2008-09 Hunting/Furtaker Licenses To Go On Sale

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HARRISBURG – Beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 23, Pennsylvania resident and nonresident hunting and furtaker licenses for the 2008-09 seasons will go on sale through “The Outdoor Shop” on the Game Commission website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director.  Licenses are available over-the-counter at all Game Commission region offices and the Harrisburg headquarters.

“The Game Commission is working hard to incorporate better ways to serve license buyers,” Roe said.  “By allowing our customers to purchase their hunting and furtaker licenses over the Internet, from the comfort and convenience of their home or office, we are offering one more service to meet their needs.”

Roe noted that hunting and furtaker licenses also are available from the nearly 850 issuing agents around the state beginning later in June.

To purchase a license, applicants must provide their Social Security Number.  This requirement was implemented by the U.S. Congress and state General Assembly in recent years to better enforce changes to federal and state welfare reform and child support requirements.  For more information, please visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on “Licensing,” then select the “Hunting License & SSN” item in the box in the right-hand side of the page.

As was announced earlier this year, the Game Commission will not be moving forward with the electronic license sales system, commonly referred to as “point-of-sale,” because the contractor hired to create this system again failed to meet necessary deadlines. 

“We are not willing to burden our issuing agents and customers by moving forward with a license system that hasn’t been fully tested,” Roe said.  “We will, however, continue to work to have the system completed.  Once implemented, point-of-sale will make license buying easier for our customers, issuing agents and the Game Commission.”

For the 2008-09 license year, all fees are the same as they have been since the 1999-2000 license year, including: $20 for adult hunting or furtaker licenses; $6 for junior hunting or furtaker licenses; and $13 for senior hunting or furtaker licenses.

Combination licenses are available to junior resident and nonresident (12 to 16 years) and senior resident (65 years and older) hunters and furtakers, and were designed to provide youngsters and seniors substantial hunting and trapping opportunities at considerable savings. Combination licenses provide general hunting, furtaker, archery and muzzleloader privileges.  Resident junior combination licenses sell for $9; nonresident junior combination licenses, $51; and resident senior lifetime combination licenses, $101.  Combination licenses do not include bear, antlerless deer, state migratory game bird or federal duck stamp privileges, which must be purchased separately.

Senior lifetime hunting and furtaker licenses can be upgraded to a senior lifetime combination license for $51. To make the upgrade, an individual must visit one of the Game Commission’s six regional offices or the Harrisburg headquarters, or “The Outdoor Shop” on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). The process includes filling out a new license application, verifying that the applicant holds a valid lifetime license and payment of the fee. The upgrade can’t be obtained through a regular issuing agent. Those wishing to receive the upgrade application should download the senior lifetime license application from the agency’s website (click on “Licensing,” then “License Applications” in the right-hand column and scroll down to “Resident Senior Lifetime License”) or call the License Division at (717) 787-2084 to request that an application be mailed.

There is no combination license for resident and nonresident adult hunters, nor does the Game Commission sell a nonresident senior license.

The resident military personnel hunting license, which sells for $2, is available only from the Game Commission headquarters in Harrisburg or Region Offices or County Treasurers’ Offices.  This license offers active duty military Pennsylvanians all of the same hunting privileges of a general hunting license: one antlered deer during the two-week rifle deer season; one fall turkey; one spring gobbler; and all the small game a hunter is legally entitled to harvest. 

To qualify for this license, an individual must be a Pennsylvania resident on active and full-time duty in the United States Armed Forces assigned to a facility outside of the Commonwealth and on temporary leave within the state.  Proof of military status, official orders or leave papers, and place of residence must be shown to Game Commission or County Treasurer staff at the time of purchase.

Other resident license fees are: antlerless deer (Wildlife Management Unit specific), $6; archery, $16; muzzleloader, $11; bear, $16; migratory game bird, $3; senior lifetime hunting or furtaker licenses, $51; and resident landowner, $4.

