A busy time for sporting issues
TribLIVE Sports Videos
A study into merging the Game and Fish and Boat Commissions is getting another look.
And a number of bills that would impact sportsmen are making their way through the legislature at varying speeds.
Not all will become law.
“It's a big legislature,” as one insider said recently. It takes a lot of votes to get anything approved.
But there's sure a lot of debate going on.
The merger proposal, House Resolution 129, recently moved to the House where it awaits the vote needed to get the study rolling.
The legislature studied — and declined to act on — a complete merger of the two agencies twice previously. State Rep. Martin Causer of Potter County, who's behind the latest version, is hoping to have it done before year's end, even though it's going to cost taxpayers as much as $100,000.
Sportsmen have come out against a merger as well as another idea.
Sen. Tim Solbay of Washington County and Rep. Harry Readshaw of Allegheny County have pitched matching bills that would eliminate antler restrictions for hunters 65 and older. Instead, they would be allowed to shoot any buck with a spike at least 3 inches long.
That's drawn the ire of some sportsmen for three reasons:
• A lot of people — two-thirds of hunters, according to a survey — like antler restrictions.
• They fear allowing seniors, who represent close to 30 percent of all deer hunters, to shoot virtually any buck will undo the progress toward growing bigger bucks overall.
• They dislike the idea of lawmakers managing wildlife in place of the Game Commission.
Sportsmen are being asked to support another piece of legislation.
When Pennsylvania became the first state to adopt a mentored youth hunting program, lawmakers labeled it a “youth” program and limited it to children. The states that acted afterward did not.
That's put Pennsylvania behind the times.
Recently, though, the Senate approved Senate Bill 623, which would create an adult mentored hunting program.
It would allow one licensed hunter to take out another adult, without a license, on a trial basis.
The hope is that the second adult will enjoy the sport and become a member of the license-buying fraternity.
The Game Commission supports the idea, with thoughts of allowing hunters to pursue small game only. The National Rifle Association supports it, too, and has been lobbying for its passage.
There is a lot more being talked about, such as the bills that would reserve one elk hunting license each year for a person living within the elk range and allow licensed people to track wounded deer and bears with leashed dogs.
Clearly, hunters and anglers need to train their eyes on Harrisburg and pay attention to what's going on.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Frye: Bright future for Yough River
- Statewide hunters numbers following that of pheasants
- Fishing report: Fall bite sparks good fishing
- Early returns suggest steelhead season should be a good one
- Outdoor notices: Oct. 19, 2014
- Outdoors notebook: Area angler honored for working with kids
- Outdoors notices: Oct. 20, 2014