From the Pennsylvania Game Commission
-- Beginning June 15, Pennsylvania hunting and furtaker licenses go on sale. Licenses are available for purchase through the new Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS), the The Outdoor Shop on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), over-the-counter at all Game Commission region offices and the Harrisburg headquarters, and at more than 600 in-state and out-of-state issuing agents.
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. The fee already applies to each Pennsylvania fishing license and permit sold by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Application for antlerless deer license applications can be submitted three weeks earlier than in previous years. Residents can apply beginning July 13, and nonresidents can apply beginning July 27.
That is not the only part of the application process for antlerless licenses that has changed, said Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. Besides the early start, an antlerless license application will be printed with every general license purchased, and an application also will be available in the Hunting and Trapping Digest. “You may apply for a doe license with either,” he said.
Under the new process, any Pennsylvania County treasurer can issue an antlerless deer license for any Wildlife Management Unit, as long as the individual WMU allocation is not sold out. Hunters will no longer deal with WMU stickers and P.O. boxes.
“The yellow envelopes are history, and pink is back,” Roe said. “Hunters also will list their first, second and third WMU preferences for doe licenses on applications. Treasurers will fill the highest WMU preference listed by the hunter. This will eliminate reapplication for a doe license if your first WMU preference – or second – is sold out.”
A list of all County Treasurer mailing addresses appears on page 48 of the Digest provided to each license buyer.
With the implementation of PALS, changes modernize the licensing system and improve its security. To ensure faster processing, personal information is now recorded through a driver’s license scan. This eliminates data entry, and provides a more secure, reliable and accurate means to gather and store license holder records. It also eliminates license buyer duplicity.
Roe noted that all license-issuing agents are now part of an integrated, real-time, cyber network that allows them to offer licenses that could not be provided via the old license system.
All license agents now can issue senior lifetime licenses; elk and bobcat drawing applications; even resident landowner reduced-fee hunting licenses and Deer Management Assistance Program Harvest (DMAP) permits.
The system is also set up to handle the new Mentored Youth Hunter Permits for youth participating in this program.
Another change will be the new look and feel of licenses. The yellow strip—similar to a fishing license—will fit into the old license holder, or one of the smaller new ones. Carcass tags are now squarer in shape, have perforated holes and are preprinted with name and address. Licenses will fold into a 2.5-inch by 3.5-inch, tear-resistant document.
The PALS change also allows a new online reporting system for deer and wild turkey harvest. A hard-copy of the postage-paid report card will still be available in the Hunting and Trapping Digest, but the agency asks hunters to report online to save on postage and data entry. Reporting online also ensures harvest data will not be lost in the mail.
A complete copy of the 2009-10 Digest has been posted on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and can be viewed by clicking on “2009-2010 Digest” in center of the homepage.
Waterfowl and migratory game bird seasons are not included in the 2009-10 Digest, because 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 26 of the 2009-10 Digest.