Pennsylvania’s antlerless deer licensing process subject to change

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners this week took interim action to restructure the state process for obtaining antlerless deer licenses.

State law required that antlerless licenses be issued only by county treasurers, the commission said in a news release. Hunters looking for antlerless licenses sent in applications and received licenses in the mail.

Commission officials said law went into effect in January allowing all licensing agents to sell antlerless deer licenses, meaning hunters in the 2023-24 licensing year can buy them online or wherever licenses are sold become.

“A simpler, more convenient system is better for hunter satisfaction and ultimately hunter recruitment,” said Bryan Burhans, executive director of the Game Commission.

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Saturday’s preliminary vote by the Board of Commissioners outlines the process by which licenses would be sold.

  • Antlerless licenses would be purchased online and from dispensaries; there would be no application by mail.
  • Antlerless licenses would go on sale on the first day of license sales, the fourth Monday in June.
  • At first, only residents could apply.
  • Applications from foreigners would not start until the second Monday in July.
  • A hunter could only get one license in the first round.
  • A second round would start on the fourth Monday in July (residents and non-residents would be eligible).
  • A hunter could get a second license in the second round for each WMU where tags are available.
  • A third round would begin on the second Monday in August.
  • A hunter could get a third license in the third round.
  • Then, on the fourth round, a hunter could purchase additional licenses until they reach their personal limit of six. Where available, additional licenses can be purchased if the hunter takes antlerless deer and reports them.
  • Each round, the antlerless license sale wouldn’t start until 8am

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The new process will not be complete until the Board approves it. Adjustments could be made ahead of a final vote scheduled for the April meeting.

After the new process is complete, commission officials said they will be making several announcements to inform hunters what they should do to obtain their antlerless licenses.

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Email Jeff at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SentinelPratt.