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t.shaffer 11-30-2019 10:48 PM

pennsylvania's first opening saturday so how was it?
well how was pa's first opening saturday.? did it seem weird to be out on that day instead of the tradition monday opener ? hopefully next years opener will also be the saturday after thanksgiving & along with the first sunday for firearms season. diffently maybe considering to hunt pa next year with my older brother

Bocajnala 12-01-2019 02:37 AM

I personally don't like it. YET. I'm sure as I get used to it it'll grow on me.

I'm one of those that have to go to camp and get set up. And a Saturday opener just made it very rushed.

Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving we typically get to camp, set up, visit, small game hunt, etc. And I've always enjoyed those days.

Like I said, I'll get used to it I'm sure. And it'll become normal. But it did feel rushed to me. I think overall it's good for the hunters though-there were definitely more people out this year.

There were a ton of hunters out. Saturday opener+beautiful weather. Very little shooting around us though.. One younger cousin took his first deer. A 5x1. Would have been a very nice buck if both sides matched. And another cousin got a 6 point. That's all between fourteen of us.

A great first day in my book. I saw about 15 doe and three illegal buck.


mrbb 12-01-2019 07:57 AM

was very lively here, tons of shooting, and pretty sure they killed a bunch of bears here as well
if the goal is dropping numbers again, on bars and deer I think it is for sure working

other wise I preferred the Monday opening too, for about same reasons,m
holiday and then running off to get to camp or, makes for short time
as well as , in my hunting camps we had a lot of traditions that went on on Saturday, a turkey shoot, get together with all members to find out plans for Monday morning and so on
NOW< its more a hurry up show up free for all

I gather in time things cn a be adjusted, but was nicer to have the down time from holiday traveling to deer camp transition
but pretty sure I will be a notoriety here, as modern folks seem to like to rush it seems LOL, ,

blksn8k 12-02-2019 04:06 PM

I got my buck during archery season so I didn't hunt on Saturday. As a matter of fact, I was returning from spending the holiday with relatives in Ohio and didn't get home until about 4 PM on Saturday. What really surprised me was that when we left the house to go out for dinner later that afternoon there were over fifteen deer in the neighbor's field at the end of my driveway and we saw six more deer in nearby fields before dark. If I didn't know better I never would have guessed it was the first day of deer season. Very strange.

I suspect a lot of hunters are spooked about CWD. I received a letter from the PGC last week asking me to purchase left-over doe tags that were issued for this area because of CWD. I am in DMA 3 and the letter stated that one wild infected deer was found within five miles of my property. That happened a couple of years ago on a State Game Lands. As far as I know there have not been any other wild deer found with CWD near here since then but there was at least one found on a deer farm about fifteen miles from here in the last year. I assume the next thing to deal with will be the PGC wanting to send sharp shooters onto my land to kill off as many deer as they can.

I submitted the head from my buck this year for CWD testing and it came back negative, sort of. The PGC test results letter that I received had a couple of CYA statements in it that basically said the test was not a food safety test and although no signs of CWD were found in my deer head they could not guarantee that the deer was CWD free. Didn't exactly give me a warm fuzzy feeling. IMO the only reason to get your deer tested is to help the PGC monitor the spread of CWD and that's it! They will not tell you whether or not it is safe to eat.

Bocajnala 12-02-2019 05:48 PM

They don't know what's safe or not safe with cwd. Nobody does.

I hate to complain about having more days to hunt. But most people I've talked to really didn't care for the Saturday opener. Just "feels" weird.
​​​​​​ Again, I hate to complain about additional hunting days.

One thing I know, it will benefit my kids when they start hunting. Having three Saturdays to hunt is better than just two. Especially being Ohio residents now- we don't get the first Monday off school.


bronko22000 12-03-2019 04:38 AM

I don't know how it was. I was nice and cozy under the covers as I got my buck during archery season. I guess I could have gone out for bear here in WMU 4E but my freezers are full and I really don't care to shoot another bear in PA. And I know I will if I see one as long as it isn't a little one. I'd rather save the trophy for someone else. (Right friend?)

Bocajnala 12-03-2019 07:38 AM


Lol, and believe me it's appreciated!


