Senator Dush E-Newsletter

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In this update:

  • Wishing Everyone a Safe, Healthy and Blessed Thanksgiving
  • Hunting Season Safety Tips
  • Local Food Banks Benefit from Hunters Sharing the Harvest
  • Support Small Businesses, Shop Local This Saturday

Wishing Everyone a Safe, Healthy and Blessed Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is specifically set aside for us to reflect on what we have been blessed with; to remember and pass on to our children the stories of how this day of remembrance and reflection came to be; and to take time to share with our friends and family those blessings, lessons and fellowship.

Pennsylvania has a rich history related to celebrating the day of thanks, as the first nationally recognized Thanksgiving was celebrated in York County in 1777. Americans had just soundly defeated the British in the Battle of Saratoga in the American Revolution. To mark the victory, the Second Continental Congress proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving.

The first Thanksgiving Day Parade was also held in Pennsylvania in 1920 – four years before the first Macy’s parade.

In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, my Brookville, Bellefonte, Harrisburg and Smethport offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24.

PennDOT Driver License Centers will be closed on those dates as well, though many services are available online at If you are traveling, be sure to check for the latest traffic and weather information.

Give Thanks to Almighty God!  From my family to yours, may you all have a safe, healthy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Hunting Season Safety Tips

Firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 25. As you prepare to head out to our fields and forests, be sure to keep safety in mind. The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers these important tips:

Basic Safety

  • Positively identify the target – Be sure you are shooting at legal game and not another hunter. And never shoot at sounds or movement.
  • Stay in the zone! Hunters should be spaced 25 to 40 yards apart, and always in sight of one another. Never shoot at game moving between you and someone else.
  • Plan your hunt! Let someone know where you’re hunting and when you’ll return.
  • Buckle up! If you hunt from an elevated stand, always wear a full-body, fall-restraint device as soon as your feet leave the ground until they return.
  • Become familiar with your hunting area! Learn how to use a map and compass or GPS unit. Be prepared for emergencies. Carry a basic survival kit and know how to use it.
  • Be seen! Wear or display the required amount of fluorescent orange clothing.

Firearms Safety

  • Handle all firearms as if they’re loaded. Never assume they are unloaded and double check to be sure.
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction and don’t put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Unload and place your firearm on the ground before crossing a fence, log or other obstacle, or climbing a tree.
  • Shoot only when a safe and adequate backstop exists. Don’t shoot at hard, flat surfaces, water or a target on the horizon.

For more information, visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission website at

Local Food Banks Benefit from Hunters Sharing the Harvest

The state Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Game Commission are again encouraging hunters to consider sharing their deer harvest to provide thousands of pounds of venison to people in need.

Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) is Pennsylvania’s venison donation program for hunters who share their extra venison via a statewide network of participating butchers to food pantries and community assistance centers across the Commonwealth.

One deer provides about 200 servings of high-protein, low-fat venison. Thanks to the program’s generous supporters, hunters pay nothing to ensure their venison helps to provide a warm meal to someone in need in their community.

The program reported record participation last year with 235,532 pounds of venison donated in the 2022-23 deer season. HSH has distributed 2.2 million pounds of donated venison since 1991.

More information about the program and how to participate is available at

Support Small Businesses, Shop Local This Saturday

Small Business Saturday is this weekend, a great time to shop small when thinking about gifts for the holiday season.

Small businesses account for 99.6% of Pennsylvania businesses and half of our jobs. That’s why I’ve advocated for the continued phase-out of the state’s excessive Corporate Net Income Tax – which burdens many small business operators – and voted for a host of measures this year to cut government red tape that is hampering the work of these crucial job creators.

You can find state resources on starting a small business here.


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