Historic full gun deer hunting weekend opens on average and normal


Pennsylvania’s historic first full gun deer hunting weekend opened rather normally on Saturday morning.

The participation rate of hunters has appeared at the same level as in other recent years, much lower than 20 or 30 years ago, but sufficient to find plenty of pickup trucks, SUVs and cars in most of the game areas of the world. ‘State, state forest and state park parking lots and roadside stops. .

The first shots of the season rang out in the twilight before sunrise, followed by intermittent rifle fire throughout the morning, normal for modern deer hunting in Pennsylvania, but a far cry from the regular gusts of typical shooting of the long past days.

Temperatures in the upper forties and lower fifties under partly cloudy skies made for a very pleasant start to the season, increasingly common in modern firearms hunting in a changeable but unprecedented climate in a historical context of snow in the on the ground and in the air, hand warmers in the pockets of thick coats and toes that seemed to freeze inside clunky, heavily insulated boots.

There was no physical clue to the historical significance of the weekend when first-time hunters can hunt deer with firearms on Saturdays and Sundays.

Prior to 2020, there was no deer hunt on Sundays in Pennsylvania. The legislative action leading the way followed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission action has opened the hunt on three Sundays this year: 1 for archery season, gun season for bears and now, the gun season for deer.

The implications of this change seem to be more internal to hunters who will or will not benefit from the new situation.

“It really took the pressure off,” said Adam Moyer of Pine Grove, who was returning to a parking lot in Swatara State Park in southern Schuylkill County with his 12-year-old daughter Amy. “We had to be here at first light. It’s day one and it’s probably always a stag’s best luck.

“But now I don’t feel like we have to be here all day. We’re going home. She has other things she wants to do this afternoon, but she says she will be back with me early tomorrow.

“Our chances should be as good on Sunday morning as they would be this afternoon. Other years, I would have tried to make her stay with me all day. This year, I don’t need it.

In Clarks Valley in northern Dauphin County, Frank Collins of Harrisburg didn’t see the same benefits as the Sunday deer hunt.

“I don’t think I’ll be back here tomorrow,” he said. “I didn’t want a Sunday hunt and I don’t think I’m going to use it.

“Maybe deer hunting needs a little tradition. Last year we opened on a Saturday. This year we are open today and we can hunt tomorrow. “

The 67-year-old added: “I guess soon the kids won’t be out of school on Monday. This is not the deer hunt that I grew up with.

Ellen Parks, of Millersburg, hunting in Weiser State Forest near Lykens in northern Dauphin County, was not concerned with Sunday hunting one way or the other.

“What a great day to be outside and forget everything home for a while, COVID, money, family, everything,” she said. “Here, it’s watching and listening to the deer and just being outside. I’m pretty sure I took a little nap around 10 a.m.

If you harvest a deer in any of the 2020-21s and want to share a photo of yourself with your trophy with PennLive readers, send the photo, along with name, hometown, date, time and the county where you shot the deer. to Marcus Schneck at [email protected].

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