Mr. Slim 12-05-2019 02:36 PM

Tom, if you do come back to Pa. to hunt next year be sure to let me know. be nice to see you again. been many years. as far as Saturday opener next year i hope it goes back to Monday. i heard one shot all day on Saturday. i dont think there were as many hunters out on Saturday. deer were not moving at all.

edmehlig 12-05-2019 05:19 PM

WOW, where I hunted there was hardly any shooting at all. I think all morning I heard 4-5 shots and they were far away. In fact, we only say one doe and it was a little one that we let walk. We were wondering if Saturday was truly opening day.

t.shaffer 12-05-2019 05:57 PM

will do mr.slim & yes it would be good to see ya. i just remember all the hunts on lefty stovers property with you & the buffilini's alot of good memories

GOOD OLE BOY 12-24-2019 06:06 PM

Originally Posted by edmehlig (Post 4366046)
WOW, where I hunted there was hardly any shooting at all. I think all morning I heard 4-5 shots and they were far away. In fact, we only say one doe and it was a little one that we let walk. We were wondering if Saturday was truly opening day.

Yep.The openin day was slow here as well and figured on Monday it would pick up.It didn,t.I live in farm country.

Uncle Nicky 01-10-2020 03:58 AM

I like the concept, more opportunities for those who have busy lives, have off on weekends, or kids involved with multiple weekend activities.

Personally, I had enjoyable day, other than having a yahoo set up 60 yards away from me, but that's public land hunting in PA. My buddy dropped 1 around 10:30, I got up to help him drag it out, warmed me up quickly. Hoping they allow Sunday hunting for deer sooner than later.

Oldtimr 01-10-2020 04:30 AM

Pretty much the opinion of lots of PA hunters, they should have left the opening day alone!

Central PA Sportsman 01-10-2020 05:59 AM

Assuming most hunters, resident and non, attend camps because that's what PA is known for. I hope they go back to a Monday opener and give hunters the middle Sunday for hunting. Allow first weekend for camp arrivals, last minute preparation and catching up with fellow hunters and friends. As a small business owner and fellow hunter I feel this is a better option to what they did this season. As we know the Game Commission and State legislature will do what they want and it's usually not the best decision.
I also need to add that my feelings are that most non resident hunters are former residents or have a connection to PA hunting so I wish others wouldn't always be so critical of them, hunters should stick together. My peace or piece said.

Oldtimr 01-10-2020 12:51 PM

Actually, the legislature and the Governor's office was upset over the change to a Saturday opener because they were over whelmed with complaints about it and one Commissioner resigned over it.

t.shaffer 01-10-2020 01:25 PM

the more time i can get to hunt the happier i am. really don't understand what the issue is . if you don't want to hunt opening day on saturday & continue on sunday just wait to monday & go. in ohio we can hunt sundays & i love that . ohio is talking about opening the saturday after thanksgiving & going to the follow sunday. giving gun hunters 2 extradays especially when week day hunting is pretty much gone now a days

Oldtimr 01-10-2020 02:04 PM

That is the same nonsense that those who favored the stupid change were spewing. What you fail to understand is that the change messed up things for thousands of hunters who have a camp tradition and the way things are today the loss of tradition is a very bad thing. For a few whiners the opening day was changed and it does not make up for the damage it did to those who have the camp tradition. It creates a problem for camp hunters to be with their families on Thanksgiving and then heading for camp and taking care of all the things necessary to prepare the camp for the season. You hunt in Ohio, I suppose Ohio has their own traditions but it is obvious you do not understand the damage that was done with the stupid change of the opening day. When a change hurts as many or more than it helps, it should not be considered, to help the Johnny come lately snowflakes who thought they should be catered to the PGC stuck it to loyal and persistent hunters. I hope they change it back fir the 20/21 season.

t.shaffer 01-11-2020 03:15 AM

old timer i used to live in pa & hunt pa even when i now live in ohio. yes there are traditions but alot of the old family traditions are gone . the old timers are now gone & newer generations are coming in if at all . i used to know of aleast 3 hunting camps if not more that was alive & well during the 1970's thru the 1990's & as members passed away so did the hunting camps & traditions . the 3 camps i know of have not been hunted out of since the late 90's & early 2000's . they are now just collapsed sheds now. just a shame that has happened . 1 place i know is in forclosure due to delinquent property taxes from 2005. somebody will gobble it up & may build a cabin there so they can rent it out to summer vacationers . let's face it hunting is dieing off the average age for a hunter in now in his/ her 50's pgc is tring it's best to reintroduce hunting to the youth now & really the only time they have now is the weekends . they are all so tied up with personal business & work during the weekdays .another thing here in ohio traditions are'nt what they used to be the saturday & sunday before gun season i 77 south was a very busy hiway into southern oh . now if you travel on i 77 those 2 days you lucky to see a camper of a truck load of guys heading south. they are tring to open ohio gun season on the saturday after thanksgiving & the big fight here is well that's the OHIO STATE VS MICHIGAN FOOTBALL GAME day . what i think is we all fear change

Bocajnala 01-11-2020 04:19 AM

Most hunter DON'T hunt out of camps anymore though. Take a drive north of 80 during deer or bear season- many of the camps sit empty. Many are abandoned and falling apart.

