by Jack Bennett
First, let me be perfectly clear. I am 100% in support of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. And second , I support hunting of small and big game in the state.
Also keep in mind that Armstrong County is 4th in the nation in per-capita gun ownership.
With all of this in mind, I must voice my concern that hunting big game with an AR-15 has been approved by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and signed into law by the Governor (who by the way is an anti-gun proponent).
Anyone who has hunted big game (Buck) on the first day of the season knows how many hunters are in the woods and how much lead can fill the air in any given location. Now, add to that the capability of a semi-automatic rifle (even with a maximum number of rounds per magazine) and the speed that an additional magazine can be changed out, a lot of additional lead in the air is possible.
I have no problem with the AR being used to “varmint” hunt, but I question the prudence of allowing it to be utilized to hunt big game.
There was a time that the Game Commission wanted to make this state a “slug” only state, what happened to so completely turn their position around?
In talking with 8 hunters, the split was 5 against and three approved the use of the AR.
Perhaps the Commission’s time could be better spend in re-alignment of the different seasons and the requirements for so many horns and so many inches long be returned to the old two week “buck” season followed by the three day “doe” season.
Many changes implemented by the Game Commission over recent years have been to the advantage of the hunter, but this new approval of the AR-15 may need to be revisited as the jury is still out on this one.
What do you think? Let us know and we will pass it along.
IN SEARCH OF SPORTSMEN’S SAFETY
The views expressed are those of the author.