Why wait any longer?
Licenses for the 2019-20 hunting and fur-taking seasons go on sale Monday, June 17.
And when hunters and fur-takers buy their 2019-20 licenses, each again will receive a complimentary copy of the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest.
General hunting licenses and fur-taker licenses each continue to cost $20.90 for Pennsylvania residents and $101.90 for non-residents.
Resident senior hunters and fur-takers, ages 65 and older, can purchase one-year licenses for $13.90, or lifetime licenses for $51.90.
For $101.90, resident seniors can purchase lifetime combination licenses that afford them hunting and fur-taking privileges.
Like other hunters and trappers, seniors still need to purchase bear licenses to pursue bruins and obtain permits to harvest bobcats, fishers or river otters.
Hunters who acquired their senior lifetime licenses after May 13, 2017 are required to obtain an annual pheasant permit to hunt or harvest pheasants.
A complete list of licensing requirements can be found at www.pgc.pa.gov.
One important change of which hunters should be aware involves application for elk licenses, which are awarded by lottery. Two new elk seasons – a September archery season and a January season for antlerless elk – have been added in 2019-20. And the general season in November also will be held.
Hunters can apply for a chance to take part in any of the three seasons, or all of them, but a separate application is needed for each.
There is an $11.90 application fee for each season, meaning it costs $35.70 to apply for all three. In each drawing, season-specific bonus points are awarded to those who aren’t drawn.
In total, 142 elk licenses, 32 for antlered elk, have been allocated for 2019-20. Fifteen licenses – five for antlered elk – are available for the archery season, 98 licenses (27 antlered, 71 antlerless) are available for the general season and 29 antlerless licenses are available for the January season.
The deadline to apply for an elk license is July 31.
Many hunters who regularly buy their licenses as soon as sales begin are motivated by securing a Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permit, which are available in limited numbers.
And this year, with the opening day of the firearms deer season to begin on Saturday, more hunters are likely to be afield.
That means there could be an increased demand for DMAP permits, which enable holders to harvest antlerless deer in any established deer season, including the antlered-only portion of the firearms season.
It’s all the more reason to get a license when they go on sale.
Buying early also helps ensure hunters won’t miss their opportunity to apply for an antlerless deer license, which in most of the state cannot be used during the first six days of the firearms deer season.
A resident Pennsylvanian who buys his or her 2019-20 hunting license is eligible to apply for an antlerless deer license July 8. Non-residents can apply July 15.
And a second round in which a hunter can receive a second antlerless deer license begins Aug. 5 for wildlife management units where licenses remain. And if licenses still remain, a final round begins Aug. 19.
Of course, all of this information is outlined in the print edition of the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which once again in 2019-20 will be provided free to all hunters.
For the past two years, the digest was provided for free online and hunters were able to download a digital copy to print on their own, but the print edition cost $6.
While many hunters have grown accustomed to getting this information online, the Game Commission recognizes the value of placing directly into the hands of every license buyer vital information on changes in seasons and bag limits, regulations, even Pennsylvania’s fight against Chronic Wasting Disease.
Hunting licenses can be purchased online at www.pgc.pa.gov. Just click on “Buy a License.” A map to locate a license issuing agent near you can be found at the same page.
The 2019-20 license year begins July 1.