Pennsylvania Hunters May Apply for Second Gobbler Tag

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Pennsylvania hunters may apply for a second spring gobbler tag, according to Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe.

Second spring gobbler applications are available on page 38 of the 2006-07 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to each license buyer, or by going to the agency's website, and clicking on "Spring Turkey Tag App" in the center of the homepage below "The Outdoor Shop."

Hunters also may apply over-the-counter at any of the Game Commission's six region offices or Harrisburg headquarters, however, licenses will be printed and mailed later.

Fees set by state law for the special license are $21 for residents and $41 for nonresidents. Mailed applications for special wild turkey licenses must be sent to: Pennsylvania Game Commission, Special Spring Gobbler License, P.O. Box 61317, Harrisburg, PA 17106-1317.

The application period closes on April 1, and the spring gobbler season is set for April 28-May 26. Hunters are allowed to submit only one application for the special wild turkey license during a license year.

Roe stressed that hunters are able to take one spring gobbler as part of their general hunting privileges. However, the special license will afford those hunters interested in this additional opportunity to take a second spring gobbler.

According to Mary Jo Casalena, Game Commission wild turkey biologist, research has shown that properly timed and implemented multiple-bird spring limits have not caused population declines in other states.

"Pennsylvania, however, is unique with its large number of wild turkey hunters and large harvests," Casalena said. "Therefore, it is imperative that sufficient population monitoring occurs prior to any additional season changes. We regularly recommend the change in seasons remain in place for at least three years to assess any biological and social impacts caused by that change, after which additional changes can be made, such as extending hunting hours beyond noon."

Revenues from the special licenses could be used to implement and fund the Game Commission's turkey management plan and further educate turkey hunters, thereby promoting additional recreation and safe hunting practices.

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.