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Our opinion: Season’s start more than hunting

If one believes in polling data, then no one is going to be happy with the starting date of Pennsylvania’s rifle hunting season.

Hunting season has traditionally begun the Monday after Thanksgiving — creating a veritable holiday for hunters and a busy business day for small businesses and, just as importantly, service organizations like fire departments that hosted fundraisers based on the opening day. In 2019 the state Game Commission moved the start of the hunting season to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

We understand the reasoning behind the move. Opening up an additional weekend of hunting was seen as a way to help those whose work schedules made the traditional opening day difficult.

A December survey showed 60% of the state’s deer hunters support the Saturday opening of hunting season — and we have a feeling that’s what the Game Commission will use to make its decision.

The problem is the start of hunting season affects more than just hunters. As we mentioned, it affects businesses and service organizations who are howling about what the money the change has cost them.

There are competing interests at play here — but the decision-making body is really only asked to worry about hunters.

The Game Commission isn’t asked to worry about businesses and service organizations, and we don’t really expect the commission to take them into account now.

If tradition is to be restored, look for a legislative solution rather than an administrative solution.

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