Our efforts in Harrisburg on behalf of our members continues. With the legislature moving into summer recess, here is an update on the bills we are following.
SB 67 (Laughlin) Sunday Hunting – Removes the prohibition on Sunday Hunting. This is our top legislative priority. This bill awaits action in the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee.
SB 344 (Gebhard) aims to include full-time, out-of-state college students in Pennsylvania’s great hunting and fur taking traditions while also experiencing our wonderful outdoors.
This bill would provide these students a resident fee for a hunting license. This bill passed the Senate unanimously and now awaits action in the House.
SB 439 (Laughlin) would allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission to acquire land at a fair and reasonable price by removing the $400/acre cap on Game Land acquisitions
SB 146 (Brewster) exempts veterans and others to fish for free as part of their mental and physical recovery while participating in therapeutic recreation events and programs. It has passed the Senate and awaits action in the House.
HB 1409 (Kulik) reauthorizes the PFBC’s authority to establish license and permit fees for an additional 10-year period. It was voted out of the House Game and Fish Committee and awaits a vote in the House.
One of the tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is the use of science as the appropriate basis for wildlife policy. We oppose the following bills on the grounds that the Pennsylvania Game Commission should set hunting regulations and not legislators. A more detailed and scholarly description of the Model can be found here.
HB 409 (Maloney) Removes the current antler restrictions for senior hunters, placing their restrictions in line with those afforded to junior hunters, mentored youth, disabled hunters, and resident active-duty United States Armed Services personnel.
HB 495 (Smith) Mandates the opening day of antlered deer rifle season to the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Be on the lookout for updates and action alerts as these bills progress. That being said, there is never a bad time to let your legislator know that you care about these issues. As hunters and anglers, your voice is vital in the cause of conservation. You can use this link to find your legislator.