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Board to Study Deer Opener


Members of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners met last week with state House of Representatives Game and Fisheries Committee Majority Chairman Keith Gillespie (R-York) and Minority Chairman Bill Kortz (D-Allegheny) to discuss the Saturday opener to Pennsylvania’s firearms deer season, which the board adopted earlier this month when it set seasons and bag limits for the 2019-20 license year.

Since 1963, Pennsylvania’s firearms deer season consistently has opened the Monday after Thanksgiving,

Hunter concerns over moving to a Saturday opener prompted Gillespie and Kortz to meet this week with Tim Layton, the president of the Board of Game Commissioners, and some other board members.

While the 2019 deer season will open on Saturday, Nov. 30, Layton assured the committee chairmen the Board of Commissioners in the coming year will be looking very closely at the potential benefits and drawbacks of a Saturday opener. The commissioners will be looking to see if there’s evidence the Saturday opener increased hunting license sales and hunter success, and looking to gauge the opinions of hunters who will have taken part in the state’s first Saturday opener in decades.


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