Pennsylvania Elk Application Deadlines Approach
Pennsylvania hunters are reminded about the upcoming deadlines for submitting applications for one of the 40 elk licenses (15 antlered and 25 antlerless) to be awarded for the Nov. 6-11, 2006 season, and the 10 elk licenses (2 either-sex and 8 antlerless) that will be awarded for the Sept. 17-22, 2007 season, during a public drawing at the upcoming Elk Expo.
Hunters planning to participate in the elk hunt have until Friday, Sept. 1, to get their paper applications and $10 non-refundable fee into the Pennsylvania Game Commission's U.S. Post Office box. Applications also may be completed over-the-counter at any of the Game Commission's six region offices or Harrisburg headquarters by 4 p.m. on Sept. 1.
Individuals submitting applications via "The Outdoor Shop" on the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) have until Sept. 15.
The Game Commission established an earlier deadline for paper applications to enable the agency to properly process them in time for the public drawing on Sept. 23.
Hunters who wish to apply by mail may print the application from the website, complete it and mail it to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Elk License Application, P.O. Box 61890, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1890. An application also appears on page 106 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to license buyers.
A $10 non-refundable fee must be submitted with the application. Forms submitted through the mail must be accompanied by a check or money order (do not send cash) made payable to "Pennsylvania Game Commission," and must be received in the Game Commission's Post Office box by Sept. 1. Applications received after that date will be returned to sender. On-line applications must be accompanied by a credit card payment (VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express accepted), and must be submitted by Sept. 15.
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. All application fees are non-refundable.
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.
The public drawing will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, as part of the Elk Expo. (See article in this release for details on the Elk Expo.)
As was done last year, the agency will conduct a computerized drawing to award elk licenses. The agency has been conducting computerized bobcat drawings since 2003.
With the implementation of a preference point system, the Game Commission exceeded the capacity of the container used for previous elk license drawings. Also, by eliminating the printing of cards, the agency will save money.
When the drawing begins, enough applications will be selected to award 50 elk licenses for the November 2006 and September 2007 hunts. The first 17 awarded will be 15 antlered and two either-sex licenses. The next 33 awarded will be antlerless elk licenses.
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 or 2005 have three preference points applied to this year's drawing if they submit an application this year, and will have their name entered into the drawing four times (three 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 three preference points, but does not enter the 2006-07 drawing, he/she will not have any chances in the upcoming drawing. 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 or either sex 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 five years, are posted on the website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) along with the application.