If everyone can’t hunt on Sundays, might at least Pennsylvania’s youngest sportsmen and women?
This is, apparently, what qualifies as a Plan B.
Last April, Rep. Frank Farina introduced legislation that would eliminate the state’s prohibition against hunting on Sundays. Numbered as House Bill 1374, it was referred to the House of Representatives game and fisheries committee on June 24.
It’s not moved since.
A hearing on the bill was supposed to be held, and was even put on the calendar. It was cancelled, though, and there’s been no rescheduling of it.
The bill has the support of the National Rifle Association, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and at least some lawmakers, but faces opposition from the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, among others.
Farina is looking to take another tack now.
The Lackawanna County Democrat is circulating for co-sponsors another proposal. This idea – which has yet to be formally introduced and so as of yet has no bill number – would allow the Pennsylvania Game Commission to permit children in the mentored youth hunting program to hunt the two Sundays closest to the firearms deer season.
That would presumably be the Sunday between the first and second week, and the Sunday immediately after what is traditionally the last Saturday.
The commission would also gain the authority to permit hunting by mentored youth on two Sundays each around the spring and fall turkey seasons.
Eligible would be children younger than 11.
In a memo sent out to other lawmakers looking for co-sponsors on Feb.26, Farina explained his thinking.
“Increasingly busy work schedules, as well as other obligations, may limit participation in the mentored youth hunting program. However, providing youths and mentors with two additional weekend hunting opportunities could increase the number of participants going into the field and further add to a positive hunting experience,” Farina wrote.