Pennsylvania Debates Sunday Whitetail Hunting

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Currently there are 103 days a year, including 18 Saturdays that are available to hunters for whitetail deer. The House Game and Fisheries Committee had their first of three public hearings to allow whitetail hunting on Sundays. This first meeting was to hear the pros and cons on all sides of the issue.

Pros would be the income and extra jobs hunting on Sundays would allow. Minority Chairman Edward G. Staback said the expansion of Sunday hunting would bring Pennsylvania approximately $630 million per year and would create 5,400 new jobs, according to a study. This was disputed by Sarah Speed, state director for the Humane Society of the United States who said the study was incomplete and didn't look at lost revenue from other recreation that Sunday hunting would take away from. Also hunters who live close to Ohio or New York who do allow Sunday hunting would go out of state and take their money to the other states instead of keeping it in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania's Farm Bureau is against Sunday hunting. 80% of Pennsylvania's hunt-able land is farmland, and privately owned. For the farmer having hunters come and ask permission to use their land can be tiresome. Worry about taking away from other recreation on Sundays too was an issue brought up. In a 2005 survey 80% of farmers were against Sunday whitetail hunting, and 50% of hunters were against it as well. From the Daily American.

Hunters can legally kill foxes, coyotes and crows on Sundays. Minority Chairman Edward G. Staback, D-Lackawanna/Wayne, said the issue of expanding Sunday hunting has, “always been a lively debate.”


arrowflipper's picture


I find this amusing, to say the least.  Has anyone ever come up with the real reason there isn't any hunting on Sunday?  We have school for nine months of the year, September through May or June.  Why?  Do kids learn best during these months?  Do kids need a vacation and summer is the best time?  None of the above..... we let kids out during the months of harvest.  When America was getting started, they needed all the able-bodied youth they could get to help with the harvest.  But those days have vanished.  How many high school kids do you know that work in the harvest during the summer?  But old habits are hard to change.

Same with "no hunting on Sunday".  Where did it start and why?  My guess is that it had to do with religious reasons.  And I don't have any problem with that.  But times have changed.  Is it a case of just not being willing to make a change?  My son lives in Maryland and they don't have hunting on Sunday either. 

The worry about taking away from other recreational activities strikes me as somewhat controlling.  Who has the right to tell us what we should or should not be doing on our free day?  I question the $630 million and 5,400 jobs by hunting on Sunday, but that shouldn't be the incentive either.  Why not ask the citizens of that state what they would like to do?  I wonder if they've ever thought of the democratic process of voting??  Why not put it on the next major election ballot and find out what the majority of the people think, instead of always trying to legislate what people should or should not be doing.

But with all that said, I sure wish we had 103 days of hunting here in Washington.  We get 10 days for our modern rifle season, which includes one SUNDAY and two Saturdays.


WishIWasHunting's picture

I cannot come up with one

I cannot come up with one logical reason in modern society to have a ban on hunting on Sundays.  To me, this is a perfect example of government overreaching its bounds and citizens unnecessarily imposing their personal feelings on others.  If you are a hunter and do not want to hunt on Sundays, then don't.  If you are a landowner and you do not want to allow hunters to hunt on your property on Sundays, then don't allow it.  Neither of these situations require legislation. 

For my archery antelope and archery deer seasons this fall, I am not planning on using any vacation days.  I plan on getting as much hunting in as I can on the weekends.  Thankfully, both of these hunts are only about 1 1/2 hour drives away and both seasons are about a month long (unfortunately they do overlap quite a bit).  Since CO allows hunting on Sundays, I feel I will have an adequate opportunity to hunt without taking time off from work.  I hope for the Pennsylvania hunters that do want to hunt on Sundays that soon they will have the opportunity to do so. 

hunter25's picture

I knew there were a few

I knew there were a few states that did not allow hunting on Sundays but I never really understood why. If you don't want to hunt that day then don't, I think that should be a personal decision if there is no solid reason for the state to ban it. And I don' think any money would really be lost to other states. I would not hunt somewhere else just because of the one day mentioned when they do have so many anyway to hunt. I will hunt other states but not for just that reason alone. It may in fact bting more money to the state but surely not the amount mentioned or the number of jobs they claim would be added as well. In my opinion it's just an antiquated law that should be done away with if that is what the hunters want.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I have never understood the

I have never understood the "No Sunday hunting" clause in this day and age.  I can understand that back 50 years ago, if people were using Sunday as the one day that everyone went to church, or worked in the fields, they may want to prevent hunting, but not now.

I think if Pennsylvania residents want to be able to hunt on Sunday, the legislature should follow suit and vote for the measure.  As for the extra money, the number does indeed seem a little high, but even half that would be a nice sum to add to the states coffers. Wink