The State Game Commission will not release its final report on the 2018 deer season harvest, but it appears it’s ready to make a major change in next year’s hunting season to boost the numbers.
Game Commission spokesperson Travis Lau has told a Harrisburg television station that the Game Commission board may vote next month on starting the rifle deer season on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The traditional day has always been the Monday after Thanksgiving. Lau says the change would take effect for the 2019 season.
The appeal of a Saturday start would be the possible return of hunters who have given up the sport because they don’t have time. Pennsylvania once boasted more than a million hunters in the woods on opening day, but now the number is closer to 750,000.
There are other moves the Game Commission is being urged to consider, but it appears to be reticent to make those more drastic changes. One supported by Hunters United for Sunday Hunting is self-explanatory. The group says every neighboring state offers Sunday hunting. Another proposal endorsed by the Pa Farm Bureau is to extend the season to a third week, but only if Sunday hunting is excluded. The Farm Bureau also supports starting the season on the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving.