Letter to Editor Woods & Waters
Dear Commissioner Daley
After reading the article in Pennsylvania Outdoor News that suggested a change in the Buck Season Opener, I decided to wait a few days to comment on it or I would probably say some things I would regret. Since you seem to be the driving force behind this movement, I will direct most of my comments to you.
For the members of our Potter County hunting camp, the three days between Thanksgiving and opening day are the best days of the year – we’re like kids before Christmas. Buck Season is the crown jewel of the hunting calendar, and the sweet anticipation of opening morning that envelops us during those three days is something that is shared by thousands of camp owners across Pennsylvania.
With that said, many years the anticipation surpasses the realization when opening day turns into a bust because of the weather, lack of deer sightings, or some other factor. But NOTHING can detract from the joy of traveling to the mountains on Friday morning, and savoring those three days at camp preparing for the #1 day of the year.
I don’t understand the ambivalence that you and some of your fellow commissioners have toward hunters and what they want – or in this case what they don’t want. Commissioner Foradora went as far to say: “People in deer camps in the northcentral region will probably oppose any change, but that’s not our future. The kids are our future.”
Thanx for that hand full of sand in the face Commissioner Foradora……strange comment coming from a man who is surrounded by camp owners in Clearfield County. You are biting the hands of the very people who have funded and supported the Agency for decades. Unlike the new hunters of today who need everything handed to them or made easy just to get them to participate, your older hunters will continue to hunt and buy licenses until they throw dirt on us!!
I am also totally baffled by your comment, “There’s not a reasonable argument to keep it a Monday opener……I guess what I come back to is, why wouldn’t we do it?” Is Tradition not a reasonable argument? The fact that anyone born since 1951 has never known anything but an opening day on the Monday after Thanksgiving? This is one of the very few hunting traditions we have left. Why would you even consider touching such a sacred Pennsylvania tradition – one of the few things about Pennsylvania hunting that isn’t broken….????
But aside from the emotional side of this issue – and lots of people are very emotional about it…..how can you disregard the 2014 and 2017 PGC surveys that specifically asked hunters about changing opening day? The respondents rejected this by a 2 to 1 margin!!
Commissioner Hoover was most insightful when he said that it will come down to what legislators have to say. In the world of a legislator a 2 to 1 margin is known as a landslide, and any legislator who values self-preservation would never support anything that is opposed by 67% of their constituents.
And lastly, can we please dispel the myth that people don’t hunt today because they don’t have time. Seems to me that we have the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, etc. that we had 50 years ago. In fact, deer season today is longer than it’s ever been! Not including the winter Flintlock Season, this year you could hunt deer on 62 days and 11 Saturdays. We don’t have a time issue – we have a PRIORITY issue! People have time for whatever is important to them. Your own 2017 Deer Hunting Survey said as much, stating that only 20% of those surveys didn’t hunt because of lack of time, but 19% stated it was a lack of deer sightings, and 14% said it was a lack of places to hunt. Funny how we don’t hear anything about increasing the size of the deer herd – even though it was only 1% behind those people who think they don’t have time..…yet you feel compelled to destroy a 55-year tradition.
I implore you to reconsider this initiative and focus your energies on the many things within your reach that really need attention, and don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken. Thank you.