December 7, 2020

Keystone Moment for Pennsylvania’s Sportsmen and Women

Contact: Brent Miller, Senior Director, Northeastern States and States Program Administrator

For most sportsmen and women, the end of November conjures thoughts of gathering with family members and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving and sharing stories from successes afield. While this is most often the case, Pennsylvania’s sporting community had something else on its mind: Sunday hunting for deer during the firearms season.

November 29 marked the first opportunity in which the Commonwealth’s hunters were authorized to pursue deer with their firearms on a Sunday – a day that has historically been off limits to hunting in general. The Pennsylvania Game Commission stated the following in a mid-November press release: “Pennsylvania’s upcoming firearms deer season will start with a bang. For the first time in the Game Commission’s history, deer hunters will have a Saturday-Sunday opening weekend.” As was previously reported, sportsmen and women were permitted to head afield during the prior two Sundays (November 15 for archery deer hunting and November 22 during the bear firearms season), but the much anticipated firearms deer season brings with it a cap to the Sunday hunting designations for 2021 hunting season in the Keystone State.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the tireless, dedicated efforts of the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, which worked alongside the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and numerous in-state and national conservation partners towards the passing and signing of S.147 – the legislation that brought Sunday hunting to fruition in Pennsylvania.

CSF will continue to work with legislative sportsmen’s caucuses, conservation partners, and state fish and wildlife agencies in advocating for the removal of Sunday hunting restrictions wherever they may exist.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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