New 2011 Hunting Regs Worth Looking Forward To
I’m looking forward to hunting turkeys in the fall again.
Not that I don’t look forward to the fall turkey season every
year, but after experiencing the new split season that was in place
for 2010, it was hard to get excited for a repeat in 2011.
Two reasons: The fact that the season started a week later and a
Saturday was taken away didn’t help; and splitting the season to
accommodate the three-day bear season, and re-opening it on
Thanksgiving, just seemed to make things a bit lackluster.
Even though fall turkey hunting is one of my passions, I have to
admit my mind was on the upcoming rifle deer season – not turkeys –
when Thanksgiving rolled around.
I have a feeling many other turkey hunters were thinking the same
thing. According to figures from biologist Mary Jo Casalena, only
five percent of the 2010 fall turkey harvest occurred on
Thanksgiving. The bulk of the harvest occurred on the first
Saturday and during the first week.
But thanks to a motion approved by the Pennsylvania Game Commission
board during its meeting on Tuesday, I’m once again optimistic
about the fall turkey season.
That’s because they moved the start date to Oct. 29. the Saturday
before Halloween. The move gives us an additional week (including
another Saturday) to hunt turkeys, and restores the traditional
opening day that always falls on the Saturday nearest to
The board passed a few other motions that make sense.
Adding a fourth day to the rifle bear season (Wednesday, Nov. 23)
while keeping the Saturday opener was necessary considering last
season’s harvest fell below expectations.
And tweaking the antler restriction for the WMUs in southwestern
Pennsylvania, from four points on one side to “three up” means a
lot less hunters will be squinting through their scopes trying to
make out a brow tine. Under the change, a buck needs to have two
points on its main beam that are greater than an inch. No more
looking for brow tines.
I’d guess that the majority of bucks that have three points on a
main beam also have a brow tine, so making the change shouldn’t
have a negative impact on the integrity of antler
Another week to hunt fall turkeys, an extra day to pursue bear and
an antlered deer season that is easier on the eyes – they all sound
like pretty logical changes to me.