Pa. hunters will have longer-than-normal wait to see if they'll get antlerless license

STAFF REPORT
Pennsylvania hunters will have a longer-than-normal wait to see if they will get antlerless deer licenses.

Pennsylvania antlerless deer hunters will apparently need to have a little patience this summer.

The state Game Commission issued a news release on Wednesday warning hunters that the wait to see if their 2021-22 antlerless deer license has been awarded might be a little longer than usual.

A new licensing system now used to issue all hunting licenses, including antlerless licenses, has experienced slowdowns during peak sales periods — one of which began Monday, when Pennsylvania residents were able to apply for their first antlerless deer license. That means it’s taking longer to issue antlerless licenses.

The PGC, in the news release, said it is working with NIC Inc., the vendor that operates the new HuntFishPA licensing system, toward a solution that will speed up the sales process and enhance system performance.

Hunters wishing to check whether their license has been awarded can do so through HuntFishPA at https://huntfish.pa.gov. Once logged in to their account on the site, an awarded license will appear in a hunter’s purchase history. They also can click the Wildlife Quota option on the top right of the HuntFishPA home page.  Hunters also can monitor the number of antlerless licenses remaining in each Wildlife Management Unit by going to www.pgc.pa.gov, clicking on the Antlerless Deer License link under Quick Clicks, then selecting Antlerless License Availability in the gray box  on the Antlerless Deer Licenses and Availability page.

In January, the PGC and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission began issuing hunting, furtaker and fishing licenses through the HuntFishPA platform. Previously, those licenses were issued by another vendor, but the contract had expired. NIC was one of four companies to submit a bid and was awarded the contract.

The PGC reported that NIC has more than 20 years’ experience in outdoor licensing across 11 states, including Wisconsin, Mississippi, Alabama, Maine, and South Carolina. The company said the slowdowns experienced in Pennsylvania result from a high volume of transactions.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said improving the new system is a priority for the agency.

“While the new system has been slow, antlerless licenses still are being issued and no doubt will be in hunters’ mailboxes well before the first deer seasons begin in September,” Burhans said in the news release.. “In the meantime, we will be working with NIC to improve the system.”

Information for this story was provided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.