Saturday start to deer rifle season sparks mixed reactions

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For the first time in 55 years, hunters in Pennsylvania will have a chance to head into the woods early for deer rifle season.  

The Game Commission voted 5 to 3 Tuesday to move up the start of the season by two days, from the Monday after Thanksgiving to Saturday.

Moving the opening day creates a 13 day season that includes three Saturdays.

Officials said the change could encourage more younger hunters to participate.

While some outdoor enthusiasts are welcoming the early start, others are disappointed by the disruption to the Thanksgiving holiday.

“If you sit down and look at the big picture, it’s more money for the Game Commission, and it allows us to do what we want to do,” said Scott Dunkelberger.

“It kind of takes away a tradition,” said Tink Lim.  “We ruin so many traditions.  Look at Black Friday now with everyone opening on Thanksgiving, and I just hate to see those traditions go away.”

The Game Commission said it will track the response to the Saturday start through license sales, deer harvest, and comments about the change.

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