WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — The first of more than half a million hunters will don their blaze orange and hit the woods on Saturday morning.
This year is the first time in years that firearm deer season, or the first day of buck as it is more commonly called, will see hunting on both Saturday and Sunday.
“We’re getting ready as any other day,” said Mark Zimmerman of Hoffer’s Ligonier Valley Packing.
Zimmerman is marking 45 years processing deer at Hoffer’s Ligonier Valley Packing. He’s heard it all from hunters. Some like Saturday being the first day of buck, others say it is a violation of tradition.
“You got to get with the times a little bit. They’re not trying to break the tradition, just trying to change tradition a little bit,” said Zimmerman.
“It makes it more inviting and easier to hunt and try to harvest more deer,” Zimmerman added.
That is exactly what Leon Rhodamer is shooting for. Rhodamer told KDKA’s Ross Guidotti that he understands how some do not like the new arrangement, but it is no big deal to him.
“I’m gonna hit the woods tomorrow morning,” said Rhodamer
Over the last few years, deer harvest numbers have fallen as the number of hunters has dropped. At one time, more than one million hunters took to the woods on the first Monday after Thanksgiving. The Pennsylvania Game Commission is now looking to get more kids like Logan Zagrodniczek to hunt.
“I’m going to be going out with my stepdad to go hunting,” said Zagrodniczek
Zagrodniczek is 9 years old and what is he excited for?
“Probably the part of seeing how big the deer is and what kind of deer it is,” Zagrodniczek said.
The state Game Commission says if you are hunting, make sure you are aware of other hunters, stay away from occupied buildings, and have a combined 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head, chest and back that is visible from 360 degrees.
Click here for more rules and regulations.