Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Holy War: Why Sunday Hunting Bans Still Exist

Syndicate

Syndicate content
Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!

Open Country Recent Posts

Categories

Recent Comments

Archives

Open Country
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

April 26, 2013
Holy War: Why Sunday Hunting Bans Still Exist - 7

That’s Joel Rotz from the Farm Bureau, and next to him is the guy from the Pennsylvania Equine Council,” whispered Monica Kline as we sat in a dimly lit, wood-paneled hearing room in the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg on a drizzly morning late last October.

We were awaiting the start of a public hearing before the state House of Representatives Game and Fisheries Committee, and Kline, a lobbyist for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, was identifying for me the gathered opposition to House Bill 1760, which would overturn Pennsylvania’s Sunday hunting ban. “That’s the guy from the Keystone Trails Association, and those women over there are from the Humane Society.”

Among those testifying in support of overturning the ban that day last fall were representatives from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, and the Quality Deer Management Association, as well as Pennsylvania Game Commission executive director Carl Roe.

While the organizations aligned in favor of overturning the hunting ban shouldn’t raise any eyebrows, what is interesting, and somewhat perplexing, is that House Bill 1760 is seemingly dead in the water today due to a lack of support from both Republican lawmakers and a sizable contingent of the Keystone State’s dyed-in-the-wool hunters.

Economic Impact: There are currently 11 states where hunting on Sundays is either prohibited or restricted. All are in the East (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia), and the prohibition has its roots in Puritan-era “blue laws” adopted centuries ago. Ban opponents say giving Sundays to hunters will boost local economies. A 2010 economic impact report indicated that if all 11 states eliminated Sunday hunting restrictions, 27,000 new jobs would be created—paying $730 million in wages and contributing some $2.2 billion in economic activity. In Pennsylvania alone, Sunday hunting would create more than 8,000 jobs paying more than $245 million in wages.

No Help From the Right:
So in a state with one million hunters, and with so much of a financial upside to overturning the Sunday hunting ban, why is Pennsylvania House Bill 1760 in what Evan Heusinkveld of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance refers to as a holding pattern? “Republican lawmakers found themselves in a crossfire between two traditional allies: sportsmen and farmers,” he explains. “Because voting yes or no would alienate a significant portion of their base, many preferred that the bill never receive a vote.”

Hunters Divided: You wouldn’t think that hunters themselves would oppose a bill to create more hunting opportunity. But in the crowd at Harrisburg on the day of the hearing last fall, a number of hunters in well-worn camo jackets had come to let the committee know that they had no interest in seeing the Keystone State’s ban on Sunday hunting overturned. Heusinkveld says the opposition comes mainly from two quarters: older hunters who don’t need Sundays because they’re already hunting most other days of the week, and rural hunters who don’t want “weekend warriors” from cities and suburbs horning in on their leases and public lands.

“It’s a shame,” says Heusinkveld. “One of the biggest national issues we face as hunters is creating more access. Here’s a chance to literally double most hunters’ access, just by allowing one more weekend day in the field, and we have opposition from our own ranks. It’s short-sighted.”

Comments (7)

Top Rated
All Comments
from flatcat99 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Here in Pa is has little to do with a "holy war". Many of us hunters do not support sunday hunting because it is just one more thing on a long list of things already implemented or being proposed to kill yet more deer! There is an agenda in place, put forth not by science but by a past governor to maximize state timber profits and environmental extreme causes. The political appointees at the Pa game commission (which most refer to as the "gameless commission" cannot be trusted with sunday hunting or anything else that can be used to further decimate our deer herd.

I wish I could support sunday hunting, but due to the political agendas in play, I can't right now. Nor does many others who are politically aware, for the same reason.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from AMMOHunter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

If in fact these states are basing their laws on religion. Isn't there suppose to be a separation of church and state? Time to start writting letters to your lawmakers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from j3cub wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

As a person who has lived in both Connecticut and Pennsylvania, I am glad I no longer have to put up with Sunday restrictions. With my work schedule, I only had one day of hunting a week! But, this issue of hunters being their own worse enemy, by endorsing "anti-hunting" legislation probably the most disturbing aspect of this whole mess. Be it Sunday hunting bans, or allowing crossbows, in line muzzle loader rifles, or magnifying scopes on muzzle loading guns, there is always some so called 'sportsman' who is against it, usually for self serving reasons.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cw1818 wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

