Deer hunting opening day moving to Saturday from Monday

April 9, 2019 GMT

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Deer hunting season in Pennsylvania will be starting on a Saturday rather than a Monday beginning next season.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission voted 5-3 Tuesday to move opening day of deer rifle season to the first Saturday after thanksgiving.

Rifle season for hunting deer in Pennsylvania has kicked off the Monday after Thanksgiving since 1963. The change expands the firearms season to 13-days, including three Saturdays rather than two.

Supporters hope a Saturday opening will bring back people struggling to find time to hunt and help high school and college hunters who don’t get opening day off from school. Opponents said the change would interfere with hunting camp traditions and complicate travel during the Thanksgiving weekend.


To accommodate the expanded deer season, the late November turkey hunting season has been reduced by two days.

The commission also approved:

— expanding the mid-October muzzleloader and special firearms deer seasons to include bears;

— an expanded two-week archery bear season;

— expanding the bear season from four to seven days in most wildlife management units;

—expanding the late archery and flintlock deer seasons by more than a week, to end on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday; and

— establishing a September archery season and a January antlerless season for elk hunters.

The board gave preliminary approval to the proposals in January.