Pennsylvania's 'prohibition on Sunday hunting' could end due to lawmakers

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The Pennsylvania Senate has passed a bill that would end restrictions on hunting during any Sunday of the year.

Pennsylvania officials previously restricted hunting on Sundays, only allowing hunting on three Sundays per calendar year.

Legislation passed in 2019 determined that the specific Sundays would be decided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. One day was selected for deer rifle season, one day was selected for deer archery season and one day was held at the Game Commission’s discretion.


State Senator Dan Laughlin, while making remarks about the legislation, said allowing hunting on Sundays would boost local economies in rural areas, the PA Senate Republicans’ website reported last week.

“The hunting industry is a crucial part of our state’s economy. It supports jobs, generates revenue, and sustains businesses in many of these rural counties, from sporting goods stores to rural diners,” Laughlin said.

Foxes, coyotes and crows can currently be hunted on any Sunday during open seasons, the Pennsylvania Game Commission told Fox News Digital in an emailed statement.

As for other U.S. states, Sunday hunting is illegal in Maine and Massachusetts.

In Connecticut, wild turkeys cannot be taken on Sunday anywhere in the state. Sunday hunting is also allowed on licensed private shooting preserves and in regulated dog training areas with town permission. 

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Hunting may also take place in Connecticut on Sundays at permitted field trial events.

Gun deer hunting is not allowed in New Jersey on Sundays and there are limitations on bow hunting.

Pennsylvania hunting and fishing licenses brought in $89 million in 2023 and $87 million in 2022 in terms of state tax collections, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 

“It’s clear allowing hunting on only three Sundays hasn’t provided enough freedom to encourage more people to purchase hunting licenses,” Laughlin said.

“Hunting is a tradition passed down through families, a bonding experience between generations, lifting this restriction will not only preserve this tradition but also ensure that it can be fully enjoyed and passed on to future generations,” Laughlin added.

An official with the Pennsylvania Game Commission said, “Presently, bills to further expand Sunday hunting are moving in both the state House and Senate.”

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