Basic nonresident adult hunting licenses are $101; nonresident adult furtaker licenses are $81; and nonresident junior hunting or furtaker licenses are $41. 

Other nonresident license fees are: antlerless deer (WMU specific), $26; archery, $26; muzzleloader, $21; bear, $36; migratory game bird, $6; and seven-day small game, $31.

Roe noted that the long-time deadline for purchasing muzzleloader stamps was eliminated in 2005.  However, hunters are reminded that the sale of bear licenses will end prior to the opening of the two-week firearms deer season.  This change will prohibit the sale of bear licenses after opening hours of the regular firearms deer season on Dec. 1.

Also, for the fourth year, the agency will offer hunters the opportunity to purchase a special wild turkey license, which sells for $21 for residents and $41 for nonresidents.  As approved by the Board of Game Commissioners, hunters will be able to apply for one of these special wild turkey licenses to use for a second gobbler for the 2009 spring season.  Applications for the special license will be accepted from Jan. 1, 2009, through April 1, 2009, either through the mail or online.  An application to apply for a second spring gobbler license is on page 38 of the 2008-09 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer, or via “The Outdoor Shop.”

Interested hunters also may apply for the upcoming limited bobcat and elk seasons via “The Outdoor Shop.”  An application for the bobcat drawing is on page 85 of the 2008-09 Digest, and an application for the elk drawing is on page 102.

Bobcat applications will be accepted starting June 27, but must be postmarked no later than Aug. 15, or received through “The Outdoor Shop” no later than Sept. 2.  The public drawing for the bobcat permits will be held on Friday, Sept. 12.

Elk license applications will be accepted through the U.S. Mail by the agency until Aug. 15, but applications submitted through “The Outdoor Shop” will be accepted until Aug. 29.  The public drawing to award elk licenses will be held on Saturday, Sept. 20.

Those who submitted applications the last five years for either the bobcat permit or elk license drawings and were not selected may benefit from the preference point systems.  Unsuccessful applicants who applied in the 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 license years will be entered six times if they apply this year.  Preference points are carried forward until an applicant is drawn, and there is no requirement that applications be made in consecutive years in order to retain preference points.  However, applicants must apply to use their preference points for a given license year.

Roe noted that completing applications for the bobcat permits or elk licenses on-line guarantees hunters that their application was received and that they will be included in the public drawings, and reduces concerns about lost mail or late arrivals.

“In addition to cutting the agency’s administrative costs, those filing on-line reduce the chance of having their application declared ineligible because the filing system notifies individuals who attempt to submit an incomplete application,” Roe said.

Resident hunters may begin applying for a WMU-specific antlerless license on Monday, Aug. 4.  Nonresident hunters may begin applying for a WMU-specific antlerless license on Monday, Aug. 18.  All hunters may apply for the first round of unsold antlerless licenses beginning Monday, Aug. 25; the second round of unsold antlerless licenses may be applied for beginning Sept. 8.  Over-the-counter sales can begin in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 2B, 5C and 5D on Sept. 8.  In all other WMUs, over-the-counter sales can begin on Nov. 3.

County treasurers are required to mail regular antlerless licenses and first-round unsold licenses to successful applicants no later than Monday, Sept. 15.  Second-round unsold licenses will be mailed no later than Oct. 1.

Those who purchase a general hunting license are provided with a regular antlerless deer license application.  Applications for unsold antlerless deer licenses can be found on pages 54 and 60 of the 2008-09 Digest.

A complete copy of the 2008-09 Digest has been posted on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and can be viewed by clicking on “2008-2009 Digest” in the “Quick Clicks” box in the right-hand column of the homepage.

Waterfowl and migratory game bird seasons are not included in the 2008-09 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.  Applications, however, for the public drawing to award access to goose blinds in the controlled hunting areas at the Game Commission’s Pymatuning and Middle Creek wildlife management areas are on page 29 of the 2008-09 Digest.