2009-06-11 / Local & State

2009-10 Hunting & Furtaker Licenses To Go On Sale June 15

Doe license applications to be accepted starting July 13

Beginning Monday, June 15, Pennsylvania hunting and furtaker licenses for the 2009-10 seasons will go on sale throughout the state, according to Carl G. Roe, agency executive director. Using the new "Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS), licenses will be available for purchase through the "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's Web site (www.pgc.state.pa.us), over-thecounter at all Game Commission region offices and the Harrisburg headquarters, as well as the more than 600 in-state and out-of-state issuing agents.

For the 2009-10 license year, 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 Nashvillebased company that runs PALS. This transaction fee already applies to each Pennsylvania fishing license and permit sold by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Roe noted that another major change for hunters will be the fact that they can submit their applications for the regular round of antlerless deer licenses three weeks earlier than in previous years. Residents can apply beginning July 13, and nonresidents can apply beginning July 27.

"But, that isn't the only part of the application process for antlerless licenses that has changed this year," Roe said. "In fact, the entire process has changed dramatically since last year. 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."

Under the new process, any Pennsylvania county treasurer can now issue an antlerless deer license for any Wildlife Management Unit, so long as the WMU's allocation isn't 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 their 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 is included on page 48 of the 2009-10 Digest, which is provided to each license buyer. More details on the new procedures for applying for a doe license can be found in your Digest or on the agency's Web site (www.pgc.state.pa.us).

Also, with the implementation of PALS, many changes have occurred to modernize the licensing system used by the Game Commission and improve its security. To ensure faster processing, personal information is now recorded through a driver's license scan. This eliminates data entry; provides a more secure, reliable and accurate means to gather and store license holder records; and eliminates license buyer duplicity.

"For all these reasons - and more - the Game Commission has eliminated paper applications," Roe said. "Nonresidents who have always submitted a paper application will need to use PALS either on the agency's Web site or at an issuing agent. It's fast, easy and secure."

Roe noted that all license-issuing agents are now part of an integrated, real-time, cyber network that allows them to offer licenses that up until now simply could not be provided via the old license system.

"Now all license agents 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," Roe said. "And, rather than having to wait until Jan. 1 to apply for the special spring gobbler licenses, which allow you to harvest a second spring gobbler, you can take care of this when you purchase your general hunting license and won't have to wait for it in the mail anymore."

Also, the system is set up to handle the new Mentored Youth Hunter permits for youths 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 your old license holder, or one of the smaller new ones. Carcass tags are different-looking, too. They're squarer, have perforated holes and are preprinted with your name and address. Licenses will fold into a 2.5-inch-by-3.5- inch, tear-resistant document.

"This year, in conjunction with the move to PALS, the Game Commission will roll out a new online reporting system for deer and wild turkey harvests," Roe said. "A hard-copy of the post-age-paid report card will still be available in your Hunting and Trapping Digest, but the agency is hoping hunters will report online to save on the cost of postage and data entry. Reporting online also will ensure your harvest data will not be lost in the mail.

"We look forward to the many benefits PALs will provide to our license buyers, our issuing agents and the agency."

A complete copy of the 2009- 10 Digest has been posted on the agency's Web site at 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, 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 Web site (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.

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