Pennsylvania Game Commission's draft agenda provides hints about 2020 hunting schedule
The Pennsylvania Game Commission's draft agenda for its Jan. 25 meeting gives some hints about what hunters might expect in two areas in 2020: Sunday hunting and the Saturday deer opener.
In its initial draft of seasons and bag limits for the commonwealth's 2020-21 seasons, the Game Commission lists Sunday hunting on three consecutive weekends: deer archery season on Nov. 15, bear season on Nov. 22 and deer firearms season on Nov. 29.
The draft of the seasons also includes a second consecutive Saturday opener for buck season on Nov. 28. If the seasons and bag limits are passed in April, that would mean that buck season would start on a Saturday and run eight consecutive days through Saturday, Dec. 5, before a day off. The rest of the season would then run Dec. 7-12.
The state House of Representatives and Senate each voted in 2019 to allow Sunday hunting for the first time in 2020. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law on Nov. 27.
The law permits Sunday hunting on one day during rifle deer season and one during statewide archery deer season. The third Sunday, which is the prerogative of the Game Commission, has tentatively been scheduled for bear season.
The PGC made a big change in 2019 when it opened the deer firearms season on a Saturday, breaking from 55 years of tradition during which the season had started on a Monday.
Travis Lau, the Pennsylvania Game Commission's press secretary, emphasized on Monday that the meeting agenda is "just a starting point" and the dates can be changed.
The PGC will meet Jan. 24 in Harrisburg to hear reports from staff. On Jan. 25, the commissioners will listen to comments from the public before discussing the agenda items, including the season dates.
The final seasons and bag limits are expected to be passed in April.