Game change is afoot: Pa. considers Sunday hunting

    State House lawmakers are voicing frustration with one of the biggest opponents of lifting Pennsylvania’s Sunday hunting ban.

    The proposal would put the Pennsylvania Game Commission in charge of regulating hunting on Sundays–exactly which Sundays and exactly where the hunters could go.

    Among opponents of the change is the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, which lawmakers called “uncompromising” in its position, despite deep division amongst their constituents.

    Rep. Jeff Pyle, an Armstrong County Republican, said he doesn’t think the bill’s “ready to go.”

    “I am about as on the fence as you get. NRA and the pro-Sunday hunting guys last weekend dropped a mailer on my district. ‘Contact me! Let me know what you think.’ Want to know what the count is?” he said. “Two hundred and twenty to 180 thus far, since last Saturday, in favor.”

    The farm bureau and other groups say lifting the hunting ban would force nature enthusiasts to curb their activity for the sake of hunters.

    Sports groups cite a study that says keeping the old blue law on the books denies the state more than $800 million in annual economic activity that would result from allowing hunters to schedule a full weekend in Pennsylvania.

    The study defies common sense, said Joel Rotz of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.

    “How much of the expected economic impact is actually new dollars coming into the state? In other words, are we concluding that everyone who will be out hunting on Sundays currently does nothing to contribute to the state’s economy on Sunday?” he said.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.