Pennsylvania Bobcat App Deadline Approaching

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Hunters and trappers seeking to participate in Pennsylvania's upcoming bobcat seasons have until Sept. 2, to submit an application via the Pennsylvania Game Commission's web site www.pgc.state.pa.us, to be included in the public drawing for one of the 1,435 permits to be awarded. Click on "The Outdoor Shop" in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage, then select "Pennsylvania Game Commission Outdoor Shop" in the lower left-hand corner, then click on "Bobcat" in the banner and complete the application. The deadline to submit a paper application was Aug. 15.

There is a $5 non-refundable application fee, which applicants must place on their credit card, to be entered into the drawing. Details on the season can be found on pages 82-85 of the 2008-09 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations, or at "The Outdoor Shop" on the Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us.

On Sept. 12, the 1,435 permits will be selected during a computerized drawing, which will be open to the public, at the agency's Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. Those selected will receive their bobcat permit by U.S. mail in early October. The bobcat hunting season will take place Oct. 25 through Feb. 21. The bobcat trapping season will be held from Oct. 26 through Feb. 22.

The season will be open only in Wildlife Management Units 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 4D, which are in southwestern, southcentral, northcentral and northeastern Pennsylvania. To participate in this restricted opportunity, an individual must have a resident or nonresident furtaker license, a resident or nonresident junior combination license or resident senior combination license, and a bobcat hunting-trapping permit.

Those who received a bobcat permit last year are not eligible for this year's drawing. Only one application per person will be accepted. Multiple applications will result in rejection of all an individual's applications.

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 or trapper submits an application. For instance, if an applicant has five preference points, but does not enter the 2008 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 or trapper is awarded a bobcat permit, the individual's preference points will revert to zero.

Based on the accumulation of preference points, the Game Commission will automatically award a bobcat permit to those applicants who have six preference points (five previous points plus a point for their 2008 application). Once the number of individuals who have automatically earned a bobcat permit are determined, the remainder will be awarded by computerized drawing.

ELK APPLICATION DEADLINE APPROACHES

Hunters looking to participate in this year's Pennsylvania elk season have until Aug. 29, to submit an application through the Pennsylvania Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us. Click on "The Outdoor Shop" in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage, then select "Pennsylvania Game Commission Outdoor Shop" in the lower left-hand corner, then click on "Elk" in the banner and complete the application. The deadline to submit a paper application was Aug. 15.

Applicants must place a $10 non-refundable application fee on their credit card payment (VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express accepted) to be included in the drawing. Details on the elk season and drawing are available on pages 102-105 of the 2008-09 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to license buyers.

On Sept. 20, the Game Commission will hold a public, computerized drawing as part of the annual Elk Expo held in Elk County. At that time, the agency will award the 45 elk licenses, the first 17 drawn will receive an antlered license and the next 28 drawn will receive an antlerless license.

By law, only one application is permitted per person. If a person submits more than one application, all of the hunter's applications will be ineligible and the applicant will be subject to prosecution. 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 or 2007 have five preference points heading into this year's drawing if they submit an application this year, and will have their name entered into the drawing six times (five 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 five preference points, but does not enter the 2008 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 over the past seven years, are posted on the website www.pgc.state.pa.us along with the application.