Pennsylvania Antlerless Deer License Applications Begins

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Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe reminds hunters that the agency will begin accepting regular antlerless deer license applications from resident hunters beginning Aug. 7, and non-residents on Aug. 21.  Antlerless deer license applications must be sent to the Game Commission via 22 different Post Office boxes and the agency, in turn, will forward them to county treasurers for processing. 

All applications for antlerless deer licenses - regular, as well as unsold - must be submitted through the U.S. Mail (first-class only).  Express and priority mail will not be accepted.

With the implementation of Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in 2003, hunters began applying for antlerless deer licenses based on WMUs, not specific counties.  Pre-printed mailing labels for each WMU are provided to affix to the yellow application envelope.  They are bar-coded to speed the application process.  Hunters should ensure the label is securely affixed to the envelope before mailing it.  If it appears that the label is not attached properly, the U.S. Postal Service allows applicants to place transparent tape over the label to secure it.

Just in case the label does fall off, hunters also should write the WMU they are applying for in the lower left-hand corner box on the envelope.  This step enables the agency to continue processing the envelope without having to open and check the application's WMU designation and then re-sealing the envelope for shipment to a county treasurer.

"With reductions in the allocations of many WMUs, hunters should give serious thought to which WMU they will apply to during the regular antlerless deer license round, because some WMUs may run out of licenses earlier in the process than in previous years," Roe said.  "Hunters also may want to consider applying for Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) antlerless deer permits, which offer hunters additional opportunities to hunt on specific properties where landowners are seeking additional deer hunting pressure."

After Aug. 7, the Game Commission will launch the popular "Doe License Update" page on its website ( to provide hunters with updates on the availability of antlerless deer licenses.  Notices for WMUs that have sold out will be posted as soon as possible.  Look in the "Quick Clicks" box in the upper right-hand corner of the agency's homepage and choose "Doe License Update."  A link to the listing of participating DMAP public landowners will be posted in the "Quick Clicks" box, as well as those private landowners who asked to be included on the agency's website.

Roe emphasized that, as required by state law, county treasurers will continue to issue antlerless deer licenses.  Except for "over-the-counter sales," county treasurers will receive a pre-determined number of applications from the Game Commission based on the county's geographic representation in the WMU. 

The Game Commission will begin accepting antlerless license applications through the mail from residents on Monday, Aug. 7; nonresident applications will be accepted through the mail starting Monday, Aug. 21.  The Game Commission will begin accepting resident and nonresident hunter applications through the mail for the first round of "unsold licenses" on Monday, Aug. 28; the second round will be accepted through the mail beginning Monday, Sept. 11.

As a result of a printer error at Liberty Press, some copies of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest contain an unsold antlerless deer license application and instructions (which appear on page 54) that had words cut from the page's right margin during production.

"This error shouldn't create a problem for those who use the application, and it is still valid," said J. Carl Graybill Jr., Game Commission Bureau of Information and Education director.  "Complete instructions for filling out the application also appear on pages 52 and 53 of the Digest.  And, as in the past, the Game Commission has posted on its website an unsold antlerless deer license application that enables the user to enter his or her information into the application before printing it."

The printer error left some applications without lines for applicants to fill in their ZIP Code and the date of signature.  Also, wording for instruction point number 4 is cut off.  The complete wording is: "All Unsold Antlerless License applications must be submitted through the U.S. Mail (First Class Only) until Nov. 6.  Express and Priority mail will not be accepted.  No more than three (3) individual applications per official envelope.  Number of applications must be circled on front of envelope to avoid delay and possible rejection."

The online application can be found on the agency's website ( in the "Forms & Programs" section in the left-hand column on the homepage, and then under the "Forms" heading.

Over-the-counter applications will not be accepted by county treasurers until Nov. 6, except in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D, where county treasurers will begin accepting over-the-counter applications on Monday, Sept. 18.  Since the allocation was increased for WMU 5C, there is no limit on the number of applications a hunter can submit during this period.

Applying for and receiving more than one antlerless license at a time is against the law and, if convicted, violators could be sentenced to pay a fine.  While individuals are permitted to mail up to three antlerless deer license applications in one envelope, the applications must be for different individuals.  Hunters may apply for only one license during the regular antlerless deer license round.  During the first round of unsold licenses, hunters may apply for a second license.  During the second round of unsold licenses, hunters may apply for a third license.  The exception to this is when hunters are applying over the counter in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D.

Applications that do not include return postage will be placed in a "dead letter" file maintained by the Game Commission's Licensing Division in the Harrisburg headquarters.  Applicants who believe that their antlerless license application may be in the dead letter file may contact the License Division at 717-787-2084 during business hours, 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.  This telephone service will be activated after Tuesday, Sept. 5. An answering machine enables callers to leave messages so that Game Commission staff may return their calls.

Regular and first round unsold antlerless licenses will be mailed to successful applicants by county treasurers no later than Monday, Sept. 18.  Second and subsequent rounds of unsold antlerless licenses will be mailed to successful applicants by county treasurers no later than Sunday, Oct. 1.

Following is a listing of the antlerless deer license allocation by Wildlife Management Unit, with last year's allocation in parenthesis: WMU 1A, 42,000 (40,000); WMU 1B, 30,000 (27,000); WMU 2A, 55,000 (55,000); WMU 2B, 68,000 (68,000); WMU 2C, 49,000 (53,000); WMU 2D, 56,000 (56,000); WMU 2E, 21,000 (21,000); WMU 2F, 28,000 (30,000); WMU 2G, 19,000 (29,000); WMU 3A, 29,000 (27,000); WMU 3B, 43,000 (41,000); WMU 3C, 27,000 (32,000); WMU 3D, 38,000 (38,000); WMU 4A, 29,000 (35,000); WMU 4B, 31,000 (35,000); WMU 4C, 39,000 (39,000); WMU 4D, 40,000 (40,000); WMU 4E, 38,000 (38,000); WMU 5A, 25,000 (28,000); WMU 5B, 53,000 (56,000); WMU 5C, 79,000 (71,000); and WMU 5D, 20,000 (20,000).

For a description of each WMU's boundaries, please refer to pages 42-45 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which is presented to each license buyer, along with harvest report cards, an antlerless deer license application and envelopes.  For other deer-related information, refer to pages 50-58.

Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission is responsible for conserving and managing all wild birds and mammals in the Commonwealth, establishing hunting seasons and bag limits, enforcing hunting and trapping laws, and managing habitat on the 1.4 million acres of State Game Lands it has purchased over the years with hunting and furtaking license dollars to safeguard wildlife habitat.  The agency also conducts numerous wildlife conservation programs for schools, civic organizations and sportsmen's clubs. 

The Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget.  The agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state's share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.