PGC Leadership Decides by Personal Opinion
By Randy Santucci
USP & Sportsmen of the Future CWD meeting March 9, 2019
Hand Vote No to Saturday opener
Estimated 288 opposed the change with 12 for it
Fellow USP members: I need to share the absurdity surrounding the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Board of Commissioner’s decision process to change the deer opener from Monday to Saturday. First: Their reasoning to possibly bring back lapsed license buyers was disproven by their staff survey science presented by Dr. Coren Jagnow their PGC Human Dimensions Specialist at their working group meeting on March 25th. Second: Their reasoning that college students missing class was a detriment to them hunting, this was also disproven again by Dr. Jagnow as 18 to 25-year-old -hunters were surveyed and stated missing class was a non-issue, and they would likely miss class for a lesser reason than the deer opener. They also preferred the Monday opener. Third: Dr. Jagnow presented 19 suggested reasons in another survey as to why hunters may have lapsed (quit buying a license). They came back so evenly distributed, that commissioner Daley who started this initiative, stated there was no one reason that the board could address to make a difference, he ultimately changed his position and voted against the Saturday opener. Derek Stoner their PGC Hunting Outreach Specialist, also advised the commissioners that any perceived benefit from a Saturday opener would likely be offset from going against their core of hunters and camp hunters that do not want this change. Commissioners Layton and Mitrick also pulled their Saturday opener support. Daley realized it was the wrong move and tried to stop it, but some of the new and old commissioners would not budge. Namely Fredricks, Knick, Foradora, Hoover and Fox. Hunters need to know which commissioners abandoned sound reasoning, ignored the survey science and the majority hunter opinion. Hunters wrote to the agency, over 1452 letters were received by the PGC and 81% were against changing the opener. The PGC 2017 survey of hunters came back 65% against changing the opener. Their firstname.lastname@example.org link that goes directly to the PGC commissioners as of two weeks prior to their decision, was over 10 to 1 against changing the opener to Saturday. There was a strong consensus from some norther tier county commissioners at their CCAP conference, to not change the opener due to the economic ramifications. Several of these counties were in the districts whose PGC commissioner voted to support this change? Several large statewide sporting organizations including the Unified Sportsmen of Pa. and The Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen and others, formally expressed their opposition to this change. Several legislators involved with the House Game and Fisheries expressed their opposition to this change. So if you supported this change to Saturday, that’s your prerogative as we function in a democratic society, but please understand you were part of the minority of hunters that spoke out, and in a democratic society, it follows and respects majority opinion….especially when supported by science, but not where The Pennsylvania Game Commission is concerned…..The governor’s office phone number is 717-787-2500, they will take your call, note your position, they state it will be given to the governor. Many legislators are now fuming knowing that the people’s majority voice was ignored. The PGC will likely lose the license increase legislation and other legislation. This is not over …..They PGC board of commissioners has another HUGE credibility problem, and let it be said that The Pennsylvania Game Commission will have to abandon their long-standing boiler plate statement “We follow the science”.