PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Firearm deer season is underway. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected out across the state over the 14-day period. Saturday was opening day for Pennsylvania’s firearm deer season and still remains a top day for harvest.

For decades, the state celebrated “Hunting Monday” on the first Monday after Thanksgiving, before moving it to Saturday in 2019.

“Now that we have some additional Sunday hunting opportunities, one of those being that second day of the firearm season. We have an opening weekend instead of an opening day,” said Pennsylvania Game Commission Communications Director Travis Lau.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission expects more than 600,000 hunters to travel considerable distances through Dec. 10.

“They want to harvest deer to secure venison to fill their freezers and feed their families. Others, it is more about spending time outdoors,” Lau said.

Hunters are major economic drivers for Pennsylvania. On top of bringing in money, they also play a role in wildlife conservation.

“Populations don’t manage themselves. Deer numbers need to be kept in check because habitat is always limited and usually it’s shrinking,” said Lau.

Last year’s total harvest in Pennsylvania topped 375,000.