Every Pennsylvania spring turkey hunter wants to attach their tag to the leg of a big gobbler, but to do so, all need to be sure they have their licenses with them while hunting.

Hunters in every season must carry their valid general licenses and proper identification. And harvest tags must be carried in any season during which harvested game must be tagged.

A recently adopted change to be enacted next license year will allow hunters to carry digital licenses as an alternative to carrying certain paper licenses. But even when this change takes effect, hunters will need to continue carrying their paper harvest tags, and upon harvest, fill them out and securely attach them to the animal, following the directions provided on the tag. Turkeys must be tagged before they are moved from the site where they are harvested.

Successful hunters are required within 10 days to report their turkey harvests to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Mentored hunters must report turkey harvests within five days.

Hunters may report by going to www.pgc.pa.gov and clicking the blue “Report a Harvest” button near the top of the home page, then filling out a form and submitting. Harvests also may be reported by phone at 1-800-838-4431. This is a new number that was activated in January when a new hunting and fishing licensing system was put in place. The previous number, which still appears within the 2020-21 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, no longer is valid. Hunters also may fill out one of the postage-paid report cards provided with the Hunting & Trapping Digest and send the report by mail.

In all cases, it is helpful when reporting to have your license in front of you, as well as the tag you used in the field after harvesting the bird, and information such as beard and spur length.

With spring gobbler hunting underway, those who saw success early in the season will need to report their harvests soon if they haven’t already, while those still looking to fill a tag have many hunting days ahead of them.

“Gobblers challenge hunters in every way, and that’s some of the reason why hunting gobblers is so much fun,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “A monthlong season offers plenty of time for the odds to tip in hunters’ favor, and most any spring day spent outdoors in Pennsylvania promises enjoyment, especially when thundering gobbles echo through the turkey woods as a longbeard comes in to a hunter’s calls.”

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