BUFFALO TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission appears to be heading towards opening firearms deer hunting season on Saturday again this year. And that’s not the only change.
The changes are in hopes of reviving lagging hunting license sales.READ MORE: More Than $100,000 Raised For Family Of Kara Leo After She Was Struck, Killed By Tree Branch
A trend lifelong hunter Jeff Snyder has witnessed around his hunting camp: “The number of people that are going to camps and hunting out of camps are not what it was back in the late 80s or early 90s where it was packed.”
Snyder and hunter John Roth welcome another day after Black Friday start to the hunting season. Or as Roth puts it, “Any day that’s opening day, we’re hunting it.”
Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau says not only is the commission proposing opening hunting on Saturday Nov. 28, “The big change there is that would be followed by a Sunday hunting day.”
Roth’s reaction? “It will definitely help with the action in the woods, definitely keep it exciting.”
The schedule sets up a 14-day hunting season that runs from the Saturday after Thanksgiving until Dec. 12, excluding only Sunday, Dec. 6.READ MORE: Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued For Lawrence and Beaver Counties, Parts Of Ohio
Snyder says, “I think it’s a great opportunity to get more people in,” which is what the Game Commission is counting on after seeing license sales slip last year.
Lau says so far, hunters seem to like the extended season proposals. “That would seem to be backed up by increased license sales so far this year.”
The commission has also given preliminary approving to allowing hunting for both antlered and anterless deer from day one. Lau says, “That would be a change that would also increase opportunity, especially for those hunters that don’t have a lot of time or many days to spend hunting during that fire arms deer season.”
Critics say the Saturday hunting negatively impacts family celebrations of Thanksgiving.
Snyder says, “We had Thanksgiving at camp this year. It’s just the way things worked out.”
And Roth says, “We actually had family that didn’t come and visit for Thanksgiving. They came for Christmas instead because they knew that there wasn’t going to be any time because we were heading for camp on Friday.”MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Police: Man In Critical Condition After Shooting On North Side
The Game Commission unanimously gave preliminary approval to the changes over the weekend. The formal final vote will come in early April.