After deliberation, the first of Pennsylvania's Sunday hunting dates have been established and initially approved.
The decision was determined during the Commission's meeting in Harrisburg on January 25.
A date during the statewide archery deer season, plus two firearms season dates for deer and bear, will all see a Sunday make the books.
Pennsylvania hunters are as close as they've ever been to legally harvesting a buck on a Sunday in November.
Though they are yet to be cemented with final approval, these likely Sundays in November stand a good chance to become part of the state's hunting season.
These are the dates Sunday hunting would be allowed in Pennsylvania:
- Nov. 15 for archery deer hunting
- Nov. 22 for bear hunting during the bear firearms season
- Nov. 29 for deer hunting during the firearms deer season
Hunting on Sundays, which had been against longstanding "Blue Laws" in Pennsylvania, was approved and signed into legislation by the state's Gov. Tom Wolf in mid-December. It was Senate Bill 147 that took on the moniker "Sunday hunting bill," and was eventually signed as a new law.
Approval and written permission from owners of private land must be obtained in order to hunt on Sundays in Pennsylvania. This keeps activities within existing anti-trespassing laws. Hunting on public land on Sundays is still prohibited.
Though it's likely these proposed dates will be approved, the official hunting and trapping seasons will not be finalized until the Pennsylvania Game Commission's next meeting in early April.
The opened Sunday dates should provide more hunting opportunities for employees of jobs that operate under a typical workweek and find difficulty making time on weekdays.
A Sunday during rifle deer season in Pennsylvania would be a milestone, and we now know when it will almost certainly happen.