Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Contributed photo If given final approval in April, the PGC Board is considering moving the opening day of the rifle deer season to a Saturday instead of a Monday as in seasons past. Copyright - Howard Communications http://www.howardcommunications.com Contributed photo If given final approval in April, the PGC Board is considering moving the opening day of the rifle deer season to a Saturday instead of a Monday as in seasons past. Copyright - Howard Communications http://www.howardcommunications.com

Outdoors: Opening day of rifle could move to a Saturday

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by nick hromiak Special to the Press in Sports

If the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners approves it at their April 9 meeting, deer hunters in Pennsylvania may see a major change in the start of the rifle deer season.

The major change is moving the traditional Monday after Thanksgiving Day start of the rifle deer season to Saturday after turkey day. This proposal will surely bring about conversation among sportsmen.

For some, starting on a Saturday is nice for hunters who can’t take off from work on a Monday. For youth hunters, it means missing a day of school in districts who no longer have off that day.

For others, it may mess up their hunting camp departure plans.

Moving the start of the season creates a 13-day season that includes three Saturdays says the PGC.

Other proposals include: shortening to two days the late November turkey seasons to accommodate a Saturday firearms deer opener; expanding the mid-October muzzleloader and special firearms deer seasons to include bears statewide; increasing to two weeks the length of the statewide archery bear season and shifting it to the two weeks following the muzzleloader and special firearms bear seasons; expanding four-day extended bear seasons to six days in most wildlife management units (WMUs) where they are held; establishing a September archery season and a January antlerless season for elk hunters.

But that’s not all.

Another proposal would eliminate the requirement to wear fluorescent orange at any time while archery hunting for deer or bear. This would eliminate all overlap periods when archery hunters are required to wear varying amounts of fluorescent orange while moving or posting orange material while in a fixed position.

The proposal also would eliminate the requirement for fall turkey hunters to wear fluorescent orange material.

After it was voted down last year, the PGC Board will again entertain a proposal to allow semi-automatic rifles for big game in the 2019-20 license year. But on 2-1-19, the OGC rescinded that proposal so it will not be discussed and voted upon at their meeting.

The PGC Board also gave preliminary approval to fall turkey seasons and spring gobbler dates for 2020.

With final approval, the fall season in WMUs 1A, 2A, 4A and 4B would be one week (Nov. 2-9), plus a two-day Thanksgiving season (Nov. 28-29). In WMU 1B, the season would remain one week ((No. 2-9) with no Thanksgiving season.

In WMU 2B (shotgun and bow only), the season would run Nov. 2-22 and Nov. 28-29. In WMU 2C, the season would be Nov. 2-22 and Nov. 28-29.

Elsewhere in WMUs 2D, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H,3A, 3C, 4C, 4D and 4E, the season would run Nov. 2-16 and Nov. 28-29.

In WMU 5A, the season runs Nov. 7-9; WMU 5B, Nov. 5-7; and in local WMU 5C and 5D, the season remains closed for the fall seasons as it has in the past.