Sunday hunting bill heads to Gov. Wolf’s desk
A bill that would allow hunting on up to three Sundays per year in Pennsylvania is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.
Senate Bill 147 would provide for hunting on three Sundays annually: one during rifle deer season, one during the statewide archery deer season and one determined by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The bill received final legislative approval Monday.
“Today was a historic vote,” said Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie. “We are now just one step away from increasing recreational opportunities for the thousands of Pennsylvania sportsmen and women who enjoy hunting.”
The bill also would amend the state game code to make trespassing while hunting a primary offense, and increase trespassing penalties. It also would provide that written permission of a landowner is required to hunt on private property during any of the expanded Sundays.
“This bill is a result of collaborative effort of the major stakeholders that had an interest in Sunday hunting,” said Sen. Jim Brewster, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland. “Also, it will generate additional revenue that we can hopefully use to solve (chronic wasting disease), which is fatal to deer and elk.”
The bill also requires the legislative Budget and Finance Committee to do a financial analysis of the state game commission’s fees, fines, penalties, royalties, federal and state appropriations and other sources of revenue, along with expenditures, within 180 days of the bill’s enactment.
Laughlin said the bill’s passage will open up opportunity for a wide swath of state residents.
“Weekends are the only free time for many hunters,” Laughlin said. “Those two days are essentially the only time that most working men and women can get out into the woods. The same could be said for many young people, the ones who represent the future of the sport. Lifting the ban will give them increased opportunities to pursue the activity that they love.”
Click here to read the full text of the bill.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .