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Not Everyone Is On Board With Starting Hunting Season On Saturday After Thanksgiving

HARRISBURG (KDKA) -- It's a change designed to draw hunters across Pennsylvania by starting the hunting season the Saturday after Thanksgiving, instead of the Monday.

But not everyone is on board.

Starting in 2020, a new law gives Pennsylvania hunters the opportunity to hunt big-game animals three Sundays a year.

Since then, the state Game Commission switched the start date to the Saturdays starting the weekend after Thanksgiving.

State Rep. Bill Kurtz prefers starting on Sunday, saying it gives hunters more time to prepare.

"Because of the holiday, Thanksgiving holiday, being buttressed right there close to that weekend, I think it's problematic to have a Saturday start," Kurtz said.

Randy Santucci, the southwest regional director for Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, is also against the Saturday start date, saying it hurts small businesses that count on thousands in revenue from the hunters traveling to the camps.

He says it also impacts first responders.

"They utilize the influx of these hunters into these small communities. It was a big, big weekend and the would do gun raffles, dinners and so forth," Santucci said.

Members of the state Game Commission Board of Commissioners are meeting with hunters, lawmakers and others to discuss the pros and cons of starting on Saturdays.

"You look at millennials 29 to 40, 23 to 49-year-old folks — they have limited time. It's harder to get out and find time. ... We found that availability to hunt is the biggest limiting factor for people," Bryan Burhons of the Game Commission said.

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