Elk application deadline approaches

Harrisburg — Hunters looking to participate in this year’s
Pennsylvania elk season have until Aug. 27 to submit an application
through the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Pennsylvania Automated
License System (PALS). This can be done at any issuing agent or
through the “2010 Elk Hunt” icon in the center of the agency’s
homepage (www.pgc.state.pa.us).

Applicants must pay a $10.70 non-refundable application fee to
be included in the drawing. Details on the elk season and drawing
are available on pages 89-91 of the 2010-11 Pennsylvania Digest of
Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is provided to license
buyers.

On Sept. 10, the Game Commission will hold a public,
computerized drawing in the auditorium of its Harrisburg
headquarters. At that time, the agency will award the 50 elk
licenses, the first 17 drawn will receive an antlered license and
the next 33 drawn will receive an antlerless license.

By law, only one application is permitted per person per year,
and PALS will prohibit an individual from submitting more than one
application.

 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.

There is no cap, or limit, for the number of licenses that may
be awarded to nonresidents. Individuals who applied but were not
awarded an elk license in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and
2009 have seven preference points heading into this year’s drawing
if they submit an application this year, and will have their name
entered into the drawing eight times (seven 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 six preference points, but does not enter
the 2010 drawing, he/she will not have any chances in the upcoming
drawing. However, their preference points will remain on hold until
they apply again. Once a hunter is awarded an elk license – either
an antlered or antlerless elk license – the hunter’s preference
points will revert to zero.

Additionally, hunters who want to earn a preference point for
this year, but know that they would not be able to participate in
the elk hunting season if drawn, have the option of simply
purchasing a preference point for $10.70. While they will not be
included in the drawing for the 2010 elk licenses, they will
continue to build their preference points.

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 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
preferred 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 since 2001, are posted on the agency’s website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), and can be viewed by clicking on the “2010
Elk Hunt” icon in the center of the homepage.

Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director, noted that the
agency is planning to webcast the public drawings for the 2010 elk
hunting licenses on Sept. 10. To view the drawing, a special icon
will be posted online the morning of the public drawing for
individuals to click on and watch the drawing.

“Each year, tens of thousands of individuals apply for an elk
license,” Roe said. “Unfortunately, not all of them can make it to
the public drawings and we are unable – due to financial
limitations – to send everyone who applied a letter to let them
know whether they were drawn. By webcasting the drawings, we hope
to allow more people to view these events without having to
travel.”

Roe also noted that those who have submitted applications can
check the status of their applications for the elk drawing, as well
as their antlerless deer license applications, thanks to the
Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS).

To access this information, go to the Game Commission website
(www.pgc.state.pa.us), and click on the blue box in the upper
right-hand corner of the homepage. Click on the “Purchase License
Permit and or Application/Replace License and or Permit” option,
which includes the ability to “Check on the status of any Lottery
Application,” scroll down and click on the “Start Here” button at
the bottom of the page. At this page, choose one of the
identification options below to check your records, fill in the
necessary information and click on the “Continue” button. Click on
the appropriate residency status, which will display your current
personal information. At the bottom of the page, choose the “Check
on the status of any Lottery Application” button, and then hit
“Continue.”

“While this may seem like a lot of clicking and box checking to
get to the information, the system is designed to protect an
individual’s personal information, while at the same time enabling
that person to check on the status of his or her applications,” Roe
said. “In the past, the only way to know for sure that you were
awarded an elk license was to attend the public drawings, wait for
a letter in the mail or to call the Game Commission.

“Thanks to PALS, we will be able to update the data files
shortly after the elk drawing is completed so that license buyers
will be able to see for themselves if they were drawn for one of
the 50 elk licenses.”

 

Categories: Pennsylvania – Jeff Mulhollem

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