No matter on which side of the conversation you were on, history will be made this hunting season in Pennsylvania. For the first time ever, hunters will be legally allowed to hunt deer and bear on a Sunday expanding opportunities for hunters whose time is at a premium with work, school, and other family activities.
You may have seen the headlines back in the spring and even sifted through an article or two when the announcement was made. Now that historic change is close on the calendar, some may not know when, and what can be hunted these first Sundays.
The final approval was given to the dates of November 15 for archery deer hunting, November 22 for firearms bear hunting, and November 29 for firearms deer hunting. This three-week span undoubtedly provides an enormous opportunity for green or seasoned hunters and their families to make the most out of limited time afield.
The first Sunday during archery season for deer is not only an extra chance to fill that tag alone, it also occurs during a coveted, although debated and always changing, timing of the whitetail breeding season known to archery hunters as the rut. Bucks consumed with the yearly focus on breeding with receptive does tend to throw caution aside and come out of hiding providing an opportunity to hunters at larger bucks who most of the year spend their time hiding and moving at night.
November 22 brings a gift in the form of a firearms bear hunting opportunity, which if you’ve never participated in hunting for bear here in the keystone state, try to make friends with someone who’ll take you. The experience to hunt these elusive animals in some of the state’s prettiest country is a challenge well worth the effort. Having that first Sunday really opens things up to hunters who may have limited vacation time to use on an already limited season.
Finally, the tradition of traditions in Pennsylvania, the firearms season for whitetail deer. Generations of hunters can search back through some of their favorite memories of hunting with family and friends, here and gone, on those frosty mornings waiting for that shot. Corkboards in camps across the state are filled the pictures of past seasons. Cherished memories hanging there with every thumbtack.
Now hunters young and old have a chance to make more of those memories. Especially those families with limited time to spare, that in recent years elected not to go at all because a single day wasn’t worth time and money to go. This also benefits those communities in the state that rely on hunter dollars coming in as a result of this tradition. Revenue that had been declining hopefully now, will be infused back into these communities as hunters can justify spending money on a trip to the woods.
Whether you’ve had these dates circled on your calendar, or didn’t know about them, try to take advantage of this historic opportunity. This change has come after decades of debate in a state with a rich hunting tradition and an incredible opportunity for game on abundant public and private land. This is something a lot of individuals and organizations fought to achieve in the newspapers and the halls of the state capital. You’re likely to interact with other hunters and non-hunters out there who may not know the new regulations. Be safe and respectful, we as hunters get to see and take part in a lot of incredible things while hunting not everyone understands.
From all of us at Kinsey’s Outdoors be excited, be safe, best of luck, and let us know how you do out there.