George Block Column

Several issues face hunters in near future

Several important issues face hunters in near future

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The archery season will be upon us before we know it.


While the bucks are still in velvet, it can affect your judgment. The velvet makes them look bigger than they actually are.


I have seen a couple of bucks already that might make the archery record book and quite a few with small racks.


What this tells me is that I’m getting a little stirred up as I look ahead to deer season. In my case, it doesn’t take much.


But there are other issues facing hunters in the near future. Perhaps the largest is the decision to allowing hunting on Sundays or to continue with the current ban on most species.


As I look at the issue, I can see both sides.


Those who work the normal Monday through Friday schedule favor Sunday hunting. Those who are old traditionalists and landowners are opposed.


This is an argument where both sides can give plenty of reasons for their feelings and be right.


There is no doubt permitting Sunday hunting would open up additional opportunities for hunters. Instead of having just Saturday to hunt, it would open up two days of hunting for many.


Both West Virginia and Ohio allow Sunday hunting, and it doesn’t seem to cause any trouble.


Offering more hunting opportunities would seem to be a no-brainer. It also could pave the way for a license fee increase.


Note that I didn’t say it would. I only think it might.


The opposition would prefer to spend a quiet day without the noise of hunters. To them, Sunday should be a day of rest.


At one point, I was with this group. But I have softened a bit.


Perhaps Sunday hunting would add to the number of hunters. Or is it just grasping at straws?


My own opposition was based on reasons that are biological or religious. I am slightly bothered by the fact that I enjoy sleeping and not hunting on Sunday.


After hunting for six days, I need a rest. You could say that I could take Sunday off on my own, even if it was legal.


I have tried that and it doesn’t work. I would just lie there and think I should be on my stand.


Are those solid reasons to be opposed to Sunday hunting? I don’t know. At least I’m honest about it.


But there is no doubt it will be approved at some point.


Another issue facing hunters is the possible legalization of semi-automatic firearms for deer hunters.


I know I’m an old fuddy duddy, but I have seen a few occurances of misure of semi-automatics in West Virginia. One time, I saw a spike shot seven times by a hunter using a Ruger mini 14 .223.


If the Pennsylvania Game Commission were to legalize semi-automatic rifles for deer hunters, it should pass a corresponing law banning .22 caliber firearms.


The majority of semis around here are chambered in the .223, and that round is not suitable for the average deer hunting trip.


I am not opposed to people owning an AR-15, but I am opposed to being in the woods with someone spraying bullets from one at a deer.


When discussing this issue, I always recall that spike. Though it was hit seven times, 17 shots were fired at it. It would have been better if the hunter used a Ruger single shot.


Another issue up for discussion is the opening of bear season on a Saturday. What do we do on Sunday as we await the second day of the season on Monday.


I guess legalizing Sunday hunting would solve that issue.



George H. Block writes a Sunday Outdoors column for the Observer-Reporter.


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