Harrisburg — Hunters will soon have the chance to show support for their sport.
One of the bills signed into law late this fall by outgoing Gov. Tom Corbett was Senate Bill 1187. It creates, among other things, a “hunting heritage” license plate.
Pennsylvania already has a number of specialty plates. There’s one bearing a likeness of an otter that benefits the Wild Resource Conservation Fund, as well as other zoos, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and Veteran Trust Fund.
The hunting plate will feature an image of a white-tailed deer and refer to the state’s “hunting heritage.” It’s being developed between the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
“It is important to recognize hunters and their heritage, and I am pleased that the proposal worked its way through the General Assembly and will now go to the governor’s desk for approval,” said Sen. Jim Brewster, the Allegheny County Democrat who sponsored the legislation.
“There are more than one million hunters in Pennsylvania and many of those sportsmen may be interested in a hunting heritage plate.”
Brewster first introduced the idea back in the summer of 2013. It passed the Senate Transportation Committee fairly quickly, but then languished for a while.
It was ultimately appended to other legislation earlier this year and made its way through the system.
The legislation specifies that one-third of the net proceeds from sales of the plate – PennDOT will keep enough to cover costs – will be allocated to Hunters Sharing the Harvest, the nonprofit that coordinates the distribution of donated deer and wild game to food banks.
The other two-thirds of the proceeds will go to the Game Commission, which will in turn distribute it in the form of grants to sportsmen’s clubs to promote sport hunting, youth hunter education and the replenishment of game species.
No decisions have been made on what the plate will cost, Game Commission Executive Director Matt Hough said in a conference call with reporters.
But that information will be available soon, perhaps by the end of the year or shortly thereafter, he added.
“We’re hoping hunters will buy the plates and show their support for Pennsylvania’s hunting heritage,” Hough said.