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Game Commission Proposing Sunday Hunting Dates

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. — Rifle deer hunting season in Pennsylvania used to start on the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Last year, the Pennsylvania Game Commissio...

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. -- Rifle deer hunting season in Pennsylvania used to start on the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Last year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission changed it for the first time in more than 50 years.  Deer season started the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

According to the Game Commission, the switch to a Saturday opening day led to an increase in license sales for just the 13th time in 36 years.

The Game Commission said around 3,000 more licenses were sold this year than last year.

But the Saturday start did come with a bit of controversy.

“For me not much, I’m retired.  But for other people, I’m sure it helped,” Keith Bonner said.

Another change is coming for this season.  At its meeting over the weekend, the Pennsylvania Game Commission put three proposed Sunday dates on this year's hunting schedule, including the first Sunday of rifle deer season, meaning hunting all weekend, right after Thanksgiving.

“There’s a lot of places around that’s getting an overabundance of deer and bear," Francis Morgan said, adding that he thinks it’s a good idea.

Some people we spoke with like the idea of Sunday hunting.

“I like it, yeah.  It gives people an opportunity to hunt that can’t hunt during the week,” Bonner said.

Others disagree.

“No hunting on Sundays,” Skip Shaffer said.

Skip Shaffer tells Newswatch 16 he won't hunt on Sundays.

“I’m not a real going to church person, but I do believe in God, and Sunday is a day of rest.  I believe in that,” Shaffer said.

“My dad always told me that Sunday was, after chasing deer all day Saturday and through the week, it was their time to rest,” Randall Bubb said.

The other two Sundays would be November 15 for archery deer season and November 22 for bear season.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is expected to make its final decision on those Sunday hunting dates at its next meeting in April.

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