Yesterday, May 18, the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee held a hearing to discuss legislation that would repeal the ban on Sunday hunting. The groups that were invited to testify consisted of two panels - in support and in opposition to the proposal. Testifying in support of the measure were the National Rifle Association, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
While the overall feedback from members of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee was promising, a decision was not made during the hearing. We ask that you continue to contact members of the Game and Fisheries Committees and urge them to support repealing the ban on Sunday hunting. Please click the “Take Action” button below to contact members of the Senate and House Game and Fisheries Committees and urge them to support Senate Bill 1070 and House Bill 1374.
The prohibition on Sunday hunting is an old blue law left on the books in just a handful of states. Although Pennsylvania does allow limited opportunities to varmint hunt on Sundays, a large sector of the hunting population continues to be ignored.
This concept of expanding hunting on Sundays is not a novel idea. Current law gives a select group of private landowners, whose property is enrolled as a noncommercial regulated hunting ground, the privilege to hunt all game in season 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.
Because of the current general prohibition, many hunters are prevented 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. SB 1070 and HB 1374 would allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission to regulate hunting opportunities on designated Sundays as they do for every other day of the week. This legislation would undoubtedly invigorate essential hunter recruitment and retention efforts—key factors in preserving Pennsylvania’s hunting heritage for future generations to come.