HARRISBURG – With more Sunday hunting opportunities on the way, additional days available for hunters to fill their antlerless deer tags and the biggest allotment of elk licenses yet, the 2021-22 season is one that Pennsylvania hunters are eagerly awaiting.
And they won’t have to wait for long.
Hunting and furtaker licenses for 2021-22 will go on sale Monday and the new license year begins July 1.
General hunting licenses and furtaker licenses each cost $20.97 for Pennsylvania residents and $101.97 for nonresidents.
Resident senior hunters and furtakers ages 65 and older can purchase one-year licenses for $13.97, or lifetime licenses for $51.97. For $101.97, resident seniors can purchase lifetime combination licenses that afford them hunting and furtaking privileges.
Like other hunters and trappers, seniors still need to purchase bear licenses to pursue bruins and obtain permits to harvest bobcats, fishers or river otters. Hunters who acquired their senior lifetime licenses after May 13, 2017 are required to obtain an annual pheasant permit to hunt or harvest pheasants.
A complete list of licensing requirements can be found at www.pgc.pa.gov.
Again this year, additional hunting will be offered on three Sundays – Nov. 14, Nov. 21 and Nov. 28. But unlike last year, when those Sundays were open only for deer or bear hunting, this year they’re open for other species that are in season, too, except turkeys and migratory game birds. A complete guide to Sunday hunting is included in the 2021-22 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest issued to all license buyers.
Pennsylvania elk hunters in 2021-22 also will be out in record numbers. The 187 licenses available marks an increase from the 164 allocated the previous year. A record 56 of the 2021-22 licenses are for bulls. And the January late season, which in its first two years was open only to antlerless elk hunting, in 2022 will be open to bull hunting, as well. Ten of the 49 licenses to be issued for the Jan. 1 through 8 late season are for bulls.
The January late season is one of three elk seasons. There are 14 antlered and 15 antlerless licenses available for the archery-only elk season, which runs from Sept. 11 through 25, when bulls are in the rut. There are 32 antlered and 77 antlerless licenses available for the general six-day regular elk season, which runs from Nov. 1 through 6.
Licenses are awarded by lottery. License applications can be submitted online or at any license issuing agent. A separate application, costing $11.97, is needed for each season. Hunters wishing to apply for all three pay $35.91. In each drawing, season-specific bonus points are awarded to those who aren’t drawn.
The deadline to apply for an elk license is July 31.
Many hunters who regularly buy their licenses as soon as sales begin are motivated by securing a Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) permit, which are available in limited numbers and enable holders to harvest antlerless deer in any established deer season.
Buying early also helps ensure hunters won’t miss their opportunity to apply for an antlerless deer license.
A resident Pennsylvanian who buys their 2021-22 hunting license is eligible to apply for an antlerless deer license July 12. Nonresidents can apply July 19. And a second round in which a hunter can receive a second antlerless deer license begins Aug. 2 for Wildlife Management Units where licenses remain. And if licenses still remain, a final round begins Aug. 16.
It’s as important as ever this year for hunters to submit their antlerless deer license applications on schedule. A total of 925,000 antlerless deer licenses are available, down from 932,000 last year. Hunters statewide now have the opportunity to apply for and receive additional antlerless deer licenses, as long as licenses remain available, and provided that a hunter holds no more than six unfilled antlerless licenses at a time. And the return of concurrent hunting for antlered and antlerless deer during the duration of the firearms deer season gives hunters in much of the state additional time to fill their tags.
Further details are outlined in the Hunting & Trapping Digest.
Hunting licenses can be purchased online at https://huntfish.pa.gov, a newly launched customer-friendly licensing platform. Just create an account or log into one you previously created to purchase all the licenses you need. A map to locate a license issuing agent near you can be found on the Licenses and Permits page at www.pgc.pa.gov.