There’s a bill before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Game and Fisheries Committee that would finally give Keystone State sportsmen the right to hunt on Sunday. If the Game and Fisheries committee passes the bill, it should cruise through the House and Senate to Governor Tom Corbett’s desk. The committee vote could come as early as this week. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of 11 states in the U.S. that have some sort of restriction on Sunday hunting, and is one of six (along with Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Delaware) that outlaw it entirely. House Bill 1760 is sponsored by the chairmen of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, Rep. John Evans, R-Erie, and Rep. Edward Staback, D-Lackawanna.

Organizations in support of Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania that have been lobbying and testifying for the bill’s passage in Harrisburg include the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the National Rifle Association, the Quality Deer Management Association and the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation. Opponents of the bill include the Humane Society of the United States, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the Keystone Trails Association and the Pennsylvania Equine Council.

The Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee contracted Southwick Associates to study the economic impact Sunday hunting would have on the state. The Southwick report found that by increasing hunting opportunities to seven days a week in Pennsylvania, the state could generate an additional $804 million annually, a level sufficient to support 7,439 jobs and $56.8 million in state and local taxes.

According to a 2007 report conducted by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Pennsylvania ranks number-two in the country in license sales (behind Texas), but is number-one in days spent hunting.

If you hunt in Pennsylvania and want to see your hunting opportunities increased, contact the members of the Game and Fisheries Committee today and make your voice heard.

Pictured: Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe (left) testifies before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Game and Fisheries Committee on October 27 during a hearing on allowing Sunday hunting in the state.