by: Jillian C.
With permission from the, Reading Eagle
The treasured Sundays of fall find teenagers sleeping in, families going to church and people taking leisurely hikes in the woods.
You know what I would like to do in the woods on Sundays?
Yet I can't go hunting on Sundays due to the ancient "blue law" established in 1873 when dinosaurs walked the earth with our parents.
This law prohibits hunting on Sundays for religious reasons. Most states have repealed these laws, saying they are unconstitutional. Pennsylvania, along with 10 other states, still bans and/or limits hunting on Sundays.
In June, the Pennsylvania Game Commission voted 4-3 to support Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania. This means that, if the Legislature passes the House Bill 1760, Sunday hunting will be legal and regulated by the Game Commission.
If either the “blue law” were deemed unconstitutional, or House Bill 1760 were passed it would mean my family and I could hunt on Sunday once a season is regulated by the Game Commission. It would also help the state's economy, creating a potential 4,400 jobs, according to pagunrights.com. Also, hunting will appeal more to youth hunters because they'll have an extra day over the weekend to enjoy the sport.
You see, the best times to hunt are at dusk and dawn because that's when the deer are moving and looking for food. The people who are busy during the day would then have an extra day to carry on a sacred family tradition.
My whole family, with the exception of my mother, loves to hunt (bow or rifle). Ever since we could hold and properly operate a weapon, we have been hunting. All of us would love to hunt on Sundays to relax and just have fun, family-bonding time.
But, of course, there are the people who do not want the law changed. They claim that people can hunt during the week, and that should be good enough. I, of course, came up with a few examples to contradict that assertion.
For example, let's say I play soccer for my school and I have practice every weekday until 5:30 p.m. I get home and it is dark, so I cannot hunt. This limits my opportunities to Saturdays only. Oh, wait, that weekend there is a soccer tournament all day so I'm going to be too busy to hunt. Oops, well, there goes my week.
But what about adults' opportunities to hunt? What if they have a job that requires them to work 9 to 5 and some Saturdays? Archery season is six weeks long, but it seems just as short as the two-week rifle season if you don't even get an opportunity to go out in the woods.
It's funny. Some users of public land, such as hikers and bikers, were complaining about how they don't want to be disturbed on their excursions on Sundays, which is understandable. The ironic part is, what about during the week when they walk and scare deer away from the hunters on public land when they're trying to enjoy their sport?
By the way, if you are one of those people who use many of Berks County's public land and are against Sunday hunting, just remember that hunting license sales fund much of the public land you use.