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06/13/2024 04:34 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42168
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 22, 2024 02:57 PM
From: Representative Mandy Steele
To: All House members
Subject: Repealing the Prohibition on Sunday Hunting in Pennsylvania
 
For more than 100 years, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has been charged with managing, protecting, and conserving the Commonwealth’s wildlife resources for all Pennsylvanians. The abundant wildlife we enjoy in Pennsylvania today is a result of the agency’s progressive, science-based wildlife management program.

Hunters have historically played a key role in conservation efforts and are behind some of the most important public land acquisitions in history. Hunting in Pennsylvania is a family tradition, an economic powerhouse, and helps preserve our forests for generations to come. Today, Pennsylvania has the second-largest population of hunters in the United States.

Farmers are another key part of Pennsylvania’s wonderful heritage. Farming is a major part of the economy with over 7 million acres of land devoted to agriculture in the Commonwealth.

Supporting our hunters and farmers is critically important to a thriving Pennsylvania. Yet, the United States Department of Agriculture rates Pennsylvania as among the top states in which farmers face crop damage due to wildlife.

In order to best manage the deer population and other game species in Pennsylvania, give our hunters more opportunities, and ensure the integrity of farmers and forests, I will be introducing a package of legislation to address these issues.

The first bill will repeal the prohibition on Sunday hunting from Pennsylvania law. The Game Commission should have the authority to regulate hunting on Sundays, as we rely on their advisory and authority for many other aspects of hunting and wildlife management. Other states that have lifted bans on Sunday hunting have seen no harm to game populations nor an uptick in safety issues. Further, allowing hunting on Sundays would likely create a positive impact on our economy. This first bill will also increase penalties for anyone who hunts on private land without landowner approval to further protect the private property rights of landowners.

The second bill will aid in the relationship between farmers who face crop damage and hunters willing to help. It will direct the Game Commission to create an online network through which farmers can contact licensed hunters to manage deer populations on their property.

The third piece of legislation will provide advocacy for agriculture on the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners. It will require that at least one member of the board has a background in agriculture. Farmers own much of the land in Pennsylvania, and many of the wildlife populations that the Game Commission monitors live on that land. Ensuring that at least one board member has a background in agriculture will allow for the perspectives of farmers and landowners to be considered in the Game Commission’s decision-making process.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to create economic opportunity in Pennsylvania and allow farmers and hunters to work together to manage deer populations and reduce crop damage.



Document #1

Description: This bill would amend Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to repeal the prohibition on Sunday hunting and increase penalties for trespassing on private property.
 
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB2107

Description: This bill would amend Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to direct the Pennsylvania Game Commission to create an online network through which farmers can contact licensed hunters to manage deer populations on their property.
 
 

Document #3

Introduced as HB2108

Description: This bill would amend Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to require that at least one member of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners has a background in agriculture.