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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

All Pa. farmers don't oppose Sunday hunting
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Jeff Mulhollem




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Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 8:53 am

By Jeff Mulhollem | 37 comments


If you have been closely following the debate over expanded Sunday hunting in Pennsylvania, you may think that all the farmers in Pennsylvania oppose lifting the ban.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, which claims to represent 50,000 farm and rural families across the state, is staunchly opposed to any expansion of Sunday hunting here.

According to the Farm Bureau, the overwhelming majority of Keystone State farmers oppose allowing more Sunday hunting. But increasingly we have been hearing from farmers across the state who are quietly saying that is not true.

"Why should the state tell me what I can do on my own land on any given day of the week," said one agricultural producer. "It's my land, and I should control it. I don't need the state to forbid hunting on Sunday on my property. I can handle that myself, if that is my choice.

"As a member of the Farm Bureau, I will not hesitate to tell you that the group is not representing my best interest as a landowner," he added. "I could not be more opposed to the Farm Bureau."

I asked a successful, hard-working and honest farmer I know what he thinks about the situation, and his opinions are revealing. Zeke Summerhill, of Ford City, owns six farms in southern Armstrong County, in three different townships.

On a total of about 480 acres he primarily grows the cash crops corn and soybeans, and also operates a hardwood lumber company fed by the woodlands around his fields. When he finds time (which is not too often these days), he is a serious and skilled hunter and fisherman. And he is a former Farm Bureau board member in Armstrong County.

"The Farm Bureau certainly doesn't speak for me," he said. "When the group's spokesman says 85 percent of farmers are against Sunday hunting, I take issue with their statistics. I don't know any farmers in my county who have been interviewed and I know quite a few."

Summerhill thinks the threat the Farm Bureau has been promoting that most farmers who allow public hunting now will post their land against all hunting if Sunday hunting is expanded is an exaggerated scare tactic.

"I personally don't know a single farmer who will post their land against all hunting," he said. "Now there may be a few who won't allow Sunday hunting."

Summerhill's biggest problem is trespassing and he thinks the state should extend an olive branch to farmers by tying increased enforcement of trespassing laws to allowing expanded Sunday hunting, to get the ban lifted. "The Game Commission should start enforcing trespassing laws," he said.

"In Ohio, hunters must possess a form signed by the landowner to hunt on private property. If the hunter can't produce the signed form, he is charged with trespassing. Ohio Department of Natural Resources officers help enforce trespassing. We should go to that system here."

In past columns I have observed that the Sunday hunting issue has become entangled in the deer-management debate, undermining support for Sunday hunting among sportsmen. Summerhill sees it that way, too, but his take on that may surprise you.

"My land is overrun by deer," he said. "I lost more than $17,000 in crop depredation last year, and I look at Sunday hunting as one more tool to manage deer. We need it."

The man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic. ~Roosevelt
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 11:59 AM
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

The Pa farm bureau needs to let us know how many of it's members who are against sunday hunters and claiming that they are going post are actually what most of us consider to be real farmers. I can think of plenty of places where we already have absolutely no chance of hunting under current regulations on any day of the week, and if those sort of places are being used to inflate the numbers the bureau is being dishonest. They can settle this matter by revealing the makeup of their membership.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 12:06 PM
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

The PA farmers who are for Sunday hunting need to speak up and let their reps know they are farmers and support Sunday hunting.

From what i heard in the debate the farmers would not be very smart to deny hunting all together on their land do to the special regs they get to take care of deer and prevent crop damage.

for those that say it is to much work to post for just Sunday let me know I will make you signs and post them for you for the ability to hunt your land the other days, so that you can spend time with your family or relaxing.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 12:27 PM
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

Allow sunday hunting, the farms that are currently huntable will more than likely still be huntable, some farmers may let you hunt on sundays some may not. The great thing about it though is that it would be left up to the farmer, the way it should be.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by genxweb
The PA farmers who are for Sunday hunting need to speak up and let their reps know they are farmers and support Sunday hunting.

From what i heard in the debate the farmers would not be very smart to deny hunting all together on their land do to the special regs they get to take care of deer and prevent crop damage.

for those that say it is to much work to post for just Sunday let me know I will make you signs and post them for you for the ability to hunt your land the other days, so that you can spend time with your family or relaxing.
We need a "like" button.

+1 will have to do.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 08:00 PM
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

+ 2
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 10:51 PM
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

Quote:
Originally Posted by genxweb
The PA farmers who are for Sunday hunting need to speak up and let their reps know they are farmers and support Sunday hunting.

From what i heard in the debate the farmers would not be very smart to deny hunting all together on their land do to the special regs they get to take care of deer and prevent crop damage.

for those that say it is to much work to post for just Sunday let me know I will make you signs and post them for you for the ability to hunt your land the other days, so that you can spend time with your family or relaxing.
Very true.

It's nice to see some farmers coming out from behind the "club" and speak the truth.

I just wonder what "price" these guys will pay for saying this? I'm sure they've already received some nastygrams.

Where have you been? I had to work late... Oh these? Yeah, it was 'camo day' at work again .
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-26-2011, 11:16 PM
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

IMO, most don't care one way or another.

Let me know when you find farmers in mass, in PA, with time to contact the legislature about something of little importance to them.

If you enjoy hunting please find a way to give back to the sport. Our children will thank you.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 02:14 PM
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

You mean like hunters?

900,000+ licenses sold and several hundred to perhaps a thousand or so, that may be unhappy enough about one thing or another, bother to fuss and complain about their views.

Either to their elected representatives; PGC Commissioners; Or the PGC itself. Those are the numbers we most often see represented, by various elected officials who say they've gotten calls, emails and letters, complaining about hunting issues.

It is not cumulative, because the people complaining to their elected representatives, are generally the same ones complaining to their (or all) Commissioners and via PGC feedback venues.

Some folks' learnin' curves just look like circles...3A Camp/also hunt 4B
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-29-2011, 10:42 AM
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Re: Some PA Farmers Want Sunday Hunting

Summerhill's biggest problem is trespassing and he thinks the state should extend an olive branch to farmers by tying increased enforcement of trespassing laws to allowing expanded Sunday hunting, to get the ban lifted. "The Game Commission should start enforcing trespassing laws," he said.

"In Ohio, hunters must possess a form signed by the landowner to hunt on private property. If the hunter can't produce the signed form, he is charged with trespassing.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources officers help enforce trespassing. We should go to that system here."

+1

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