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Sunday hunting could happen in Pennsylvania

Sunday hunting may happen in Pennsylvania
Sunday hunting may happen in Pennsylvania 02:34

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Sunday hunting could finally happen in Pennsylvania, and on more than just three Sundays a year. Local lawmakers are working right now on ending the ban.

For years, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau has opposed hunters hunting on Sunday but in a surprising turn, they now say they'll step aside as long as a few guidelines are approved.

Ever since the 19th century, Pennsylvania has mostly banned Sunday hunting except for crows, foxes and coyotes. In 2020, hunters were finally given three Sundays to hunt deer and bear during archery and gun seasons. Fast forward to the present and hunters could be blessed with every Sunday during approved hunting seasons. 

"Pa. is definitely one of the only states, there are a couple other ones that don't allow Sunday hunting but we are sort of the last ones to be holding out on it right now," said David Farner with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau has long been opposed to Sunday hunting for a variety of reasons but has decided they'll put their feelings aside as long several key pieces of legislation are approved. 

"People work Monday through Friday most of the time so they only have those two days to hunt so that's always taken into effect to be able to help get people outdoors more," Farner said. 

Meanwhile, state Rep. Mandy Steele from Fox Chapel is leading a strong effort by sponsoring a bill to eliminate the age-old ban.
In a statement to KDKA-TV, Steele says in part: "Hunting in PA is a family tradition, an economic powerhouse, and helps preserve our forests for generations to come. As a mom of 4, I know that if we want to bring more young people into this important way of life, we need more days." 

Steele believes the authority should fall to the Game Commission rather than the legislature to decide how many Sundays hunting is allowed. Under the current law, the legislature must approve hunting seasons and harvest limits each year. 

"The Farm Bureau is really looking forward to reconnecting the hunters and the farmers back together so that way we're all under that same agriculture hub," Farner said. 

A hearing will be held shortly after the House reconvenes next month.

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