Hunters have until Aug. 25 to submit an application to participate in Pennsylvania's annual elk hunt.
"Like so many other aspects of hunting, the elk hunt quickly has become a tradition here in Pennsylvania," said Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "But hunters need to enter the drawing soon if they're hoping to take part in this year's hunt."
Hunters may submit their applications through the Pennsylvania Automated License System. Applications may be submitted anywhere hunting licenses are sold, or online at the Game Commission's website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. Perhaps the easiest way to submit an online application is by clicking on the "Enter Elk Drawing" icon on the website's homepage.
Applicants must pay a $10.70 application fee.
to be included in the drawing.
This year's drawing provides a greater opportunity for hunters to obtain an elk license. The number of licenses to be allocated has been increased to 86, up from the 65 licenses issued in the 2012-13 season.
The drawing will be held on Friday, Sept. 13 in the auditorium at the Game Commission's headquarters in Harrisburg.
Names will be drawn first for the 26 antlered licenses available, followed by the drawings for the 60 available antlerless licenses.
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 in each year from 2003 through 2012, but were not awarded an elk license, have 10 preference points heading into this year's drawing if they submit an application this year, and will have their name entered into the drawing 11 times (10 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 10 preference points, but does not enter the 2012 drawing, he/she will not have any chances in the upcoming drawing. However, their preference points will remain on hold until they apply in a future drawing. 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 2013 elk licenses, they will continue to build their preference points.