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Aug. 28 deadline for PA elk hunt application

From the Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- Hunters looking to participate in this year’s Pennsylvania elk season have until Aug. 28 to submit an application through the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s new Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS).  This can be done at any issuing agent or through the “Buy Your Hunting License Now” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. There is no paper application process this year.

Applicants must pay a $10.70 non-refundable application fee to be included in the drawing.  Details on the elk season and drawing are available on pages 89-91 of the 2009-10 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to license buyers.

On Sept. 11, the Game Commission will hold a public, computerized drawing in the auditorium of its Harrisburg headquarters.  At that time, the agency will award the 59 elk licenses, the first 20 drawn will receive an antlered license and the next 39 drawn will receive an antlerless license.

By law, only one application is permitted per person, and PALS will prohibit an individual from submitting more than one application.  

Individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to apply for the drawing.  However, if they are drawn for one of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the appropriate resident or nonresident general hunting license and view the elk hunt orientation video produced by the Game Commission before being permitted to purchase the elk license.  The elk license fees are $25 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.  

There is no cap, or limit, for the number of licenses that may be awarded to nonresidents. Individuals who were not awarded an elk license in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008 have six preference points heading into this year’s drawing if they submit an application this year, and will have their name entered into the drawing seven times (six preference points plus the point for this year’s application).  

As part of the preference point system established by the agency in 2003, consecutive applications are not required to maintain previously earned preference points, but those points can be activated only in years that a hunter submits an application.  For instance, if a hunter has six preference points, but does not enter the 2009 drawing, he/she will not have any chances in the upcoming drawing.  

However, their preference points will remain on hold until they apply again.  Once a hunter is awarded an elk license – either an antlered or antlerless elk license – the hunter’s preference points will revert to zero.

Those applying for an elk license can choose either an antlered or antlerless elk license, or they may select both categories on their application.  For those who select “antlered only,” if they are drawn after the antlered licenses are allocated, they will not receive an elk license.  For those who do receive an antlered elk license, they will not be permitted to re-apply for future elk hunting opportunities for five years.  However, those who received an antlerless elk license in any of the previous hunts may submit an application this year.

Applicants also have the opportunity to identify their elk hunt zone preference, or they may select “any.”  If drawn and their preference hunt zone is filled, applicants will be assigned a specific area by the Game Commission.  To assist applicants in making this decision, information about the elk hunt zones, as well as an elk harvest map depicting the locations of every elk taken by hunters since 2001, are posted on the agency’s website (, and can be viewed by clicking on the “Take a Chance on an Elk Hunt” icon in the center of the homepage.

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