Restrictions on Unsold Antlerless Deer Tags Voted Down

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At a special meeting here today, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners voted down a proposal that would have restricted hunters' use of unsold county-specific antlerless deer licenses to private lands only. By defeating the proposal, the Board cleared the way for hunters to use their unsold county-specific antlerless licenses, as well as their regular county-specific antlerless license, on private or public lands.

County treasurers will begin accepting antlerless license applications through the mail from residents on Monday, Aug. 5; nonresident applications will begin being accepted through the mail on Monday, Aug. 19. County treasurers will begin accepting resident and nonresident hunter applications through the mail for the first round of unsold licenses on Monday, Aug. 26; and the second round will be accepted through the mail beginning Monday, Sept. 9.

Over-the-counter applications will not be accepted by county treasurers until Nov. 4, except in Special Regulation Areas counties (Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia), where county treasurers will begin accepting over the counter applications on Monday, Aug. 26.

Regular and first round unsold antlerless licenses will be mailed to successful applicants by county treasurers no later than Monday, Sept. 16. Second and subsequent rounds of unsold antlerless licenses will be mailed to successful applicants by county treasurers no later than Monday, Sept. 23.

Treasurers in three counties have notified the Game Commission that they will hold public drawings for antlerless licenses on Wednesday, Aug. 7. Those counties include: Armstrong, 9 a.m., Treasurer's office; Butler, 10 a.m., Butler County Government Center; and Lehigh, 12:30 p.m., Government Center, Room 45.

Based on the need to increase the antlerless harvest to make room for the roughly 85,000 antlered deer that are expected to be protected by the new antler restrictions for 2002-2003, the Board of Game Commissioners approved a statewide antlerless license allocation of 922,600. (These figures do not include the six Special Regulation Area counties. The statewide total, including the Special Regulation Area counties, is 1,029,350.)

In April, Dr. Gary Alt, Game Commission Deer Management Section supervisor, noted that he expected this increase in antlerless licenses to be in place for one-year, and that the allocation should decrease in the 2003-2004 season. With the goal of implementing new deer management units in 2003-2004, Dr. Alt noted the agency will be able to better direct hunter pressure to those areas in most need.