11/26/2013

Schwartz Announces Plan to Lift Ban on Sunday Hunting, Bolster Deer-Harvest Sharing Program

Philadelphia, PA— As Pennsylvania sportsmen look ahead to the beginning of deer hunting season next week, Allyson Schwartz, Democratic candidate for Governor, released her “One Pennsylvania” plan to renew Pennsylvania’s heritage as a hunter’s state. The plan would lift the current ban on Sunday hunting and enhance Pennsylvania’s deer-harvest sharing program.

“Pennsylvania has a rich history as one of the nation’s most important and active states for sportsmen,” Schwartz said. “That’s why, as Governor, I will work to end the outdated ban on Sunday hunting and make sure Pennsylvania hunters can give back to their communities through a deer-harvest sharing program.”

As part of her One Pennsylvania hunting initiative, Schwartz will:

End the Ban on Sunday Hunting. Pennsylvania is one of just 11 states that prohibit most hunting on Sundays. Allyson Schwartz, as Governor, will work with the General Assembly to lift the ban, a change supported in a 2011 vote of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. It would be especially beneficial to open the short December deer season to Sunday hunting. While many Pennsylvanians hunt close to home, a drive to the vast state game lands of the Big Woods requires a whole weekend for many. The 2011 legislative study determined that Sunday hunting would add $804 million in economic activity to the state. Allowing Sunday hunting will allow sportsmen who work full-time jobs or several jobs to participate in the sport they love.

Schwartz will allow the experts at the Game Commission, who have earned the trust of the hunting community, to determine the exact seasons and regulations for hunting of all types of game. This will include making determinations on Sunday hunting, starting with the rifle deer season.

She will respect the rights of private property owners to close their land to hunting when they see fit and will work to find common ground between hunters and farmers on what rules work best for Sunday hunting.

Enact a Tax Credit to Boost Harvest Sharing. Pennsylvania’s hunting community is a national leader in the charitable distribution of deer meat to feed the hungry through food banks. A hunter makes the donation, a deer processor cuts and packages the meat, and a Hunters Sharing the Harvest volunteer drives it to any of the 21 regional food-distribution centers around the state. This non-profit program is mainly supported through grants and donations. The deer processor, however, often ends up donating his or her services. The average cost for processing a whole deer ranges from $50 to $70.

Allyson Schwartz, as Governor, will enact a limited $50 tax credit for qualified meat processors who donate their services to provide venison to the needy through the program. This tax credit will enable an already good program to become stronger, combat hunger, and contribute to good-neighbor hunting practices.

To read the full plan, visit http://allysonschwartz.com/issues/hunting/.