On Nov. 27, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, co-chair of the Governor's Sportsmen's Caucus, signed into law S. 147, marking significant progress to overturn the state's more than three-centuries old prohibition on Sunday hunting for game species.
The legislation authorizes one day of Sunday hunting during the archery deer season, one day during the firearms deer season, and one day to be left to the discretion of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Prior to the bill being signed into law, only foxes, crows and coyotes were able to be hunted on Sundays. In addition to the Sunday hunting allowances, the final bill text also strengthens trespassing penalties, and requires written permission from landowners for sportsmen and women hunting on private land.
“This compromise represents a step forward for our outdoors enthusiasts, while also addressing concerns raised by other citizens. This bill will provide new opportunities for hunters, especially those in high school and college, to partake in one of Pennsylvania's most cherished pastimes and traditions," Gov. Wolf said.
"With so much of our time being taken up by other extracurricular activities and family obligations, allowing Sunday hunting will enable our fellow hunters the opportunity to get outdoors and participate in a tradition that is meaningful to them," said Jeff Crane, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation president.
Bill sponsor was Sen. Dan Laughlin, a co-chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus, who worked with in-state and national members of the sportsmen's community. Other Caucus co-chairs and members were key participants in securing bill passage with strong bi-partisan votes in both chambers, and in a concurrence vote in the Senate.
In 2009 the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) formed the Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus (GSC), a bipartisan caucus of governors to protect and advance the interests of America's sportsmen and women, and advance professional fish and wildlife management policy.
CSF has been a strong advocate for a change in Sunday hunting policy in Pennsylvania for over a decade, and has testified before committees in person and provided written testimony in support of expanding hunting opportunities for Pennsylvania's more than 850,000 hunters on multiple occasions.
Since 1989, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) has maintained a singleness of purpose that has guided the organization to become the most respected and trusted sportsmen's organization in the political arena. CSF's mission is to work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping. The unique and collective force of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC), the Governors Sportsmen's Caucus (GSC) and the National Assembly of Sportsmen's Caucuses (NASC), working closely with CSF, and with the support of major hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping organizations, serves as an unprecedented network of pro-sportsmen elected officials that advance the interests of America's hunters and anglers.