HARRISBURG – Beginning Jan. 1, Pennsylvania hunters who would like the opportunity to harvest a second spring gobbler may apply for a second spring gobbler license, according to Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.
Roe stressed that hunters are able to take one spring gobbler as part of their general hunting privileges. However, the special license affords those hunters interested in this additional opportunity to take a second spring gobbler. Hunters may only submit one application for the special wild turkey license during a license year.
Applications for the second spring gobbler license are available on page 38 of the 2007-08 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer, or by going to the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and clicking on “Spring Turkey Tag App.” in the center of the homepage.
Hunters also may submit applications over-the-counter at any of the Game Commission’s six region offices or Harrisburg headquarters, however, licenses will be printed and mailed later.
Fees set by state law for the special license are $21 for residents and $41 for nonresidents. Mailed applications for special wild turkey licenses must be sent to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Special Spring Gobbler License, P.O. Box 61317, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1317.
The application period closes on April 1, so that all applications can be processed and licenses mailed to hunters in time for the spring gobbler season, which is set for April 26-May 26.
According to Mary Jo Casalena, Game Commission wild turkey biologist, research has shown that properly timed and implemented multiple-bird spring limits have not caused population declines in other states.
“Pennsylvania, however, is unique with its large number of wild turkey hunters and large harvests,” Casalena said. “Therefore, it is imperative that sufficient population monitoring occurs prior to any additional season changes. We regularly recommend the change in seasons remain in place for at least three years to assess any biological and social impacts caused by that change, after which additional changes can be made, such as extending hunting hours beyond noon.”
Revenues from the special licenses could be used to implement and fund the Game Commission’s turkey management plan and further educate turkey hunters, thereby promoting additional recreation and safe hunting practices.