Opening day tips and reminders

Posted on: November 27, 2015 | Bob Frye | Comments

Deer HunterPennsylvania’s statewide firearms deer season opens on Nov. 30.

It’s just about here.

Opening day of Pennsylvania’s firearms deer season is Monday, and if that doesn’t put quite as many hunters in the woods these days as it once did, it’s still a huge deal. Memories will be made, stories told, laughter shared.

There are some things to remember, though.

For starters, be courteous to others, says Mike Papinchak, the Game Commission’s wildlife conservation officer in northern Westmoreland County. That’s especially true when dealing with landowners.

Many – even those who post their land – will allow access for hunters who stop by and ask permission, he said. But ask at a reasonable time, not at 5 a.m. on opening day. Abide by any rules they lay out. And, if the answer is no, accept that and move on, he said.

Consider offering to use the pre-printed landowner permission form found on page 61of this year’s hunting digest, too.

“Just be respectful. It goes a long way to keeping property open, or even to getting properties open,” Papinchak said.

It’s also important to keep safety in mind.

Check your orange clothing. Do you have enough – 250 square inches on the head, chest and back – and is it still bright, or has it faded enough that something new might be in order?

Be sure what’s between and behind you and your target before shooting. Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded at all times. Use binoculars, not your scope, to identify things in the woods.

Be sure to tell someone at home where you’re going and when you expect to be back, as well. That way, if someone has to come look for you, they know where to start.

And good luck this season!

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.