Whether by working to ensure walk-in-access to our favorite hunting spots or breaking down barriers to recruit new hunters, BHA PA strives to improve access and opportunity for hunters throughout Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 431, introduced by Senator Dan Laughlin, proposes to improve access by authorizing the sale of antlerless deer licenses through the Commonwealth’s new Hunt Fish PA website. The measure would not preclude county treasurers as authorized issuing agents but would remove them as the sole issuer, as they are now.
UPDATE 6-16-2021: We urge PA BHA members and all Keystone State sportsmen and women to take action now by using our Action Alert to contact their Senators and urging them to support SB 431. Click Here to read the Alert and send a letter or email. Please also make a phone call to your Senator's office. Phone calls carry a lot of weight. Click Here to find your Senator's contact information, including phone numbers.
The current mail-in system is an antiquated process that dates to when county lines were boundaries for hunting activities. Despite the changes to our wildlife management boundaries, we have continued to use this process that involves a complicated paper application, two pink envelopes, and a check or money order, which must all be mailed to one of 67 county treasurers by a certain date. Hunters may have to do this several times a season if they seek more than one antlerless tag. This is a process rife with opportunity for mistakes and delays and causes significant frustration among our state’s deer hunters.
Senate Bill 431 would improve access for all to antlerless deer licenses by allowing for simple online application and remove the burden of the antiquated mail-in application system. More importantly, the burdensome mail-in system may be a barrier to hunting for new people just starting out in the sport and to Pennsylvania hunters living elsewhere, such as college students and those serving in the military. At a time when just about everyone in the hunting universe is working to attract new folks to the pursuit, roadblocks like the current antiquated antlerless license mail in system simply must go.
This modernization of the antlerless licensing system would help ensure no hunters are excluded from acquiring their antlerless license in a timely manner.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission, which would be responsible for administering the licenses, has come out in full support of the proposed legislation.
We join them in urging lawmakers to make this needed change.
SB 431 would allow hunters to apply for anterless deer permits
via Pennsylvania's new licensing portal, Hunt Fish PA.