Allot of the camps that are active are mostly older men who are there for the camp atmosphere, but really aren't that serious about hunting. Fact is that most people now hunt close to home, and most people are doing it in their spare time instead of taking the week off to hunt. Even public lands are dead on Tuesday of the first week. People are doing allot more hunting locally, they're hunting archery seasons on their off days, etc.

I still hunt out of a camp, and I personally would prefer the Monday opener 'the way it's always been.' We usually have 6-10 staying at our camp and 15-20 who show up to hunt and put on drives. The Monday opener was always nice and it allowed us time to travel over there and get set up. Friday and Saturday was often spent small game hunting, shooting, visiting, and we always had a big dinner on Saturday. We still had the dinner this year but those of us who were hunting didn't show up until 6-630.

BUT- I recognize that a Saturday opener is probably better for hunting as a whole. Especially for the kids. It's easier to get them involved and interested. And the camp argument just really isn't an argument in my opinion. Hunting camps are becoming a thing of the past unfortunately. If it gets more people involved it's a good thing.

The average age of hunters being in their 50s is a BAD thing. Where does that leaves us 20, 30 years from now? Without youngsters coming in, the sport is in trouble. Changes have to be made to help get them involved. Even if I don't really like the changes personally.

I think I said it earlier in this thread but..... Who complains about having more days to hunt? I mean really... It's more opportunity. What is there to complain about. If you don't want to hunt, don't.


t.shaffer 01-11-2020 10:43 AM

jake i believe you have hit the nail on the head. camps are not what they use to be. we use to go to southern ohio for deer gun season. for the whole week & have a ton on fun & brought back allot of deer too. there were 11 of us . well the younger guys got married & settled down to there families . which brought me to hunting closer to home . and who can complain about extra days to hunt . like you sad kids don't skip school anymore to hunt & especially with all the social life & activities after school. so when they can get out & hunt especially during the weekends that's a good thing for my sportsman club we would put on hunter education about 2 times a month twenty yrs ago. now we are lucky if we put on 2 to 3 classes a year.hunting is becoming a dying sport. even worse a rich man's sport due to all the expensive leasing going on. what has the hunting world come to ? let's perserve this sport by getting out more & even better let's get the youth of our world involved.

Central PA Sportsman 01-12-2020 07:39 AM

Originally Posted by t.shaffer (Post 4368397)
the more time i can get to hunt the happier i am. really don't understand what the issue is . if you don't want to hunt opening day on saturday & continue on sunday just wait to monday & go. in ohio we can hunt sundays & i love that . ohio is talking about opening the saturday after thanksgiving & going to the follow sunday. giving gun hunters 2 extradays especially when week day hunting is pretty much gone now a days

Week day hunting isn't gone unless you chose not to hunt. It also sounds as though you only get 1 week, I'm unfamiliar with Ohio seasons.

Mr. Slim 01-16-2020 02:19 PM

i know getting kids started hunting is harder now a days. they would rather sit and play video games. kids today arent like us older folks we were outside from sun up to sunset. during the summer we were hunting, fishing, playing baseball, or roaming the woods. also i think that camps are suffering is that today we have game like turkey and bear in parts of Pa. that we didnt have before. i remember when the only way to see turkey and bear you had to go up to the mountains. i see both of those right near the house. could also be that people are moving out of Pa. to find work. my son had to move because he couldnt find a teaching job here in Pa.

t.shaffer 01-17-2020 04:14 AM

you're right mr. slim during the summer we spent allot of time playing little league baseball. now that hardly exist anymore . also how much time we spent down in drummonds hollow & across the river up in maysville or even at lefty stovers or my uncle andy's that time you were lucky to even see a deer. mostly small game . & if you did kill a deer you usually made the paper in avonmore or the local paper.. bear or turkey you went to the mountains. do you remember the hunters breakfast that they use to hold on opening morning either in avonmore or saltsburg oh what great times that was in the 70's . miss those days & everybody or about family had kid's hunting. today they are either into sports or social media or into those damn video games . killing people or even worse bad guy's killing cops. what the heck is going on with our kids today.

Mr Longbeard 01-23-2020 01:22 PM

I don’t like it because I hunt Md also so I got the chance to hunt opening day in both states now I have to choose...

t.shaffer 01-24-2020 06:18 AM

heard ohio is thinking about a saturday opener also. i would pick the best state & go there .

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