HARRISBURG – Beginning June 14, Pennsylvania hunting and furtaker licenses for the 2010-11 seasons will go on sale throughout the state, according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. Licenses will be available through the Game Commission’s Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS), over-the-counter at all Game Commission region offices and the Harrisburg headquarters, as well as the more than 600 in-state and out-of-state issuing agents. Licenses also are available through the PALS Web site.
For the 2010-11 license year, all fees are the same as they have been since 1999. However, there is a 70-cent transaction fee attached to the purchase of each license and permit, which is paid directly to Automated License Systems, the Nashville-based company that runs PALS.
“PALS enabled the Game Commission to modernize the licensing system and improve security,” Roe said. “To ensure faster processing, personal information is now recorded through a Pennsylvania driver’s license scan. This eliminates data entry; provides a more secure, reliable and accurate means to gather and store license holder records; and eliminates license buyer duplicity.
“For all these reasons – and more – the Game Commission has eliminated paper applications. Nonresidents who have always submitted a paper application will need to use PALS either on the agency’s website or at an issuing agent. It’s fast, easy and secure.”
Roe noted that all license-issuing agents are now part of an integrated, real-time, cyber network that allows them to offer licenses that up until now simply could not be provided via the old license system.
“Now all license agents can issue senior lifetime licenses; Mentored Youth Hunting Program permits; elk drawing applications; bobcat and fisher permits; even resident landowner reduced-fee hunting licenses and Deer Management Assistance Program Harvest (DMAP) permits,” Roe said. “Hunters also can purchase the special spring gobbler license, which allows them to harvest a second gobbler in the 2011 spring gobbler season.”
New features this year will be the rotation of up to 10 random survey questions of which a license buyer may be asked one question that requires a positive, negative or no response. Additional survey questions may be asked of specific constituents based upon the license privileges they purchase.
Roe also noted, as originally envisioned by the U.S. Congress and the Pennsylvania General Assembly, PALS now will enable the agency to suspend issuing licenses to those, who through court order, have had their hunting license privileges revoked for failure to pay child support.
Roe reminded hunters that, under state law, only Pennsylvania County Treasurers may issue antlerless deer licenses. However, thanks to PALS, county treasurers now may issue an antlerless deer license for any WMU, so long as its allocation isn’t sold out.
Applications for the regular round of antlerless deer licenses for residents begins July 12, and nonresidents can apply beginning July 26. An antlerless license application will be printed with every general license purchased, and an application also will be available in the 2010-11 Hunting and Trapping Digest for the first and second round of unsold antlerless deer licenses. Except for Wildlife Management Units (WMU) 2B, 5C and 5D, hunters only may apply for one license during each application period.
“Hunters will need to continue using pink envelopes to mail antlerless deer license applications to the county treasurer of their choice to process the applications and mail back antlerless deer licenses,” Roe said. “Hunters will have the option of listing their first, second and third WMU preferences for doe licenses on their applications. Treasurers will fill the highest WMU preference listed by the hunter. This option will eliminate reapplication for a doe license if your first WMU preference – or second – is sold out. However, hunters do not need to list alternative WMUs if they only plan to hunt in one specific WMU.”
A list of all County Treasurer mailing addresses is included in the 2010-11 Digest, which is provided to each license buyer. More details on the new procedures for applying for a doe license can be found in the Digest, which has been posted in the right-hand column of the agency’s Web site.
Another change will be the new look and feel of licenses. The yellow strip – similar to a fishing license – will fit into your old license holder, or one of the smaller new ones. Carcass tags are different-looking, too. They’re squarer, have perforated holes and are preprinted with your name and address. Licenses will fold into a 2.5-inch by 3.5-inch, tear-resistant document.
Roe reminded hunters that, in conjunction with the move to PALS, the Game Commission now is able to accept online harvest reports for deer, wild turkey, bobcat and fisher. In addition to reporting deer and wild turkey harvests within the prescribed time limits, those who possess a DMAP, bobcat or fisher permit are required to report, regardless of whether they harvested an antlerless deer, bobcat or fisher, respectively. Each online harvest report costs the Game Commission 50 cents.
“A hard-copy of the postage-paid report card still will be available in the 2010-11 Digest, but the agency is hoping hunters will report online to save on the cost of postage and data entry,” Roe said. “Reporting online also will ensure your harvest data will not be lost in the mail.”
Waterfowl and migratory game bird seasons are not included in the 2010-11 Digest, as those seasons won’t be established until mid-August. Once seasons are set, the Game Commission will produce the annual Guide to Migratory Game Bird Hunting brochure, which will be posted on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and mailed to U.S. Post Offices. However, applications and directions for the public drawing to waterfowl hunting blinds in the controlled hunting areas at the Game Commission’s Pymatuning and Middle Creek wildlife management areas are in the 2010-11 Digest.