Not that I am against Sunday hunting, but I'd love to see the math behind the 8,000 new jobs in PA. Seems pretty far fetched to me. Why does everything have to have an economic impact? It certainly won't cost the government to open up Sunday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

WHERE IS THE SEPERATION FROM CHURCH AND GOVERNMENT?IF some believers think game animals realize it's sunday and need a day of rest then no one is making them hunt on sundays.THEY CAN SIT ON THEIR DUFFS ALL DAY,WHO CARES?MAYBE we should make a law that being in the woods before daylight is wrong. WE might disturb the sandman . THEN we can make a law so the tooth fairy isn;t disturbed either. I'M tired of other people trying to enforce their beliefs on others.SO while you are in your church or synagouge or praying 10 times a day facing the east,rest assured I'LL be in the field doing what I BELIEVE.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

It's not the politicians that irritate me on this issue here in PA.
1) The equestrian crowd who is a tiny minority who has year round access and often no day job are very vocal opponents, and frankly, we're not asking them to stay out of the woods. Wearing orange would be nice though.
2) As noted above the epitomy of selfishness is the retired or non-standard work week hunters who figure it benefits them if all the working guys can only really hit the woods for a couple of hours a night in the early season and then on Saturday. Thanks for the solidarity, folks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

Hi...

Per the above...living proof that politicians think only about themselves...!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from flatcat99 wrote 1 year 26 weeks ago

Here in Pa is has little to do with a "holy war". Many of us hunters do not support sunday hunting because it is just one more thing on a long list of things already implemented or being proposed to kill yet more deer! There is an agenda in place, put forth not by science but by a past governor to maximize state timber profits and environmental extreme causes. The political appointees at the Pa game commission (which most refer to as the "gameless commission" cannot be trusted with sunday hunting or anything else that can be used to further decimate our deer herd.

I wish I could support sunday hunting, but due to the political agendas in play, I can't right now. Nor does many others who are politically aware, for the same reason.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

Hi...

Per the above...living proof that politicians think only about themselves...!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 36 weeks ago

It's not the politicians that irritate me on this issue here in PA.
1) The equestrian crowd who is a tiny minority who has year round access and often no day job are very vocal opponents, and frankly, we're not asking them to stay out of the woods. Wearing orange would be nice though.
2) As noted above the epitomy of selfishness is the retired or non-standard work week hunters who figure it benefits them if all the working guys can only really hit the woods for a couple of hours a night in the early season and then on Saturday. Thanks for the solidarity, folks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

WHERE IS THE SEPERATION FROM CHURCH AND GOVERNMENT?IF some believers think game animals realize it's sunday and need a day of rest then no one is making them hunt on sundays.THEY CAN SIT ON THEIR DUFFS ALL DAY,WHO CARES?MAYBE we should make a law that being in the woods before daylight is wrong. WE might disturb the sandman . THEN we can make a law so the tooth fairy isn;t disturbed either. I'M tired of other people trying to enforce their beliefs on others.SO while you are in your church or synagouge or praying 10 times a day facing the east,rest assured I'LL be in the field doing what I BELIEVE.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from cw1818 wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

Not that I am against Sunday hunting, but I'd love to see the math behind the 8,000 new jobs in PA. Seems pretty far fetched to me. Why does everything have to have an economic impact? It certainly won't cost the government to open up Sunday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from j3cub wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

As a person who has lived in both Connecticut and Pennsylvania, I am glad I no longer have to put up with Sunday restrictions. With my work schedule, I only had one day of hunting a week! But, this issue of hunters being their own worse enemy, by endorsing "anti-hunting" legislation probably the most disturbing aspect of this whole mess. Be it Sunday hunting bans, or allowing crossbows, in line muzzle loader rifles, or magnifying scopes on muzzle loading guns, there is always some so called 'sportsman' who is against it, usually for self serving reasons.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from AMMOHunter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

If in fact these states are basing their laws on religion. Isn't there suppose to be a separation of church and state? Time to start writting letters to your lawmakers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

bmxbiz