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Sunday Hunting Debate Rages

December 16, 2018

In my last column, I wrote about the Sunday hunting debate. The biggest hurdle hunters have is the non-hunting fraternity. The biggest argument they have is if Sunday hunting is allowed, they won’t be able to enjoy the state’s woodlands.

If they want to enjoy the woods, they should pay a fee for that privilege. We pay a fee in the hunting licenses we are forced to buy for that privilege. When you look at the number of people who would take advantage of the wooded areas at that time of year, the argument is ridiculous. Even if the number of hikers and bikers were comparable to the number of hunters, use of the wooded areas could be worked out.

Certain areas could be opened to hikers; other areas open to hunters. These lands could be opened to hunters for the entire year, while the other lands could be opened to hikers. As far as landowners who are against Sunday hunting, a simple posting of their land saying “No Sunday Hunting” would take care of that. Truth be known, most landowners only chance to hunt is probably Sunday.

Another argument is most private land today is leased to hunters. Landowners and leasing hunters could get together and hash that out. I often wonder if the debate was put to a vote, how would it come out. Would we find the antihunters are the source of the problem? Would the average person even care?

Where does the Pennsylvania Game Commission stand on this debate? I haven’t had the time to look into its position. I would appreciate hearing from someone from the Commission. My email is lewonout

doors@verizon.net, if anyone from the Commission cares to respond.

People say the reason for the decline in hunters is the younger generation isn’t interested in the sport. I think the biggest reason is time. The one day most people have off is Sunday. If hunting is not allowed on Sunday, some have no alternative but to give up the sport. I can’t imagine the Pennsylvania Game Commission doesn’t get more involved. Since hunting licenses not only help pay their salaries, they pay for land improvements and other programs.

One of the happiest times of my hunting years was when I took a young person hunting. I especially loved calling turkeys for a young hunter. The look on their faces when the gobbler answered the calls was priceless. When the bird first appeared in full strut, it was as though their faces froze in time. How could anyone let that right of passage disappear?

This fight can’t be won alone. If you want the sport to continue, you had better take a part in the fight.

Sunday hunting will never be a reality if you don’t. I know it is easy to say I’ll do it later, but later could be too late. It is going to be a long fight to be sure, unless you take part.

DAVE LEWONCZYK is a contributing columnist for Times-Shamrock Newspapers.

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