Mark O’Neill, Media and Strategic Communications Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 • 717.761.2740 • Email • @pfbmediaone
For Immediate Release: May 18, 2016
(Harrisburg) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) restated its overwhelming opposition to any legislative effort that would directly or indirectly lead to the expansion of existing Sunday hunting laws in the Commonwealth, during testimony before the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee.
“Farm Bureau members have considered the issue of Sunday hunting on multiple occasions over the past two decades. Each time, farmers expressed their unequivocal opposition to any expansion efforts,” said Joel Rotz, PFB State Government Affairs Senior Director.
Although it opposes additional hunting on Sunday, PFB supports hunting and the role hunters play in managing wildlife in the state. In fact, Farm Bureau has worked for decades to build constructive relationships with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) and its staff to help keep privately-owned lands open and accessible to hunters.
“Farmers and other private landowners, who account for about 80% of all land used for hunting in the state, voluntarily allow hunters on their property to pursue game. It would be unfortunate if efforts to force more hunting on Sundays damaged positive relationships developed between hunters and landowners,” added Rotz.
Farm Bureau notes that most Pennsylvanians support keeping the status quo on Sunday hunting, including many licensed hunters in the state. In addition, outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds support PFB’s position.
“Several years ago, hikers, bikers, horseback riders, naturalists, bird watchers, fall foliage fans and others joined Pennsylvania Farm Bureau in opposing legislation that would have opened the door to expanded Sunday hunting,” continued Rotz.
Farm Bureau has a history of actively embracing efforts to increase opportunities for youth hunters in Pennsylvania and has worked in conjunction with the PGC, sportsmen’s groups and others to provide youngsters more chances to hunt.
“Farmers have suggested that the state Game Commission allow youth hunting during the rifled deer season on the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving, when schools are closed. It is a rule change that the Commission can implement without action from the state General Assembly,” concluded Rotz.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of nearly 61,400 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.