PA Game Commission gets feedback on Sunday hunting, changing deer season

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission discussed a few hot topics Sunday, including changing the start to deer season and Sunday hunting. 

Pennsylvania is one of three states that doesn’t allow Sunday hunting. 

“These blue laws have to be repealed,” said Harold Daub, the executive director of Hunters United for Sunday Hunting. “You think back to 1933…we could not have a Super Bowl next Sunday if the blue law wasn’t repealed.”

Hunters United for Sunday Hunting has grown since we first introduced you to the group last spring.

“We have signatures of over 30,000 supporting lifting the prohibition,” said Daub.

The organization is one many asking the Pennsylvania Game Commission to work with legislators to lift restrictions on Sunday hunting. 

“I’d like to see it expanded for raccoons as well,” said Brian Davis, a Coatesville resident.

“Times have changed. People’s schedules have changed,” said state Sen. Dan Laughlin, a chairman of the Game and Fisheries Committee.

Legislation is circulating the House and Senate. 

This is the first year all of the chairmen of the Game and Fisheries Committee support Sunday hunting.

“We’re really gathering a lot of momentum and quite frankly, I think we’ll have the votes to get this through,” said Laughlin. 

Still, multiple groups, including the Keystone Trails Association, have continued to oppose Sunday hunting.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau thinks Sunday should be reserved for other outdoor activities, like hiking and biking. 

It also says farmers need one day a week for peace and quiet, and to move around their properties to do repairs. 

Meanwhile, the Game Commission is also considering another big switch: making the start of deer season the Saturday after Thanksgiving instead of the Monday after.

“Having it start on Saturday is a way that we could have Sunday to drive back up to school and butcher our harvest,” said Kelli Ritter, a Boyertown resident.

While some say having the season begin on a Monday is tradition, others believe moving it up would give more time to young people to enjoy the sport.

“It may also promote multi-generational hunting,” said Brad Nelson of the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative.

The Game Commission is continuing this conversation Tuesday morning, and would have to decide on any changes to deer season by April. 

For now, the possibility of Sunday hunting is in lawmakers hands.

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