Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday hunting ‘sit-in’ to be held Sept. 28

Pittsburgh — Brad Gehman would hunt on Sundays in Pennsylvania if the law prohibiting it were ever lifted.

But efforts to repeal that ban aren’t for him, or others like him, he said. He’s already a hunter and always will be.

Pennsylvania needs Sunday hunting so that parents with busy schedules and children with oftentimes even busier ones can get afield together. That’s critical, he said.

“If we lose a generation of hunters because they just couldn’t find the time to get out there, that’s going to have real consequences. Sportsmen are going to lose their voice in society, their voice in the Legislature, and our heritage is going to be a real risk,” said Gehman, one of the organizers of the group Hunters United for Sunday Hunting.

That’s prompting some action.

The Hunters United group is organizing an event called “Pennsylvania’s First Coyote and Crow Hunt Sit-In.” It’s an attempt to get hunters across the state to hunt on a particular Sunday – Sept. 28 – to bring awareness to the possibilities of Sunday hunting.

“We want to show that the world’s not going to come to a screeching halt if people go out in the fields and woods and hunt on a Sunday,” said Kathy Davis, another of the group’s founders.

Sunday hunting has been a contentious issue.

Fewer than a dozen states prohibit hunting on Sundays, in whole or part. Pennsylvania is one of them.

A few of those other states have taken recent steps towards lifting their bans. Virginia earlier this year adopted a law that allows for Sunday hunting on private property. In West Virginia, several additional counties voted to expand Sunday hunting within their boundaries.

Pennsylvania’s been tougher in its stance.

Lawmakers, feeling pressure from the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and, to a less extent, other groups, have rejected calls to overturn the “blue law” that bans hunting on Sundays for anything other than coyotes, crows and foxes.

The Hunters United group challenged that law in court earlier this year. That suit was ultimately rejected.

Its new plan, Davis said, is to go back to Harrisburg and work to change the law legislatively. She’s optimistic lawmakers will at least sponsor such a bill, perhaps in January of February, after this fall’s elections.

“A lot of feelings are starting to change in the Legislature. People who were adamantly opposed to this before are now coming out and saying they’ve changed their minds,” Davis said.

The sit-in is meant to further educate lawmakers and others, and build momentum, she said.

Several hundred people have visited the group’s HuntersUnitedForSundayHuntingrt – to say they will be participating, Davis said. She’s hoping the number will grow.

A flyer touting the event makes clear its purpose: “to lawfully increase awareness about the archaic Blue Law that prohibits families from hunting many species like deer, bear and groundhogs on Sundays.”

The group wants participants to invite friends and family members – and even lawmakers – to hunt, then share pictures of their outings online and with their local newspapers, Davis said.

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