MOON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Pennsylvania’s firearms deer season begins Monday and local hunters are hitting the stores for last-minute items.
In all, 750,000 hunters will be in the woods in Pennsylvania Monday when sunrise hits at 7:22 a.m. and they can get their first shot off.
While the number of adult male hunters is going down, the industry has taken notice of the rise in women hunters.
At Gander Mountain in Moon Township, they stayed open two hours later Sunday night so people could get their hunting licenses and make last-minute purchases for the start of firearms deer season.
“I’m 70 and I stared hunting when I was 12,” William McClintock said.
Hunters who are hoping to find real sets of antlers are optimistic this year.
“If you go north into the mountains, where there’s no small forest anymore, where everything’s big, there’s not as many deer as there used to be. But if you go to Washington County, Allegheny County, Greene County, there’s a lot of deer,” Bill Reid said.
A growing trend in hunting is that fathers are taking more daughters with them, and it shows up in merchandising. Now, you can find pink camouflage for the youngster, a “future hunter” t-shirt, and for the big girls, shirts that say “this babe bags bucks,” and “don’t you wish your girlfriend could hunt like me.”
“I mean, I’ve been hunting since I was 12, and my dad took me out. The first time I went out, I had fun, so I just kept going,” Mallory Wolanski said.
“Oh, it’s just fun. Spend time with my boyfriend and get outside, not go to work and get to play with big guns,” Mariah Joyce said.
Some of those big guns are now being tailored for women, even coming in pink, which gets mixed reviews.
“I think it’s a good idea, I mean, it doesn’t matter to me what color the gun is, but it’s nice to look at it, see it in the gun shop, see a pink gun. If I got one, I’d definitely use it,” Joyce said.
If you’re male or female, don’t forget to wear blaze orange on your head, chest and back, display your license at all times and do not shoot within 150 yards of an occupied building.