Deer Season Opener Remains on Saturday

Gregory Vellner
Deer season opener remains on Saturday after Thanksgiving.Photo byLaura CollegeonUnsplash

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania firearms deer season will continue to open on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, the state Game Commission decided this weekend after citing increased license sales by female hunters and 18- to 34-year olds.

The opener has been in place since 2019 when the Game Commission moved it from the Monday after the holiday. In recent weeks there have been calls by some, including a GOP lawmaker atop a key state House Committee. To reset it to Monday.

“The seasons and bag limits adopted by the board would continue with a Saturday opener to the firearms deer season,” said Travis Lau, spokesman for the Game Commission.

Lau said license data “demonstrates a positive change” following the implementation of the Saturday opener.

“In particular,” he said, “data shows the move to a Saturday opener was followed by increased license sales by hunters ages 18 to 34 and by female hunters.”

The Game Commission decision in2019 to open the season on Saturday was met with approval by many hunters citing a conflict with work and the Monday opening. In recent weeks, however, the debate has risen, increased by calls to return to a Monday start day.

David Maloney, a Berks County representative and Republican chair of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, said that as an accomplished hunter he wants to make the start day permanently set on the Monday after thanksgiving.

Maloney said hunters “prefer” a Monday start.

Following its meeting, when the board of commissioners gave final approval to the 2023-24 hunting and trapping seasons ad bag limits, the Game Commission announced 1.9 million antlerless deer licenses will be allocated statewide for 2023-24, which is up from the 948,000 licenses allocated for 2022-23.

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As a professional journalist for several years -- reporter, editor, feature writer, columnist -- I handled a range of subjects. Breaking news, investigative series, government action, feature events, and staff feature writer with national entertainment magazine interviewing stars including Tom Selleck, Mel Brooks and Danny DeVito. No matter the topic, certain ingredients are key: truth, facts, objectivity, balance.

Bucks County, PA

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