to hunt outside of the work week. Countless hunters stop hunting because of the lack of opportunity, time restrictions and accessible land. The addition of an extra day in the field, especially on the weekend, increases the opportunity for those individuals to experience hunting. Allowing hunting on Sundays would undoubtedly invigorate essential hunter recruitment and retention efforts -- key factors in preserving Pennsylvania’s hunting heritage for future generations to come.
Please continue to contact your state Representative and politely urge him or her to support this important legislation. Click the button above to take action now!
Also, please take a moment to thank the state Representatives who are co-sponsoring HB 1374. Co-sponsors are listed below: