Push for Sunday hunting

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edmonds59
Participant
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I just read that there is a push going on in Pennsylvania to make hunting on Sundays legal. Since I am just hearing about this, I am hoping other outdoors groups are already on this. I frequently ride at Bavington, and other state lands, on Sundays specifically due to the fact that there is no hunting, I do not want to be out in the woods with people with guns. If anyone knows of any efforts to oppose this, please inform me. I am going to be trying to look into this in more detail, but it seems like some legislation will be coming up soon. Marc Gergely of Allegheny County seems to be leading this. I want one day out of 7 when I don’t need to worry about being shot in the woods.


stefb
Participant
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i think perhaps the PTAG people may be helpful in this matter. although i don’t mtb as much as my husband, i really do like riding through bavington and other parks.


edmonds59
Participant
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Sent this to Gergely;

“Dear Sir;

I was just reading about a current push to make Sunday hunting legal. I must respectfully tell you this is a terrible, terrible idea. I am an avid outdoorsman, but I do not hunt. I mountain bike, hike, camp, kayak, I am a serious user of the Pennsylvania public lands, I am out in the woods several times a month. Millions of non-hunting users of the public lands deserve one day out of seven to use those lands without being concerned about being inadvertently shot. Many users of the public lands will have second thoughts about going into the woods, including those who travel to Pennsylvania specifically because of it’s woods, who spend money here, and who have the option to go elsewhere for their recreation. I sincerely ask that you withdraw any support for this potential legislation.

Thank you.”

http://www.pahouse.com/Gergely/contact.asp


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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@edmonds – Nice letter. +1


HoffmannJ
Participant
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@edmonds – Do you have any info on this push? It might be helpful to know if there is a house bill in the works for any opposition.

As someone who is working in legislative advocacy (albeit on a very different set of issues), the best recommendation would be to contact your own legislators. Some of them don’t pay as much attention unless the feedback is coming from their own constituents.

I don’t know if you’re in Gergely’s district, but it’s just something to keep in mind – particularly if there is a bill in the works. It might be worth contacting your own state rep, too.


edmonds59
Participant
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I got a very rapid response, this is clearly at the top of this guys agenda:

“> From: MGergely@pahouse.net

> To: edmonds59

> Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2011 12:57:43 -0500

> Subject: Thank you

>

> For your comments to futher understand your position could you please identify the incidents in the 42 states that allow sunday hunting that something unsafe happened to a non-hunter?

> Marc”

My counter:

“I don’t have that data, I can certainly look into it. My concern is that in Pennsylvania in 2009 34 HUNTERS were accidently shot by other hunters, 2 of whom died, who would presumably have been wearing the requisite blaze orange, understood safety procedures and safety zones, etc. I would certainly not want to have mountain bikers, hikers, and other non-hunting users into that mix, nor do I believe non-hunting users should be required to educate themselves in the safety procedures required by hunting if they do not intend to hunt on public lands.”

Anyway, as far as I know there is no bill yet, the newspaper article says this coalition wants “hearings” sometime this year. I will certainly be trying to find out more, and will definitely be contacting my own legislators.


salty
Participant
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“Dear edmonds59,

f*** you very much for your letter but my mind is already made up.

Marc”


edmonds59
Participant
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Salty – Ha, ha! Yeah, I got that.

Dude got an award from Safari Club International. WTF is this, 1911?!?

http://www.pahouse.com/PR/035051210.asp


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I’m already wearing my orange vest every time I take the bike out so I don’t get killed by cars. Now I have to wear the orange vest every time I go off-road, too? C’mon. I’m not that fashion conscious, but one color all the time does get boring.


nick
Participant
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edmonds59

are you aware that it is currently illegal to be present in the state gamelands from the end of september until the end of the firearm deer season (mid-december) unless you are hunting? this is to protect non-hunters and prevent the spooking of game animals. its important to remember that the state gamelands exist to provide places to hunt.

it is always advisable to wear orange from september till mid-january while out in any state owned woods for safety’s sake. in state parks it can be annoying to hunt on saturdays because there are so many people out and about, so i just go somewhere else. its nice to have the state gamelands as a place less crowded.

it is my understanding that sunday hunting means no hunting on mondays. is this true in this bill? its important for wildlife to get a day off.


edmonds59
Participant
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I had no idea about the September-December thing until I started doing some research when I saw this. I’ll pretty much only ride game lands on Sunday’s due to the current law.

The current thing isnt even a bill yet, just a proposal by this coalition. The news article said nothing about no hunting on Monday’s instead, I assume they are proposing 7 day hunting.


the beast
Participant
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“nor do I believe non-hunting users should be required to educate themselves in the safety procedures required by hunting if they do not intend to hunt on public lands”

Although I am not a hunter, but an avid outdoorsman, I feel it is important to be at least semi-versed in the safety procedures of hunting (I think at the very least this would be to know to wear orange and when the seasons actually are)

I wouldn’t feel very comfortable being out in my kayak without knowing the laws that govern motorboats and for that matter I wouldn’t feel comfortable walking down the sidewalk without some knowledge of traffic laws.

I really don’t have a care either way for sunday hunting, but I do strongly feel that it is important to have a working knowledge of all of the user groups in a mixed use area.


edmonds59
Participant
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Beast – point taken. Though it’s not apparent to me that all road users feel it’s necesary to be familiar with traffic laws ;)

Up until now it’s been adequate for me to know, ok, don’t go into the woods after thksgiving, and Sunday’s are ok. I pretty much only mtn bike on Sunday’s. If this were to go through I would have to question if I would continue to mtn bike at all. I certainly wouldn’t take my son out.


the beast
Participant
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“Though it’s not apparent to me that all road users feel it’s necesary to be familiar with traffic laws ;)

I think that this a great point, although possibly and inadvertant one.

We have to go on through life expecting(?) people to be following the rules/ laws for whatever activity that they are engaged in, including motor vehicles, bicycle and hunters. A hunter is supposed to be 100%, without a doubt sure that what he is shooting at is, in fact, a legal kill and that there is nothing in the line of fire before and after the target, just as a motor vehicle is supposed to come to a full stop at a stop sign and make sure the coast is clear before proceeding.

However, every year you hear stories of hunters “accidently” shooting things they are not supposed to, the same as you constantly hear (and see) drivers running stop signs with tragic consequences.

A friend stopped to ask a local farmer if he and his buddy could hunt on their land. The farmer agreed as long as he would shoot a horse of his who needed to be put down due to disease and he just didnt have the heart to do it. So the guy agreed to do it. He goes back up to the pasture where his buddy is and walks right over and shoots the horse and tells his friend that the hunter said “No” and he was going to shoot a horse to show his anger at not being allowed to hunt the property. So the buddy opens fire and drops at least 4 other horses and says “that will show him!”


the beast
Participant
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“Though it’s not apparent to me that all road users feel it’s necesary to be familiar with traffic laws ;)

I think that this a great point, although possibly and inadvertant one.

We have to go on through life expecting(?) people to be following the rules/ laws for whatever activity that they are engaged in, including motor vehicles, bicycle and hunters. A hunter is supposed to be 100%, without a doubt sure that what he is shooting at is, in fact, a legal kill and that there is nothing in the line of fire before and after the target, just as a motor vehicle is supposed to come to a full stop at a stop sign and make sure the coast is clear before proceeding.

However, every year you hear stories of hunters “accidently” shooting things they are not supposed to, the same as you constantly hear (and see) drivers running stop signs with tragic consequences.

A friend stopped to ask a local farmer if he and his buddy could hunt on their land. The farmer agreed as long as he would shoot a horse of his who needed to be put down due to disease and he just didnt have the heart to do it. So the guy agreed to do it. He goes back up to the pasture where his buddy is and walks right over and shoots the horse and tells his friend that the hunter said “No” and he was going to shoot a horse to show his anger at not being allowed to hunt the property. So the buddy opens fire and drops at least 4 other horses and says “that will show him!”


ejwme
Participant
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the beast – I’m really hoping that story about the horses is a tall tale, perhaps some might consider it a “joke”.

when I did a decent amount of climbing, we used to climb through the fall and even when it was too cold to climb, winter is the perfect time to go find new cliffs (no leaf cover to hide the ridges). One of the problems we encountered was not typically hunters, but “locals”. Even if we were wearing blazes on state land, or park land, or had gotten permission from the owners, a neighbor with a rifle, nothing else to do, and a sick sense of humor on more than one occasion provided us with “warning” shots and scared us straight off the rock. Perhaps beer prevented them from understanding that ricochet is just as lethal as cute little warning shots, perhaps they didn’t care.

Serious hunters, who respect the law, are not out on Sundays currently – I’m not afraid of them. It’s the yahoos who don’t even know the law, who don’t care, who take beer and guns for a walk in the woods to go shoot at stuff – those are the guys that scare me. I don’t consider myself safe from them any day of the week, no matter what the law says.


the beast
Participant
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Ya, its a joke (or at least I think it is) but I do beleive that this story is true:

[http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/21/us/national-briefing-midwest-minnesota-man-shoots-horse-as-girl-rides.html]


bikeskikayak
Participant
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Here is an item from 1999 in another state (I have more like this archived)

Waveland Watchers

Residents Watching Over Waveland, Mississippi

http://wavewatchers.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/child-shot-in-deer-hunting-accident/

________________________________________

« Previous Post

Bay-Wave schools want more from FEMA »

Child SHOT In deer hunting accident

By wavelandwatchers

A deer hunter was ticketed for hunting from a public road in a shooting that wounded a woman and seriously injured her child in north Harrison County.

Evan Joseph Kane, 24, of Perkinston, was deer hunting with dogs in DeSoto National Forest when the accident was reported around 1:30 p.m. Sunday, said Jim Walker, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

A 10-year-old girl suffered a punctured lung and was placed under intensive care at a hospital, family friends said Monday. Her mother was treated and released. A horse in their travelling party also was wounded.

The mother and child were among several horseback riders who were on Big Foot horse trail, a 21-mile stretch through piney woods. The trail is designated for horse riding and hiking. Much of the trail is near public roads, where shooting is prohibited. The shooting occurred along Forestry Road 434, accessible from Airey Tower Road north of Mississippi 67 and Bethel Road.

The accident was the day after the season opened for hunting white-tailed deer with dogs and guns. It also was the second hunting accident reported Sunday, when a 32-year-old Maben man was fatally shot in the chest in Oktibbeha County.

Wildlife and Fisheries has not released the victims’ names, but said more details from its investigation should be available in about a week. Walker said more charges could be filed. Investigators on Monday were reconstructing the accident scene and interviewing the alleged shooter and witnesses.

The wildlife agency requires toxicology tests to determine whether drugs or alcohol were involved in hunting accidents, Walker said.

State law requires Wildlife and Fisheries to investigate all hunting accidents. However, the area where the accident occurred is on land under jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service.

DeSoto National Forest, which sprawls across five counties, was under jurisdiction of the state wildlife agency until 2007. Forest land except that designated as a wildlife management area is now overseen by the federal agency.

Walker said Wildlife and Fisheries had banned hunting around trails on Sundays as a safety precaution. He wasn’t sure of the Forest Service’s policies. Walker said the most important safety precaution for hunters is to identify their target before pulling the trigger.

A district forest ranger for the federal agency referred comments to its office in Jackson. A phone call to the Jackson office was not returned.

Horseback rider Terry Hayes of Vancleave said area horseback riders are asked to ride along Big Foot today starting at 9 a.m. as a sign of support to prohibit hunters from using the area.

“There’s so much land available for hunting but not much else available for horseback riding,” Hayes said. “Except for Big Foot, we have to ride two or three hours to find a designated trail.”

Hayes said his wife was with a riding party on the “yellow trail,” which is where the accident happened. The yellow trail is a 5.2-mile route that makes a loop around designated camping areas.

“It’s close to the road and a more visible area,” said Hayes, whose wife helped take the injured horse to receive medical treatment.

Hayes said hunters typically line the roadside near the trail during hunting season.

The injured child was probably sitting maybe 6 feet above ground while on a horse, Hayes said.

“The way I see it, a hunter has no business shooting at a deer that high regardless of where they’re hunting,” said Hayes.

Hayes said the girl’s mother was treated for buckshot that went through a leg. The girl also has a pellet lodged in a muscle in her back, Hayes said. The family could not be reached for comment.

Fran Stanovich, who has ridden Big Foot for 24 years, had never heard of a rider being shot. Stanovich was in a riding party on the trail Sunday along with a nurse who gave emergency assistance.

“Why they have to hunt so near the horse trails endangering (others) is way beyond my comprehension,” Stanovich said. “I understand the legal hunters’ sport of hunting, but I am afraid the mistakes of a few have really put them, it you will excuse me, ‘under the gun.’ Hopefully no more riders will be put at risk.

“I understand that this was an accident,” Stanovich said, “but it probably would not have happened had the hunter not been shooting on the road, closer than 150 feet from the riding trails.

Authorities didn’t say whether the riders were wearing orange. State law requires hunters to wear orange but it’s not a requirement for horseback riders.

Trail markers show the horse trail in DeSoto National Forest. A mother and daughter were shot this weekend while riding horses.

