Pennsylvania Offers Special Spring Turkey Hunter Tag

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Pennsylvania hunters who would like the opportunity to harvest a second spring gobbler can purchase a second spring gobbler tag until the spring gobbler season begins on April 30, according to Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. In fact, thanks to the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS), hunters can purchase a second spring gobbler tag at any issuing agent or through the agency's website.

Roe cautioned that those who plan to purchase the second spring gobbler tag through the agency's website should expect to wait seven to 10 days for shipping, depending on the volume of other online purchases.

"Prior to the implementation of PALS, hunters had to wait until Jan. 1 before submitting a license application for the second spring gobbler tag, and then wait for the agency to mail the license back to them," Roe said. "The old process was necessary to enable the agency to spread out the administrative workload of processing and handling licenses for the fall hunting seasons.

"However, thanks to PALS, hunters can now purchase the second spring gobbler tag at any issuing agent and walk out of the store with the license in hand, or they can purchase it online and wait for it to be mailed to them within 10 days."

Roe noted that all general hunting license holders are able to take one spring gobbler as part of their general hunting privileges; the second spring gobbler tag license affords those hunters interested in this additional opportunity to take a second spring gobbler. Hunters may only purchase one second spring gobbler license during a license year, as the season limit remains two spring gobblers, and the daily harvest is one bird per day.

"So, if you are looking for that application in your digest or online to mail in, you won't find it," Roe said. "You can just purchase the special spring gobbler license either through the Game Commission's website or visit your local license issuing agent."

Fees set by state law for the special license are $21.70 for residents and $41.70 for nonresidents. For online orders, there are additional shipping and handling costs.

The 2011 spring gobbler season is set to run from April 30-May 31. The Board of Game Commissioners approved a change to the legal hunting hours. Under the change, legal hunting hours from the opening day of the spring gobbler season through the third Saturday (April 30-May 14) will retain the long-standing one-half hour before sunrise until noon timeframe. However, the remainder of the season (May 16-31) will be expanded to run all day, from one-half hour before sunrise until one-half hour after sunset.

Roe noted that the Board also extended the traditional closing day of the spring season to May 31. This additional recreational hunting is provided with minimal impact to the resource because disturbance of hens would be less since most hens would be in the later stages of nest incubation when they are less prone to abandon the nest.

The one-day Spring Gobbler Youth Hunt will be held on April 23, and will run from one-half hour before sunrise until noon.

For more information visit the agency's website (www.pgc.state.pa.us).