A compromise struck in the state Senate bringing in Sunday hunting, but limiting the number of Sundays hunters can go afield just might have found the right middle, no-tilled ground to win over most of those who have heretofore been against such shooting on the Sabbath.

Hunting of crows, coyotes and foxes is currently permitted in Penn’s Woods.

Most of those quoted here in the months since the latest drive for Sunday hunting have been for lifting the ban. The legislature holds the key and must take action to lift the Sunday ban, so the Pennsylvania Game Commission can activate it, which the PGC says it would do.

The measure passed by the Senate would allow residents to hunt one Sunday during rifle season, one Sunday during the archery season, and another to be determined.

Such a deal may have been the only way Sunday hunting stood a chance to get through the Senate and now perhaps the House too.

The amendment to the original Senate Bill 147 by Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, triggered a 36-14 approval and makes its way to the House Game and Fisheries Committee.

Local senator Doug Mastriano voted “yes.”

As for the revised SB147 having smooth sailing to the Governor’s desk, wait one corn-pickin’ second.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, which opposes any advance in Sunday hunting, is not on board. One of its stipulations is unattainable, if not unreasonable, in my opinion.

The Farm Bureau wants the bill to require a hunter to have written permission from property owners to hunt on their land on a given Sunday.

Which begs the questions…

Does the permission document have to include a roster of all those hunting?

Why isn’t verbal permission enough?

Is this amendment designed as much to discourage Sunday hunters, as it is to protect landowners who most often already know who hunts on their property?

Is it an enforceable document? Are landowners willing to police it?

The hunting community isn’t down with the amended bill either.

While it’s encouraged by the increased opportunity for more hunters, the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and Conservationists (PFSC) finds the latest rendition of a Sunday hunting bill to be “disappointing.”

PFSC Executive Director Harold Daub says a lot of folks have given up hunting because they don’t have enough time in the week. I think that starting the rifle season for deer starting this fall is a key added opportunity.

Leaders in the House have apparently told Senator Laughlin they intend to move legislation when representatives are back in session this fall. So, like hunting with crossbows and with rifle for deer on a first Saturday, Sunday hunting is coming.

The final format is still up in the air. So are the prospects that any group will completely happy.

Daub says the PFSC isn’t happy that the Farm Bureau is involved in hunting matters and that it is the only organization at the negotiating table.

Stay tuned!!!


Several readers appreciated the heads-up last week about the coming first-day for antlerless deer applications in Pennsylvania. You are welcome.

Welcome again. Monday is the day!

Pennsylvania hunters are given preference when applying for antlerless licenses, when the period begins, July 8. Nonresidents can get in on it July 15.

Wildlife Management Unit 5A, which includes the great majority of Adams County, has an antlerless permit allocation of 22,000, so enough will go around for the first round.

The deadline to apply for elk licenses is July 31. There will be three opportunities to hunt elk: the traditional, general season in November; an archery season in September; and a January season for antlerless elk.

A separate, nonrefundable $11.90 application will be required for each.



Considering the rising tide (great term for Gettysburg this week) of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), there is talk of a statewide ban on feeding big game.

Such feeding is already outlawed for black bears, and for deer in CWD management areas.

I can get behind such a ban, since congregating whitetails create crossroads for the deadly CWD. In some cases, feeding the wild encourages human interaction which can be damaging to property, people and the critters.

What say you?

If you’d like to comment on the possibility of a statewide ban on feeding big game animals, email me at the Times.

Send your wild thoughts and photos to bjsmall@comcast.net. Follow on Twitter at Arrows2010.

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