Pennsylvania Bobcat & Elk Apps Due Soon
Hunters and trappers seeking to participate in Pennsylvania's upcoming bobcat seasons have until Sept. 1 to submit an application via the Pennsylvania Game Commission's new Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS) to be included in the public drawing to award 1,780 permits. 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 Game Commission's website www.pgc.state.pa.us. There is no paper application process this year.
There is a $5.70 non-refundable application fee to be entered into the drawing. Details on the season can be found on page 76 of the 2009-10 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting & Trapping Regulations.
On Sept. 11, the 1,780 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. 24 through Feb. 20. The bobcat trapping season will be held from Oct. 25 through Feb. 21.
The season will be open only in Wildlife Management Units 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4D and 4E. 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, and PALS will prohibit an individual from submitting more than one 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 an individual submits an application. For instance, if an individual 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 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 2009 application). Once the 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. 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 www.pgc.state.pa.us, and can be viewed by clicking on the "Take a Chance on an Elk Hunt" icon in the center of the homepage.
GAME COMMISSION PLANS TO WEBCAST PUBLIC DRAWINGS
Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that agency is planning to webcast its public drawings for the 2009 elk hunting licenses and the 2009-10 bobcat season permits. To view the drawing, a special icon will be posted online on Sept. 11, the day of the public drawing, for individuals to click on and watch the drawing.
"Each year, tens of thousands of individuals apply for an elk license or bobcat permit," Roe said. "Unfortunately, not all of them can make it to the public drawings and we are unable – due to financial limitations – to send everyone who applied a letter to let them know whether they were drawn.
"By webcasting the drawings, we hope to allow more people to view these events without having to travel."
Roe also noted that those who have submitted applications can check the status of their applications for the elk and bobcat drawings, as well as their antlerless deer license applications, thanks to the new Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS).
To access the information, go to the Game Commission website www.pgc.state.pa.us, and click on the blue box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Click on the "Purchase License Permit and or Application/Replace License and or Permit" option, which includes the ability to "Check on the status of any Lottery Application," scroll down and click on the "Start Here" button at the bottom of the page. At this page, choose one of the identification options below to check your records, fill in the necessary information and click on the "Continue" button. Click on the appropriate residency status, which will display your current personal information. At the bottom of the page, choose the "Check on the status of any Lottery Application" button, and then hit "Continue."
"While this may seem like a lot of clicking and box checking to get to the information, the system is designed to protect an individual's personal information, while at the same time enabling that person to check on the status of his or her applications," Roe said. "In the past, the only way to know for sure that you were awarded an elk license or bobcat permit was to attend the public drawings, wait for a letter in the mail or to call the Game Commission.
"This year, thanks to PALS, we will be able to update the data files for each license buyer shortly after the bobcat and elk public drawings are completed so that license buyers will be able to see for themselves if they were drawn for one of the 1,780 bobcat permits or 59 elk licenses."