Game commission expects 550,000 hunters to open deer season

HARRISBURG (AP) — The Pennsylvania Game Commission expects about 550,000 hunters to take to the woods as the state’s 12-day deer rifle season opens.

The game commission has previously estimated that about 750,000 hunters — or roughly 75 percent of those with licenses — hunt on the opening day of rifle season.

But commission spokesman Travis Lau says that estimate is dropping because more hunters are taking deer during archery season.

The game commission says archery license sales have increased every year since 2007.

That doesn’t mean Monday’s opening of rifle season is no longer a big deal, however.

Last year, 27 percent of the total deer harvest occurred on the first day of rifle season, and similar numbers are expected Monday.

Some schools are on holiday for Monday, too.