From the Pennsylvania Game Commission
-- Hunters looking to participate in Pennsylvania elk season have until Aug. 27 to submit an application through the Game Commission's Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS). This can be done at any issuing agent or through the agency's homepage at www.pgc.state.pa.us.
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 2010-11 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to license buyers.
On Sept. 10, the Game Commission will hold a public drawing to award the 50 elk licenses. The first 17 drawn will receive an antlered license and the next 33 drawn will receive an antlerless license. Only one application is permitted per person per year, and PALS prohibits 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 limit on the number of licenses awarded to nonresidents. Individuals who applied but did not get an elk license in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2009 have seven preference points if they submit an application this year. They will have their name entered into the drawing eight times (seven 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 2010 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.
Additionally, hunters who want to earn a preference point for this year, but know that they would not be able to participate in the elk hunting season if drawn, have the option of simply purchasing a preference point for $10.70.
While they will not be included in the drawing for the 2010 elk licenses, they will continue to build their preference points.
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 preferred 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 at www.pgc.state.pa.us, and can be viewed by clicking on the "2010 Elk Hunt" icon in the center of the homepage.
PALS will update the data files shortly after the elk drawing is completed so that license buyers will be able to see for themselves if they were drawn for one of the 50 elk licenses.