Hunting on Sunday Controversial
Inside the Outdoors, September 6
, 2013

Recently, a neighbor who asked what I thought about hunting on Sunday approached me. Right now, Pennsylvania is one of seven states that bans harvesting of wildlife on the Sabbath. He and a group of other hunters would like to see the ruling reversed so one can hunt all the days of the week.

The reason for it, he told me, stems from the fact that farmers wanted a day they could recreate on their property while relaxing on a day that was set aside for rest and relaxation. These laborers observed what we know as the blue laws. They wanted to go about enjoying their property without the fear of being shot while in the process of enjoying the land they have come to know and love so much. And that’s understandable. After all, would you like to walk in your back yard with the fear that all of a sudden you would be caught off guard by a large boom just to the right of your left eardrum, or catch a bullet in your shoulder from a hunter who mistook you for a deer?

In addition, according to the website, www.thetruthaboutguns.com, “Sundays are also days in which religious beliefs, values and worship are more actively practiced. Many peoples’ religious values direct that Sunday should be dedicated to the worship of God, not the performance of non-religious activities such as hunting or working. Efforts to expand Sunday hunting would impinge on the religious values of residents who believe that only religious activities should be performed on that day.”

So the controversy continues.

According to the mentioned website, some people believe Sunday hunting should be permitted such as my neighbor. Kathy Davis has found a group called HUSH, short for Hunters United for Sunday Hunting. “She has pushed and lobbied for legislation and regulation that would lower the states deer herd for years.”

Another member of the group, the former director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Vern Ross and group member, has pushed for deer herd reduction. While in office, he was known for trying to implement legislation to cut the deer herd in our state.

One question arose, “What if farmers want to hunt on their land on Sunday? Under the present law, it wouldn’t be permitted. Good point.

Another person made mention that hunters should be allowed to hunt on Sunday on public land. As for private land owned by farmers, for instance, Sunday hunting should be the discretion of the property owner. That is where posting comes into play.

Then there was the view that Sunday hunting should be prohibited so that individuals could take hikes through the woods without being threatened by hunters. Maybe during fall months when some people would pick leaves, for example, they knew hunters would not be out and about posing safety problems.

So, one can see there are all kinds of viewpoints.

According to Tom Fazi, information and education supervisor for the Pennsylvania Game Commission stated, “There is a 50/50 split as to those who want it and others who don’t. The Board of Commissioners narrowly passed a resolution in support of changing the law. The PGC however can not change the law,” he said.

He suggested that interested parties contact their senators and House of Game and Fisheries Committee and advise them as to one’s concerns either way. Down the road, this will help them make decisions as to the future of this controversial state law.

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I’m convinced. Fishing is an addiction. I heard this week of several family members who got their brothers or sisters interested in the sport, some now doing it daily. One father told me his son was doing it and the daughter joined in. The two go fising daily, going to Mammoth Dam and particularly the Conemaugh River to catch catfish. There is an excellent article in the latest publication of Pennsylvania Outdoor News talking about the methods and growing popularity of the sport. I suggest one subscribe to that publication so one can read all the latest fishing and hunting news items. It is really informative.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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