September 26, 2020

Sunday Hunting Poll For Pennsylvania Shows Not Much Support

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A recent survey conducted in Pennsylvania shows that it may be some time before expanded hunting, meaning big game – deer, bear, etc. – will be part of the hunters’ menu. According to Jim Collins of the Daily & Sunday Review, the survey shows most hunters don’t favor a Sunday hunt.

The readers have been passionate in their position on this subject. 70% of non-landowner hunters want to see Sundays open for hunting. A solid 80 percent of hunter/landowners want either no expansion of Sunday hunting, or a very limited trial. Almost 100 percent of non-hunter landowners object to any expansion of Sunday hunting.

I find this a more helpful survey in that it gives us a closer look at a broader cross-section of the populace, including hunters, non-hunters and landowners who hunt and those that don’t. The bottom line is that clearly the majority don’t favor expanding the Sunday hunt.

The difference that I see between the opposition to Pennsylvania’s Sunday hunt and in North Carolina, where they have been debating the same issue, is where the focus of the debate has turned. In Collin’s report, the focus of the debate seems to be directed at hunter’s actions and land access.

The problem is that many private landowners are opposed to any expansion of Sunday hunting. Since most hunting lands are private, the landowners control this issue. After all, without private lands to hunt upon, the issue is really moot. Expanded Sunday hunting cannot be sustained upon public lands only.

Most landowners who wrote, related stories of poor conduct of hunters during the other six days of the week. Their remarks made me almost ashamed to state that I am a hunter. I guess common sense is something rather lacking, especially among some deer hunters. Lest you think that all the complaints are against hunters from out of the area, alas, such is not the case. One farmer related how farm folks on either side of their farm simply hunted in their posted ground, without even asking permission. I must admit, I did not expect to read that. Nor did I expect that this farmer stated that many of the deer their neighbors shot were simply left to rot. What a wanton waste.

Other landowners told stories of hunters, especially deer and turkey hunters, who simply did not take the effort to ask permission to hunt. Not only that, the landowners told harrowing stories of litter, bad manners, and ATV’s tearing up their property. And that is just during the normal six days of hunting seasons. No wonder they want Sundays to themselves.

In North Carolina, these same issues exist but the focus has shifted to a debate over religion. North Carolina sits in the middle of what has been referred to as “The Bible Belt” and many there don’t want Sunday hunting to interfere with going to church. What is interesting is that polls and surveys similar to the one conducted in Pennsylvania, show very similar results. The majority of people, including hunters, don’t want Sunday hunting, yet the debate goes on in North Carolina over religion.

The Triangle Area News puts it this way.

Religion is perhaps the biggest reason why most people are opposed to hunting on Sunday. In fact, about 80 percent of people say they are in favor of hunting in general � just not on that day of the week.

Where the debate in North Carolina has centered around religion, many are bringing up such things as separation of Church and State as well as freedom of choice. Where we live in a democracy where the majority rules, it would only seem logical that when the majority of citizens oppose a Sunday hunt, that should be the rule.

But wait just a minute. There’s more to this story than religion, freedom of choice, separation of Church and State, landowner rights and the rights of hunters. There’s money! Hunting is big business and many in the business world are sitting and watching surrounding states rake in dollars because they offer Sunday hunting.

When money is the driving force, too many times we can toss out the window sense and sensibility. To me it is quite clear, at least in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Not just a majority but an overwhelming majority of citizens have said no. They don’t want hunting on Sunday and that should be honored until such time that the majority view changes.

A fellow blogger and friend, Moose from over at Moose Droppings, on Sunday was interviewed by a local television station that is covering the debate on the North Carolina Sunday hunt. He was one of several hunters interviewed and claims to be the only one who spoke in opposition to overturning the law that bans Sunday hunting there. Visit his blog and find links to the story and a video clip of the compiled news story done by Ashley Smith of News 14.

If what Jim Collins writes in his article about the behavior of hunters in the Keystone state is true, it’s going to be a real long time before landowners are going to be willing to keep their land open at all, say nothing about an expanded Sunday hunt.

My advice to that crop of disrespectful morons who are ruining things for the rest of us is, grow up and learn some respect and decency for the generous land owner. The majority of us do and we aren’t going to sit idly by watching the likes of you be an instrument in spoiling the heritage of hunting.

Tom Remington

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