Numbers don't lie on Sunday hunting
The numbers were telling. They were revealed during a recent public forum with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and two state legislators.
The event was held in Hanover Township, Luzerne County, and the panel consisted of Game Commission Executive Director Carl Roe, Commissioner Jay Delaney and state Reps. Ed Staback and Gerald Mullery. Both are on the House Game and Fisheries Committee and the forum — where hunters were free to submit questions to the panel, was Mullery's idea.
It was a good one.
The forum gave those in attendance a place to get direct answers from commission officials and legislators. Almost 50 people attended, and more than 60 questions were submitted.
Each was answered.
Questions ranged from antlerless license allocations to decoys for waterfowl hunting.
But at the end of the night it was Sunday hunting that consumed the most time. Staback, who is the minority chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee and a long-time champion of Sunday hunting, eagerly responded to questions about the concept. He answered each one passionately, leaving out no detail.
Still, later in the evening, when the tables were turned and the panel asked the audience a question, perhaps the biggest answer of all was revealed. Members of the panel asked for a show of hands from those who supported, and opposed Sunday hunting.Four hands were raised in support, and more than 40 against.
One audience member said he was a representative of the Luzerne County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and all of the member organizations in his group previously voted ‘no' on Sunday hunting.
On this night, the handful of hunters from northeastern Pennsylvania made it clear that they didn't want Sunday hunting.
And Staback made it clear that he isn't giving up his push to get his bill passed that would mandate the commission to implement Sunday hunting in some form. While there may not have been much support in the room, Staback said there is plenty across the state.
Perhaps those numbers would be just as telling as the ones revealed recently in Luzerne County.