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Changes coming to deer hunting season in Western Pa.

PITTSBURGH — Many hunters in western Pennsylvania aren’t happy about a change to the start of deer hunting season.

For the first time in decades, rifle season will start the Saturday after Thanksgiving – giving hunters an earlier start to the season.

Cyber Monday was already a big day. Many schools closed and people took the day off for the first day of deer hunting season, but this new move is one many in our area don't like.

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"There's this whole tradition around Thanksgiving and the New Black Friday, and then everybody goes to go to hunting camp or whatever their tradition is, and then they cook out a sight in their guns on Saturday," said Calley Connelly, a hunter from Sewickley.

The game commission made the decision to stick with a Saturday start during a contentious vote in April. The final tally was 5-3.

One of the people who voted against it -- Jim Daley, of Butler -- resigned from the commission days later.


The commission did a survey of more than 1,100 hunters, and 81% of them were against a Saturday start.

However, they also surveyed hunters who let their licenses expire. About 24% of them said they would renew with a Saturday opener.

And if one big change wasn't enough for hunters, another one could start next year: Sunday hunting.

State Sen. Jim Brewster introduced the bill in state legislature. He said he feels the change is important to give children and students the opportunity to hunt.

"We want them to be able to do it legally. We don't want them skipping school," Brewster said.

If passed, it is sure to be a change with more mixed reviews.

Buck firearm season ends Dec. 6, while Doe season goes until Dec. 14.

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