Outdoors notebook: Lawmakers take another crack at Sunday hunting
July 12, 2015 12:00 AM
During a trip to Holden Lake Lodge in Quebec with his dad and grandfather, Teddy Pettko, 12, of Mt. Lebanon used a .30-06 to shoot a 208-pound male black bear. On the Ottawa River, he caught walleye in the 12- to 16-inch range, and northerns from 23 to 30 inches.
By John Hayes / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
State legislators are taking aim at a new Sunday hunting bill intended to satisfy opposition from the state Farm Bureau, Christian Sabbath supporters, safety advocates, property line enforcers, skeptical hunters and others who have successfully denied Pennsylvania hunters the seven-day hunting privileges provided in every surrounding state.
At a recent Harrisburg press conference, Rep. Frank Farina, D-Lackawanna, said he would sponsor a Sunday hunting bill that would deliver some $800 million into the state economy and create 7,000 jobs. Rep. Marc Gergely, D-White Oak, is among bipartisan legislators who said they would co-sponsor such a bill, which has yet to be introduced.
Like the Sunday hunting legislation that failed in 2011, the pending bill has the support of the National Rifle Association, Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, etc., and the most strident resistance is from the Farm Bureau.
But this time, legislators are trying to preemptively solve some of the issues that have bedeviled similar bills.
• Again, the legislation would empower the state Game Commission to decide if and when hunting on Sundays is permitted, giving nervous legislators political cover.
• Under Game Commission management, season lengths and bag limits would likely be adjusted to minimize over-harvest, satisfying the concern of some hunters.
• Hunting would likely not be permitted every Sunday, giving landowners an opportunity to go to church when there are no orange hats on their properties.
• House Bill 1006, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Murt, R-Montgomery, would give authority to enforce trespass laws to conservation officers from the Game and Fish and Boat commissions, perhaps making the whole idea easier for defenders of property lines to swallow.
Physical challenges shouldn’t interfere with having fun outdoors. The annual Three Rivers Adaptive Water Sports Clinic, July 20-23 at Conneaut Lake, Crawford County, is open to anyone with any type of disability including leg and arm amputation, spinal cord injuries, arthritis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, orthopedic problems, polio and survivors of stroke and brain injury. This year’s clinic includes instruction and assistance in high-tech adaptive waterskiing, kayaking and canoeing, cycling using adaptive hand-cycles, recumbent trikes and adult trikes equipped to accommodate a variety of physical challenges. Social events will be held for participants as well as family, friends and volunteers. The Adaptive Water Sports Clinic will be held 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the lake’s east side at the Iroquois Boating and Fishing Club. Register at 412-848-8896.
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner.