Pennsylvania’s Opening Day For Deer Hunting Season Could Get Moved To Saturday

Feb 5, 2019

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is considering moving up the opening day of firearms deer season to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Commission spokesman Travis Lau said the goal of starting on a Saturday would be to provide more opportunity for more people to participate. Historically, opening day of deer rifle season is the Monday after Thanksgiving.

“We believe that there would be a whole array of hunters who now find it difficult to participate in that opening day that would benefit from moving the day,” Lau said.

That includes people who can’t get off work on Monday, students whose schools aren’t closed and college students who can’t take a day off from class.

Lau said there are those who like the tradition of a Monday opener.

“If we hear from what looks like a clear majority of hunters that this is something they don’t want, we will probably respect their wishes and set the season with the Monday opener," Lau said.

Another change in hunting rules might be on the horizon too. State Senator Dan Laughlin, R-Erie County, has introduced legislation allowing the Game Commission to permit hunting on Sundays.

Lau said if that legislation passes "there is much, much support on our board of game commissioners to expand Sunday hunting opportunities if given that authority.”

The final vote by the Board of Game Commissioners on moving opening day to Saturday will happen in April. Pennsylvanians can give feedback to the Game Commission by sending an email to