Begin Main Content Area

 PA.Media.BreadCrumbs - MediaBreadCrumbs

Media > Game Commission > Details

NEW HUNTING LICENSE YEAR COMING

06/17/2024

HARRISBURG, PA - Hunting and furtaker licenses for the 2023-24 license year will expire June 30, and hunters will need new licenses for the 2024-25 license year to begin July 1.

New licenses go on sale Monday, June 24, and hunters no longer need to purchase a general license before getting an antlerless deer license – they can be purchased at the same time, anywhere licenses are sold.

This year, when licenses go on sale at 8 a.m. on June 24, antlerless deer licenses will be available for only three Wildlife Management Units where demand is highest – WMUs 1B, 2G and 3A. Licenses in these WMUs will be sold on a first come, first serve basis until the allotted number of licenses sells out, and only Pennsylvania residents may purchase antlerless licenses initially.

On Thursday, June 27 at 8 a.m., antlerless licenses for the remaining 19 WMUs will go on sale to residents. Those seeking licenses in any of these WMUs won’t need to wait in line for them; they’re guaranteed to get one, as long as they buy before 7 a.m. on Monday, July 8 – when the resident-only portion of the first round of antlerless license sales ends.

Once the nonresident portion of the first round begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, July 8, all remaining antlerless licenses will be sold on a first come, first serve basis until the allocated number of licenses is exhausted.

A hunter, whether resident or nonresident, can obtain only one antlerless license in the first round, whether it’s before, during or after the guaranteed period.

The changes to the sales schedule and process should work in tandem to reduce wait times for hunters buying licenses throughout the first round. By opening antlerless license sales initially in the three WMUs that are likely to sell out the fastest, and taking the others out of the mix, demand can be better met for those license buyers who need it most. And guaranteeing an antlerless license to a resident hunter for any other WMU from June 27 to July 8 largely eliminates the need to stand in line, allows demand to be spread out over more than a week and gives hunters greater flexibility to buy at a time that’s convenient for them.

Even then, there are sure to be plenty of licenses left in most WMUs.

Last year, when antlerless sales were sold over the counter and online for the first time, only WMU 2G sold out before sales to nonresidents began. WMUs 1B and 3A sold out in the final days of the first round. Licenses for every other WMU were available into the second round. Some WMUs sold out quickly thereafter while others made it to a third or fourth round of sales.

Outside of beginning antlerless license sales for high-demand WMUs first, the sales schedule and process is similar to last year. Sales begin at 8 a.m. on the first day of any round, and there will be no sales between 7 a.m. and 7:59 a.m. on the first day a round opens, allowing for online customers to join the buying queue.

The second round of sales begins on Monday, July 22 at 8 a.m.

The third round begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 12. Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permits also go on sale when the third round begins.

During the fourth round, which begins Monday, Aug. 26 at 8 a.m., a hunter may purchase more than one license for any WMU where licenses are available. No hunter may possess more than their personal limit of six antlerless licenses at a time.

Science-based antlerless license allocations are set within each WMU to achieve deer-management goals. By guaranteeing a license to resident hunters in most WMUs, there is a chance more than the allocated number of licenses will be sold. That’s unlikely based on the sales patterns established last year, and if it happened, it wouldn’t necessarily have negative impacts on deer populations. But if license sales exceeded the allocation and adjustments were needed, they would be made in the next license year, as is routine in wildlife management.

In the meantime, more hunters can look forward to enjoying the quick-and-easy buying experience that – outside the long waits on the first day of license sales in 2023 – largely was evident through the new process.

 

Digest opt-in for online customers

Those buying hunting licenses online this year will need to opt-in to receive a regulations digest with their license.

Last year marked the first time antlerless deer licenses could be purchased directly from license issuing agents and online, and online license sales increased significantly overall.

Because licenses purchased online are mailed to hunters, shipping charges apply to online orders. And because the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest last year was sent to every hunter purchasing a general hunting license online, several digests would be sent to online customers buying licenses for the multiple hunters in their family. That often gave them more digests than they needed or wanted, and at additional shipping cost.

This year, online customers will opt in to receive a digest when buying online. Those getting digests will receive them by mail along with their licenses.

“We still want hunters to read their digests and rely on them throughout the season for the information they need,” said Game Commission Executive Director Steve Smith. “There’s always a need to stay up to date on changes. But the opt-in alleviates a burden some faced last year, and for online customers and everyone else, the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest can be viewed, downloaded or printed anytime at www.pgc.pa.gov.”

Shipping costs for those buying licenses online will increase slightly July 14 due to postage rate increases. At the start of sales, online customers getting only their licenses will pay $1.88 in shipping costs, and $4.43 if getting a digest, too. After July 14, those costs will rise to $1.93 and $4.74, respectively. The charges apply to each hunter making a license transaction online, meaning a hunter would pay shipping costs in buying their licenses and privileges initially, then again when buying a second antlerless license in the second round of sales, for example.

Hunters buying licenses in person pay no shipping costs and receive their licenses and harvest tags immediately. Harvest tags must be carried afield when hunting big game. 

 

Renewing senior tags

While Pennsylvania residents age 65 or older may purchase a lifetime hunting or furtaker license, or a lifetime combination license that includes hunting, furtaking and other privileges, lifetime license holders still must obtain new antlered deer and turkey harvest tags each license year, as well as new antlerless deer licenses, bear licenses, elk license applications and more.

Customers who have not purchased or renewed their senior lifetime license through www.HuntFish.PA.gov, will need to provide their Social Security Number when applying. This is a one-time only requirement, and will not be needed again unless a hunter does not have or cannot remember the Customer Identification (CID) number on their license.

All senior lifetime hunting license and combination license holders who purchased their lifetime license prior to May 13, 2017 are exempt from needing a pheasant permit to hunt or harvest pheasants. “Pheasant Eligible” is printed on the bottom panel of the license for hunters who do not have to purchase a pheasant permit.

Hunters need to provide proof of residency, usually with a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license, when renewing lifetime licenses.


MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

# # #


 Content Editor

 PA.AgencyPortal.Media - MediaPageTitle