HARRISBURG – Expressing extreme disappointment, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe announced that this year’s hunting licenses will not be sold through an electronic license sale system, commonly referred to as “point-of-sale.” Beginning in mid-June, the agency will continue to sell paper licenses for the 2008-09 seasons.
“Automated Licensing Systems, the company hired to produce the new license sale system, missed deadlines to have the system in place for the 2007-08 license year and, on Nov. 15 and on March 1, missed two additional deadlines to deliver a fully-operational and fully-tested point-of-sale system for the 2008-09 license year,” Roe said. “We will not inconvenience our license buyers or our license issuing agents by moving forward with a system that will not serve our customers and sportsmen and sportswomen.”
Roe said that staff will again ask the Board of Game Commissioners, at its upcoming meeting on April 21-22, to table regulation changes that were approved preliminarily to accommodate the point-of-sale system, including changes in the antlerless deer license application process.
“What this delay means for license buyers and issuing agents is that the license purchasing process, as well as the antlerless deer license application process, will remain relatively the same as 2007-08,” Roe said. “Despite this set-back, we will continue to work with the contractor to resolve the project issues and shortcomings with an expectation to have a completed system by the end of 2008.
“Once completed, point-of-sale will make license buying easier for our customers, issuing agents and the Game Commission, and will – for the first time in our history – provide the agency with a database of its license buyers that will enable us to better communicate with them. Unfortunately, we do not expect to see the system go live for the sale of hunting and furtaker licenses until the start of the 2009-10 license year.”
In June of 2007, when ALS missed its first deadline for delivering an electronic license sale system for use in the 2007-08 license year, the Game Commission had to amend the contract. The amendment placed several deadlines on the company, including November for a test program and a complete system by March 1. In each case, the company missed the deadlines.
Roe made the announcement today as ALS, which also produced and manages the electronic license sale system being used by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, has entered a “black-out” period, which runs from March 15-April 30. During this black-out period, no further changes can be made to the system to avoid interrupting the peak fishing license sale window two weeks prior to the two opening days of trout season and two weeks after the opening days.
“As no changes can be made during this period, the Game Commission is up against two very real deadlines of its own to prepare for the opening of our license sale period in mid-June,” Roe said. “Our Board will meet on April 21-22, at which time final approval will be given to various license application timetables for the 2008-09 license year, including antlerless deer licenses, as well as seasons and bag limits.
“As soon as the meeting is over, we will be finalizing information for the Hunting and Trapping Digest, which is presented to each license buyer. To avoid delays in printing the 1.3 million copies of the Digest, we need to have this process completed by the end of April and on the printers.”
While proposed antlerless deer license allocations won’t be available until the Board’s meeting in April, draft antlerless deer license application regulations for 2008-09 are being prepared for the Board’s consideration. With the exception of the previously approved changes to better accommodate those hunters planning to participate in the early archery antlerless deer seasons in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, the draft antlerless deer license procedures will be similar to last year:
Monday, Aug. 4, the Game Commission will accept one regular antlerless deer license application per resident hunter through first-class mail.
Monday, Aug. 18, the Game Commission will accept one regular antlerless deer license application per nonresident through first-class mail.
Monday, Aug. 25, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, one application per hunter (resident or nonresident) for the first round of unsold antlerless licenses. In WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, during the first round of unsold antlerless deer licenses, hunters may apply for multiple antlerless deer licenses, provided they submit no more than three applications per envelope, in addition to the one unsold antlerless deer license they may apply for in the 19 other WMUs. However, they may mail as many envelopes as they desire for unsold antlerless licenses in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 8, the Game Commission will accept, only through first-class mail, one application per hunter (resident or nonresident) for the second round of unsold antlerless licenses. Also, hunters applying to WMUs 2B, 5C or 5D, may do so over-the-counter.
No later than Monday, Sept. 15, regular antlerless deer licenses and first-round unsold licenses will be mailed by county treasurers to successful applicants. Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Oct. 1.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 3, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all WMUs with remaining allocations.