The PA Game Commission got it wrong! | News, Sports, Jobs


RANDY SANTUCCI

McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

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 drastic change, and tens of millions of dollars in sales and tax revenue for the state 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’ running half a million hunters in the woods. That day !

The Monday opening structure not only gave families time to put Thanksgiving to bed, but it also allowed hunters to travel all weekend, make last-minute hunting preparations, to 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 favor of the stewards’ opening position on Saturdays.

A small survey of just 10 sporting goods stores revealed a loss in sales of over 360,000 after that first Saturday opening weekend! They identified neighboring businesses that suffered the same fate.

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 to hunting or otherwise, but they convinced lawmakers to wait 3 years to assess it. The waiting period is OVER… three years later, hunting license sales are validating this as a mistake, as the main categories of adult residents and young residents are below what they were in 2018. An increase paltry few thousand permits in peripheral categories, not even influenced by Saturday’s change make no sense.

The PGC got nothing and generated a little poll, portrayed it as a broad hunter opinion and ran it across the state in all media, because the REAL indicators have crashed.

The Saturday opening was partly a transition to Sunday hunting, 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 begins TODAY 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 e-mail to:

Eastern Pennsylvania: [email protected]

West Pa: [email protected]

There will be more details to come.



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Aurora J. William