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19

For years Pennsylvania hunting laws have prevented commercial shooting grounds from operating on Sundays, and landowner Dan Metzler is tired of having to turn hunters away.

A Pennsylvania native, Metzler owns a medium-sized hunting property in the Franklin Township that he opens for regulated hunting. These laws prevent owners like Meltzer, whose lively hood depends on his hunting business, from competing on a level playing field with other shooting grounds.

Currently, 83 commercial shooting grounds are forced to turn away hunters on Sunday, while 233 noncommercial shooting grounds can operate like every other day of the week. Metzler estimates that he loses about $3,000 every twelve weeks because he’s forced to close down.

To subsidies their Sunday losses, many commercial shooting grounds offer dog training on their land. Some even host private sportsmen’s clubs where members receive extensive bird-dog training and can compete in various dog competition events.

While this seems like a viable option for Metzler and other mid-sized landowners, state regulations require a specific amount of acreage dedicated to both hunting and dog training. It’s difficult for these kinds of owners to split their fields and still provide a great hunting experience.

Metzler is only one of many landowners who have reached out to local lawmaker, rep. Greg Lucas, who is now sponsoring legislation to change the state’s regulations.

The original “blue laws,” which once restricted a number of Sunday activities, are to blame for this inconsistent treatment of commercial and noncommercial shooting grounds. Lucas proposes to create legislation that would lift the Sunday ban for commercial grounds, leveling the playing field across the various Pennsylvania hunting sites.

Until this law is hashed out, owners like Metzler will have to continue to find a way to work around having to shut their doors at inconvenient times.

What are you thoughts on this proposed regulation change?

Let us know in the comments below!

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