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Outdoors notebook: West Virginia expands Sunday hunting

| Sunday, May 25, 2014, 9:33 p.m.

The Sunday hunting dominoes continue to fall.

There's been a push in recent years by a coalition of national sportsmen's groups to legalize hunting on Sundays in the 10 states — including Pennsylvania — that still prohibit the practice.

It's achieving some success. Earlier this year, Virginia and Maryland expanded their Sunday hunting opportunities.

This month, voters in West Virginia expanded Sunday hunting opportunities. Ballot initiatives in five counties earlier resulted in the legalization of hunting on private property on Sundays.

Similar measures failed in two other counties, in one of them by just 30 votes.

Forty-one other West Virginia counties already allow Sunday hunting on private land.

One place where Sunday hunting hit a roadblock was Connecticut.

A bill that would have allowed archery hunting for deer on private land on Sundays passed the House of Representatives but was blocked from coming up for a vote in the Senate.

The senator responsible for that, Donald Williams Jr., is retiring this year, however, and the Connecticut Coalition of Sportsmen has pledged to pursue the idea again as soon as he's gone, according to an Associated Press report.

National organizations have said Pennsylvania will be a target of pro-Sunday hunting lobbying efforts in the next year. A lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania's ban is still before the courts, too.

Honored

Paddle Without Pollution, the Pittsburgh-based group that uses canoes and kayaks to remove garbage from the region's waterways, recently won a 2014 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award for its efforts.

The group held 11 cleanups last year and removed more than 16 tons of litter and illegally dumped debris from the Allegheny, Monongahela, Kiski, and Ohio rivers as well as Chartiers, Slippery Rock, and Ten Mile creeks. Seventeen events are planned for 2014.

The group will accept its award — and a $5,000 donation — at a banquet on Wednesday.

Grants awarded

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the Dominion Foundation recently awarded more than $30,000 to watershed groups in 13 counties.

Getting funding were Allegheny CleanWays in Allegheny County, Blacklick Creek Watershed Association and Evergreen Conservancy in Indiana, Natural Biodiversity and the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy in Cambria, the Buffalo Creek Watershed Association, Chartiers Creek Watershed Association and Washington County Watershed Alliance in Washington, the Crooked Creek Watershed Association in Armstrong and the Jacobs Creek Watershed Association in Fayette.

Coyote hunts

Those coyote hunts so popular during Pennsylvania winter, where hunters get cash prizes for taking the most or biggest animals?

Another state is looking to ban them.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the California Fish and Game Commission is considering rules that would make it illegal to offer a prize, inducement or reward for killing predators.

The proposal came about after the agency received about 13,000 letters opposing the killing of predators. A final decision is due on Aug. 6.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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