There are hearings being held around on the state on what appears to be NRA’s next legislative priorityÂ in Pennsylvania. There is little doubt that animal rights extremist groups, like HSUS, are going to oppose this move. But the biggest opposition that will be faced, from what I’ve seen, is from farmers and other hunters.
I don’t think hunting can be saved. I don’t think this because it’s impossible, but because hunters don’t seem to have the “no one gets thrown off the lifeboat” attitude that’s become prevalent among gun rights activists. Divide and conquer is an easy strategy with that community, and it’s certainly one that will be relentlessly exploited by the opponents of hunting until it is no more.
Unfortunately for those of us in the shooting community, hunters are still people of the gun, and once they are gone, we will have to hope not to be eaten last.
21 thoughts on “Sunday Hunting Hearing”
I wouldn’t even put that much stock in gun rights activists. In my push for Open Carry here in Florida, our worst enemies were gun owners who found a particular method of carry too icky for them.
It sounds like many hunters have never thought of it as a rights issue, only as a sport or means of harvesting food.
I think one problem has to do with calling it “harvesting food” when it’s not quite *that.* It’s not like some kind of Saturday morning Sesame-Street special: “plant the seed, grow the crop, gather the beans and corn” – an infantile description, it’s freaking hunting, and there’s a tremendous difference in psychology that is entirely innate should need NO special social-studies cough-in-your-sleeve deference or pleading – we’ve been doing it for over 20,000 damn years and it’s part of human DNA.
Or is it that socially moribund?
It seems that the Sunday hunting issue is more about the hunters vs. the landowners than anything else. While the hunters want to be able to have an extra day on the weekend to hunt, many of the landowners like having one day a week throughout the hunting season where they can have some peace from the gunfire.
Now, this isn’t the case on public lands, but there’s A LOT of hunting done on private property. I’ve seen reports that many landowners would refuse to allow ANY hunting on their property at any time if Sunday hunting is opened, so I’m not sure why this is an issue that the pro-hunting community would want to support.
I personally like the idea of Sunday hunting, but if hunters lose access to thousands of acres of private hunting grounds because the farmers/landowners are upset, then how is this a victory? Whether we like it or not, the landowners have an edge in this debate, and their concerns must be listened to.
My understanding is that landowners have made similar threats in other states that have allowed Sunday hunting, and that in those states, reductions in private lands open to hunting has not materialized.
Not sure where to post this, but your site has been crashing my Firefox browser for the last three days.
Thought you might like to know.
Thanks for letting me know. What platform are you using? Windows? Mac? And which version of Firefox?
I would point out that HSUS will have the farmers in the sights soon enough
Firefox 3.6.22 on a windows Vista HP laptop.
When it crashes I get a Firefox apology screen , and when I restart the program it returns to the site. As a matter of fact, I think it started with the last firefox upgrade, but your site is the the only problem so far.
The issue at hand is the PGC and what they would do with the right to hunt on Sundays. See we have the right to hunt in PA. Form What I understand it is in the state constitution. ( I could be misinformed). The argument is Does the PGC have a good deer management program and where does Sunday hunting fit? It has to pass legislation and the people do not know what the PGC will do if it does. I myself am for Sunday hunting. AT least NJ got it right by allowing it on private property. In this case I think the mountain people.. have been too far out of touch and the PGC needs better numbers to justify. The RTKBA includes hunting, self defense, – life.
Property tax law can make a big difference in hunting access to private land, which is the majority of land in many places east of the Mississippi. A state law as simple as “property taxes are cut in 1/2 for all landowners who allow public access for hunting and fishing on their land” can work wonders, especially with big owners like timber growers.
If I had a business doing trail rides with horses, I could see not wanting people shooting (untrained horses & gunshots = bad, even if no one is shooting irresponsibly), but on most property the benefits of recreation, ammo sales and culling Lyme disease vectors, aka deer, create a compelling government interest in encouraging–but not dictating–open access on private land.
Nevermind, I’ve never been hunting and don’t know anything about hunting except you can do it on Sundays in California whenever the season is open, and Wild pigs may be taken “only” as follows: (a) General Season: Open all year. (b) Bag and Possession Limit: There is NO daily bag or possession limit for wild pigs.
This is almost entirely an issue between The Church (with some vocal religious rural landowners on their side, and therefore Farm Bureau) aligned with Animal Rights whackos vs hunters. Though, the hunters have had minor internal skirmishes (in VA, for instance, the VA Hunting Dog Association opposes Sunday hunting because they believe it will only be available to bow hunters and will reduce the number of deer for dog hunters).
The tied is turning against the church, but this is basically the last blue law in place. There are really only a couple of states – Virginia and Pennsylvania (I think Mass has partially lifted theirs, I could be wrong) that still have a total ban in place.
In other states, North Carolina and Maryland for instance, it has gradually been introduced. First on private property in some areas, with those areas growing each year.
What’s interesting, is the church’s threats have without fail wrung hollow. Deer are a major nuisance to agriculture, and the fees from hunting leases are a not insignifcant part of many farmers leases. What I’ve seen in Maryland and NC (where I do a fair bit of hunting) is that rather than shut land off, the landowners realize quite quickly that they can market their land as allowing Sunday hunting and hunters will pay a premium to hunt there (ie: pay for a Maryland lease vs a Virginia lease).
I suspect that happens in PA when it finally passes.
And for what its worth, nearly every person I surveyed in Central PA agriculture has been fully in support of Sunday hunting. Even the very religious ones.
If anything, the split isn’t amongst hunters and gun owners, but rather generational within ag (mostly driven by the church)
I’m at a loss here.
Can’t the hunter and landowner come to an understanding about when hunting is allowed, once the state removes the Sunday restriction?
Or will the new law require landowners to allow Sunday hunting?
They can. And those that allow Sunday hunting will be able to have a marketplace advantage.
The church is fighting this because they want you in the pews.
Interestingly, Farm Bureau is fully engaged On the side of the church, but Penn Ag Industries which represents much more the actual full time Agriculture industry in PA isn’t oppose (in truth, they won’t take a position one way or another since it has nothing to do with Ag).
The more difficult issue is access to Public game lands. Those lands were 100% purchased (and are maintained) with hunting license fees, but then hunters are forced to play second fiddle to bird watchers, tree huggers, and bunny buggerers.
I’ve also been having the crash issue with Firefox. 3.6.6 W7 64bit. Just FYI
I’ll try to see if there’s anything odd on the site that could be causing problems with certain versions of browsers.
I am at the meeting right now. Seems the State officials here are violating the Sunshine Act in regards to no public comment period. The have a set agenda of speakers. Total B.S.
O/T to the FF3 users having trouble with the SiH site: FF 6.0.2 is available for download at http://www.getfirefox.com/. I have had no problems with SiH in it, but that is no guarantee of how it will perform for you.
Richard should know how to get a hold of me, if he has questions about making the jump.
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