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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 21, 2019 11:52 AM
From: Representative William C. Kortz, II
To: All House members
Subject: Sunday First Day of Deer Season
The future of hunting is in jeopardy as it never has been before. The drop in license sales, especially among younger hunters, has the PA Game Commission predicting that in 10 years there will be as many as 40% less hunters in PA’s woods. This drop in numbers and license buyers will happen not only in our commonwealth but nationwide.

I believe everything that can be done to counter this trend needs to occur now before too many hunters leave the sport, never to return.

It is with all this in mind that I propose legislation to set the first day of regular rifle season for antlered deer as the first Sunday after Thanksgiving. Currently the opening day is the first Monday after Thanksgiving.

My bill accomplishes two important goals. First it opens a Sunday up for deer hunting by adding to the exceptions of the prohibition on Sunday hunting presently in the Game Code. Currently only coyotes, foxes, and crows may be hunted on a Sunday. Secondly, it starts the season on a weekend instead of what is a work day for most and school day for many. Starting on a Sunday instead of a Saturday, as has recently been proposed by the Game Commission, will give enough time for travel and preparations to hunters who go to camps all over the state. Also, given that many schools already close for the Monday after Thanksgiving, a Sunday start allows for two days in which parents can hunt with their children. Since many parents and youth hunters will be able to go to camps to take advantage of this new hunting opportunity, important family traditions will be built. I believe it will be those practices and the time spent in the woods with family and friends that could ultimately go to disprove the Game Commission’s dire predictions about sport hunting in Pennsylvania.

Introduced as HB989