WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. (WKBN) – Pennsylvania is expanding hunting to get more people out into the woods. The changes approved are all centered around big game — deer, elk and black bears.
One big change is deer gun season will start sooner — the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Lawmakers are also considering expanding Sunday hunting to include all game.
Both merchants and sportsmen hope this will create opportunities for all sportsmen. They think it could draw in younger hunters and people who work Monday through Friday.
Chad Taylor is the President of Shooters Supplies in West Middlesex .
“It’s really not going to impact us all that much but one of the benefits of it, it is going to get more youth interested in hunting, potentially,” said Chad Taylor, president of Shooters Supplies in West Middlesex. “Every year, there seems to be fewer and fewer hunters, so anything we can do to get kids out in the woods will be beneficial.”
Pennsylvania used to boast over a million hunters but those numbers have fallen below 600,000 in the last few years.
Dan Fiore, with the Bessemer Rod and Gun Club, also favors the expanded opportunities Sunday hunting would bring.
“I think Sunday hunting is a good idea because it gives the youth and people that work more time to get out into the woods, enjoy the outdoors. Saturday, Sunday you can hunt,” he said.
Other changes this year include an eight-day October muzzleloader season for bears.
Plus, elk hunting has been expanded to include a bow-only season and a late season hunt in January. Hunters have to enter a lottery system to get one of those 142 tags to hunt elk.
The proposed Sunday hunting changes are not approved yet, but lawmakers are debating it in Senate Bill 147.