The Big Foot horse trail and Road 434 run parallel to each other in some spots.

The Big Foot horse trail is a popular trail for horse riders and hikers.

Trail markers denote which trail to take for hikers and horseback riders.

Top, The stop sign on Road 434 has bullet holes in it. Above, Questions still linger about why a mother and her daughter where shot while riding horses on the Big Foot horse trail this weekend. Monday, crime scene tape blocks the dirt road near the location of the shooting.

Hunting laws there to keep everyone safe.

Larry Castle, game director of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, said the state has laws that aim to make hunting as safe as possible.

When hunting, it’s against Mississippi law to shoot a firearm across a public road, whether it involves Wildlife Management Areas overseen by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife or land overseen by the U.S. Forest Service.

Castle was referring to an accident with injuries Sunday on Big Foot horse trail in the DeSoto National Forest in Harrison County. Authorities on Monday said the man accused of firing shots that wounded a woman and her 10-year-old child was deer hunting with dogs and allegedly shot across a public road.

While he said he was saddened by news of the accident, his agency is tasked with investigating all hunting accidents, even though the area where the shooting occurred is under jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service.

“This trail is not in the Wildlife Management Area,” Castle said. “It is in the DeSoto National Forest, and it is regulated by the Forest Service, not us. But we are investigating.”

“We do set the hunting dates and bag limits, but the trail is not on our” wildlife management area.

The accident happened a day after the opening of deer season with dogs.

It’s also a law that hunters must wear orange and properly identify the target before firing, to prevent accidents, Castle said.

When dog hunting, it is unlawful to hunt or shoot across any street, public road, public highway, railroad or in rights-of-way.

A person is determined to be hunting if he possess a firearm with a cartridge or shell in the barrel, magazine or clip attached to the firearm, or if all ammunition is not located in an enclosed compartment, container, box or garment (whether or not the firearm is in or out of a motorized vehicle) while he is on any street, public road or highway, railroad or right-of-way during the open season on deer and turkey. An unloaded muzzle-loading cap lock firearm is one with the cap removed.

“I do know you cannot shoot across a public road,” Castle said.

State law requires that all persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1972 complete a hunter education course approved by the state agency before they can purchase a Mississippi hunting license. It is unlawful to issue a hunting license to a person under age 37 who doesn’t show proof of completing a hunter education course.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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boostuv
Participant
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I dont really think that article helps the case at all. There are people out there who break laws everyday but those people shouldnt be the definition of their group. I wont lie, Im a hunter, an avid gun enthusiast and an outdoorsman, but I really dont see the big deal about this proposal. As with all things in life you have to be aware of your surroundings and do your best to make sure accidents dont happen. You complain about possibly having to wear blaze orange but how is that any different than wearing lights and neon yellow when you ride on the street? Does it suck we have to take precautions because some people are idiots? Of course it does, but its better to be safe than sorry. Just a quick post with my opinions on the other side of the field.


TwoDogs
Participant
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Oddly enough, the hunters paid for the state land (gamelands in Bavington), so mountain bikers should have no expectation of consideration when competing with the state Game Commission’s main audience, hunters. The state parks obviously are funded by ALL Pennsylvanians, and all users should receive equal consideration.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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Does anyone know, is the existing ban on Sunday hunting simply one of those quaint vestiges of Pennsylvania’s “Blue Laws”? Used to be nuthin’ happened ’round these parts on Sunday ‘ceptin’ fer praisin’ the Lord and dinner at Ma’s hawse.


edmonds59
Participant
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ALMKLM – yes, from 1873, and pre-dates the establishment of the Game Commission.

Anyway, my original question was simply to ask if anyone was aware of any organized opposition to this proposal. No? O.k.

I still intend to add my voice to any of the large number of groups in the state who oppose this, and my expectation is that as a resident of the state, that my opinion will be considered.

Incidentally, the Game Commission’s primary mission is to maintain and preserve wildlife and habitat, not to guarantee the interests of hunters. Hunters are a means to their end. Since their current Strategic Plan includes lots of references to stakeholders and partner groups, I’m certain they will give fair hearing to the opinions of other user groups.

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/pgc/9106


icemanbb
Participant
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Stu; I thought for sure that was going to be a reference to “Poisoning Pigeons In The Park”.


nick
Participant
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edmonds

to be really pessimistic for a moment, i think “stakeholders and partner groups” means loggers and gas drillers.

any one else notice the proliferation of gas wells in our gamelands?

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