Pennsylvania hunting and trapping licenses go on sale Monday, June 19, and the new licenses take effect on July 1.
With each purchase, hunters will receive a pocket guide of regulations, seasons and bag limits, but the full booklet given out in other years will cost $6 as the Pennsylvania Game Commission seeks to pare expenses.
License buyers who wish to view the full booklet can do so online at the www.pgc.pa.gov.
By no longer giving out free booklets, the Game Commission will save significantly on the cost of printing and mailing hundreds of thousands of them.
“These kinds of reductions in services are necessary as the Game Commission approaches nearly two decades without an increase in the cost of a general hunting or furtaker license,” Bryan Burhans, the commission’s executive director, said in a statement.
Unlike most state agencies, the Game Commission doesn’t get a share of tax money from the state’s general fund. Instead, funding comes primarily from the sale of licenses, the fees for which are set by the General Assembly, as well as rents and royalties for gas, timber and other land use and a federal tax on ammunition and sporting arms.
A challenging fiscal climate also is behind another significant change in 2017-18: the requirement for all adult and senior pheasant hunters to purchase a permit for $26.90 in addition to the general hunting license.
In recent decades, pheasant hunting in Pennsylvania has been possible only through the release of farm-raised pheasants, and the commission’s pheasant propagation program annually has raised and released about 200,000 pheasants or more for hunting statewide. While the program is a popular one, it doesn’t come cheap, costing about $4.7 million annually in recent years.
Last year, the Game Commission closed two of its four pheasant farms, and reduced the statewide pheasant allocation for 2017-18 to 170,000 birds.
A general hunting license, meanwhile, costs $20.90 for Pennsylvanians and $101.90 for out-of-state hunters.
Resident senior hunters and furtakers, ages 65 and older, can purchase one-year licenses for $13.90, or lifetime licenses for $51.90.
For $101.90, resident seniors can purchase lifetime combination licenses that afford them hunting and furtaking privileges.
Like other hunters and trappers, seniors still need to purchase archery licenses before participating in the archery deer season, bear licenses to pursue bears, and permits to harvest pheasants, bobcats, fishers or river otters. Antlerless licenses go on sale through county treasurer’s offices on Monday, July 10 for Pennsylvania residents and Monday, July 17 for out-of-state hunters.
A complete list of licensing requirements can be found at www.pgc.pa.gov.