Deer rifle season begins in Pennsylvania

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It's one of the biggest days of the year for hunters.

"We get up at 4:30 a.m., head out to the woods at 5:30 a.m. and shot the deer at 7:30 a.m.," said Randy Robertson, a hunter from Newberry Township in York County.

For Robertson, an avid hunter of 35 years, hunting is a family tradition.

"I love being out here with my boy. I love the fact that he shot the deer today. I got an 8-point deer archery so I was just sitting with him to give him the experience," added Robertson.

His son is no stranger to the wild. It's his third deer. "The feeling you get when you're seeing the deer come in and right after you get it, you get really nervous, heart's stumping really fast. It feels really cool," his son added.

The State Game Commission says about 300,000 deer will be killed during this season which starts Monday, December 1st and runs through Saturday, December 13th. In Pennsylvania, all hunters are required to wear 250-square inches of blaze orange on their chest, back and head; and it must be visible from any view.

With opening day for deer rifle season in full swing, Robertson and his son wasted no time hunting in Etters, Pennsylvania.

"[We] gutted the deer, drug the deer out and loaded the truck and came out here, he said.

At Diller's Custom Deer Processing in Cumberland County, hunters have butchers cut, skin and grind their doe or buck. For a fee, they can have them in cuts, steaks chops, roast or burger. But a food sharing program is encouraging hunters to give back.

"This is the way the hunter can help all the people in his community with something very tangible because the need for food is there," said John Plowman, Executive Director of Hunters Sharing the Harvest.

The program has been in effect for 23 years and allow hunters to donate the deer instead. The meat will be distributed to 4,000 food banks, shelters and mission throughout the state -- and in the hands of people getting emergency food assistance.

"We try to move about a hundred thousand pounds of donated burger every year," added Plowman. He's confident they can reach that goal.

When the hunter donates the deer, they'll get a decal including a weight tape. All they have to do is fill out a donor receipt. If you'd like to learn more about Hunters Sharing the Harvest food program or donate, click on the following link: or call 866-474-2141.

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