Permanent Daylight Savings Time: What if?
The poll question in the March 11 edition of New York Outdoor News (and also posted on this website, for now) asks our readers how they feel about Daylight Savings Time. Basically, should we observe DST or not?
I’d like to think the U.S. Senate saw that poll before approving legislation earlier this week that would make Daylight Savings Time permanent. That means no observation of Standard Time, which we would normally switch back to next fall. Should the legislation pass, things would stay just as they are right now.
So what does that mean for us outdoors folks if the House and President Biden approve?
Well, from now until late October or early November, when the fall time change usually takes place, things would be the way they usually are. But come late-fall and winter – during the heart of deer and ice fishing seasons – things will be much, much different.
Deer hunters, and everyone else who operates around sunrise and sunset, will be sleeping in as November wears on into December. On Sunday, Nov. 6, when sunrise would be at 6:35 a.m. in Albany, it will instead be an hour later and sunset would be 5:39 p.m.
How about Nov. 19 – opening day of the Southern Zone regular deer and bear season? You’re looking at a 7:52 a.m. sunrise and and a 5:25 p.m. sunset around Albany. The latest sunrise would be 8:26 a.m. following the Winter Solstice, and the earliest sunset would be 5:21 p.m around that same time.
Overall, as a friend who likes to practice some interesting phraseology would say, “it’s going be early a lot later and later not as early.” If you’re a deer hunter who usually squeezes in a hunt before work, that might be in jeopardy, but there will be more time at the end of the day for after-work, and after-school hunting.
By comparison, imagine if we continued to observe Standard Time, meaning we didn’t make a spring time change. We turkey hunters would have to get up an hour earlier than we do already, and in the summer it would be light many mornings prior to 4 a.m.
One thing is for sure, and there have been surveys on this topic, is that many Americans are tired of adjusting their clocks, and their lives, twice a year. If this legislation comes to fruition, we’ll have to see if the trade-off of dark mornings for longer afternoons is worth it.
No matter how you slice it, there’s still only so much daylight per day – it just comes down to what part of the day would have the most.