Although deer hunting season is a few months away, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reminds hunters that antlerless deer licenses went on sale July 12. For nonresidents, it’s July 19.
Hunters should note that there are a few changes this year as antlerless licenses have increased slightly in price.
According to the PGC, antlerless license fees haven’t increased since 1999. However, since vendors operating the licensing system increased their fee from 90 to 97 cents, that resulted in an antlerless license increase that will now cost $6.97 for residents and $26.97 for nonresidents.
The PGC points out that it’s imperative hunters use the 2021-22 application and envelope that reflects the price increase not an older one as your application will be rejected.
As a reminder, up to three applications can be submitted in the same envelope for a total reflecting the new price of $20.91. Checks and money orders must be payable to “County Treasurer” with a list of participating county treasurer’s and their addresses found in the 2021-22 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, or, viewed online at the agency’s website.
According to the PGC, if any Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) have remaining resident and nonresident licenses, hunters may apply for a second license beginning Aug. 2 and a third license Aug. 16. Those applications are accepted by mail only, not over-the-counter. And the proper remittance mailed in the pink PGC envelope.
Of course, hunters must first purchase a general hunting to be eligible for an antlerless deer license. For hunters who purchased their general license online, but haven’t received it, they can obtain an antlerless deer license application through the white-tailed deer page at www.pgc.pa.gov.
Hunters should note the total number of antlerless deer licenses have been reduced from 932,000 to 925,000 for the 2021-22 hunting seasons. This is attributed to the move to allow concurrent hunting of antlered and antlerless deer statewide during the 14-day regular firearms season. As such, the PGC says antlerless licenses could sell out at a faster pace this year. In WMU’s closest to the Lehigh Valley, only WMU 4C saw a decrease from last season going from 32,000 to 29,000. Otherwise, local 5C remained the same at 70,000; 5D stayed at 29,000; 3D remained at 36,000 and 4E increased from 37,000 to 42,000.
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 tags for an WMU where they remain will begin Sept. 13. During this time, licenses for any WMU may be purchased from any county treasurer, either in person or through the mail.
Back again this year, participants in Pennsylvania’s mentored hunting program who are at least 7 years old, can apply for their own antlerless deer licenses and Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permits. DMAP permits are used to harvest antlerless deer on specific properties.
In past years, mentored hunters could harvest antlerless deer only if their hunting mentor held a valid antlerless license or DMAP permit and transferred the permit to the mentored hunter following a harvest.
Additionally, and with hunting licenses, mentored hunters over 7 must have valid mentored hunting permits before applying for antlerless licenses or DMAP permits. Qualifying mentored hunters may purchase no more than one antlerless deer license.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.