Displaying a license less hassle than digging out wallet
I’m not sure where the sudden demand to do away with the
license-display requirement came from, but I do know it’s an issue
that highlights just how different the Pennsylvania Game Commission
and Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission truly are.
Especially when it comes to law enforcement.
Beginning with the 2012 hunting season, hunting licenses will no
longer need to be displayed. Hunters can carry their license in
their wallet or, they can still display it on their back.
When a wildlife conservation officer checks a hunter next
season, a glance at the back of his or her jacket will no longer
suffice. The officer will have to approach each hunter and ask him
or her to take out their wallet to show their license.
It’s a bit inconvenient for both parties, but it’s nothing compared
to what anglers and waterways conservation officers could
experience if the Fish & Boat Commission also does away with
the display requirement.
No longer can waterways officers scan the crowded banks of a
stream on the first day of trout season to make sure everyone is
wearing a license. Without having to display a license, officers
will have to approach each angler and ask him or her to pull out
That means putting down rod and reel, stepping away from that
valuable spot along the stream and digging out a wallet.
Unlike a Game Commission officer who deals with groups of
hunters, a Fish & Boat officer faces throngs of anglers all at
once, depending on the season. That’s why the display requirement
was actually a law enforcement tool — it allowed waterways
officers to check large groups of anglers with relative ease.
But do away with the requirement, and it could create a needless
hassle for all parties involved.
I really don’t think anglers on the first day of trout season or
those lining the banks of the Lake Erie tributaries fishing for
steelhead will appreciate being interrupted to pull out their
wallet and prove they have a valid license.
And the waterways officers will have to spend countless hours
making sure all the anglers he sees have a license.
Those who support doing away with the display requirement
contend it’s a burden to pin a license on the back of a coat or
vest. It could be easily lost, they argue.
But what’s the bigger burden? Pinning a license on a coat or
having to stop what you’re doing, put down your rifle or fishing
pole and dig out your wallet?
Required or not, my license will remain displayed.