Kortz urges Pa. Game Commission to reconsider start day of rifle deer season

HARRISBURG, April 6 – In anticipation of an upcoming vote by the Pennsylvania Game Commission regarding a permanent change to the beginning of rifle deer season, state Rep. Bill Kortz has provided testimony, urging the commission members to consider alternatives, based on feedback from several hunters in his district.

Kortz, D-Allegheny, who serves as Democratic chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee, said the results from a recent survey showed many in his district did not agree with a change to the start date of rifle deer season last year. In 2019, the start date was changed to the Saturday following the Thanksgiving holiday from the traditional Monday start following the holiday. He said many hunters felt that change resulted in a huge intrusion into family time, hunter preparation time and camp time. In addition, he added this change significantly hurt many small rural businesses, volunteer fire departments and clubs that depend on the hunters the week after Thanksgiving.

“That was reflected in the results of my survey, which showed 61% of respondents want the opening day to revert back to the Monday after Thanksgiving,” Kortz said.

In his testimony, Kortz offered the commission the following alternative, one he said would provide more hunting opportunities for rifle deer hunters and give more access to college students on the first weekend:

  • Return the first day of rifle deer season to the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • Allow for an additional day of rifle deer hunting season on the following Sunday (six days after the Monday start). In other words, start the first Monday after Thanksgiving and go straight through for two weeks.

The commission is expected to vote on a change to the start of rifle deer season on Tuesday, April 7.