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What hunters need to know about antlerless deer licenses

HARRISBURG — Deer season still might be months away, but hunters who will need antlerless deer licenses in 2021-22 soon will need to fill out and send in their applications.

Resident hunters could apply for their first antlerless deer license beginning last Monday. Nonresidents could submit their first application a week later.

Hunters submitting applications should take note that the amount they pay for an antlerless license has increased slightly this year.

While license fees haven’t increased since 1999, the vendor that operates Pennsylvania licensing system collects a fee for each license issued. That fee has increased this year — from 90 to 97 cents.

Pennsylvania antlerless deer licenses now cost $6.97 for residents and $26.97 for nonresidents.

While the total amount now is only pennies higher than before, the change is an important one for hunters submitting antlerless-license applications. Checks or money orders written for an improper amount result in an application being rejected. So be sure to confirm you’re using a 2021-22 application and envelope that reflect the present fees of $6.97 and $26.97.

Up to three applications can be submitted using the same envelope. Those submitting two resident applications now must include a check for $13.94. Three resident applications total $20.91.

Applicants must make checks and money orders payable to “County Treasurer.”

A list of participating county treasurers and their addresses can be found within the 2021-22 Pennsylvania Hunting and Trapping Digest, which is provided to all license buyers and available to view online.

Applications that are in any way incomplete, including being sent without proper remittance, will be rejected and returned to the applicant. Applications received before the Monday start of any round also will be returned to sender.

In any WMU where antlerless licenses remain, resident and nonresident applicants may apply for a second license beginning Aug. 2, and a third license Aug. 16.

Applications during these rounds are accepted by mail only, and must be mailed with proper remittance in an official pink envelope, which ordinarily is provided by the license-issuing agent at the time a general hunting license is purchased.

A hunter first must purchase a general license to be eligible to apply for an antlerless deer license. Hunters who purchased their general license online, but haven’t yet received it, can obtain an antlerless-deer license application through the white-tailed deer page at www.pgc.pa.gov and go to any license-issuing agent to pick up an official pink envelope.

The total number of antlerless licenses has been reduced from 932,000 to 925,000 for 2021-22, meaning licenses could sell out at a faster pace this year. But where licenses remain, hunters in many cases can apply for more of them than they did in years past.

Hunters now can hold up to six unfilled antlerless licenses at a time, and can apply for additional licenses as they harvest deer and report them.

Over-the-counter sales of antlerless deer licenses for any Wildlife Management Unit where they remain begin Sept. 13.

Since hunters statewide may hold up to six antlerless deer licenses at a time, and hunters may obtain no more than three antlerless deer licenses during the initial mail-in rounds, each hunter will qualify for at least three additional licenses at the time over-the-counter sales begin, although licenses in many WMUs will be sold out by then.

Applications made by mail during the over-the-counter sales period can be submitted through the same process as in earlier mail-in rounds, though hunters may submit more than one application at a time until the six-license limit is reached.

When applying by mail, a hunter may submit up to three applications per envelope. If a hunter qualifies to purchase more than three licenses during the over-the-counter sales period, and chooses to make application by mail, separate envelopes will need to be mailed. Group applications (no more than three applications total per envelope) also may be made by mail during the over-the-counter sales period.

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