Game Commission has it all wrong | News, Sports, Jobs

The Pennsylvania Game Commission arbitrarily changed the opening day of stag season, destroying a highly successful 60-year-old Thanksgiving weekend structure.

Moving opening day from Monday to Saturday after Thanksgiving revealed a gross lack of knowledge and a huge disregard for the economic benefits of hunters.

One of the best selling weekends for many rural businesses has been removed.

No regulatory impact study was done to assess the impact of this sweeping change, and tens of millions of dollars in localized business sales and state tax revenue evaporated.

The arrogance of the PGC Board of Commissioners was further exposed when they ignored even the fact that the Saturday opening would be in direct conflict with ‘Small Business Saturday’, dragging half a million hunters into the woods. That day.

The Monday opening structure not only gave families time to go to bed for Thanksgiving, but it also allowed hunters to travel all weekend, make last-minute hunting preparations, participate in decades-old traditions and, yes, to spend the money this weekend before the Monday opening. .

Most schools are also closed Monday across the Commonwealth. This change was not an oversight or an inadvertent error.

Prior to this change, surveys of PGC hunters, hunter contacts with the agency, hunter contributions statewide were 65-90% opposed.

Even polls of PGC staff on the perceived benefits of a Saturday start have come back flat, from students and others, and not in support of the commissioners’ opening position on Saturday.

Chamber of Commerce officials have contacted the PGC as many of their businesses have been hit with big sales losses.

The commissioners had no basis for making this change beneficial for hunting or otherwise, but they convinced lawmakers to wait three years to assess it.

The waiting period is over.

Three years later, hunting license sales validate this as an error, as the main categories of adult residents and young residents are below what they were in 2018.

A paltry increase of a few thousand licenses in peripheral categories, not even influenced by Saturday’s change, makes no sense.

The PGC generated a small survey of an out-of-state business and portrayed it as a broad hunter opinion, and ran it across the state in all media, because the real indicators have failed.

The Saturday opening was partly a transition to the Sunday hunt.

Sunday can be moved to the following weekend, creating 13 continuous hunting days for those who cannot hunt on Monday, and everyone wins.

A new organized movement is beginning to bring back the Monday opening and expose this damaging decision at the highest levels of state government.

To be counted and make your voice heard to restore the Monday opening, whether you are a company or an individual, send an email to: [email protected] and [email protected]

Randy Santucci

Robinson Township

Dan Davila

Boardman, Ohio

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Aurora J. William