For the Cumberland Times-News
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Elk were gone from Pennsylvania for about 50 years at the time the Game Commission began efforts to reintroduce them to the state in 1913.
One hundred years later, the state’s elk herd is the largest in the Northeast and restoring elk to Pennsylvania is considered one of the great accomplishments in wildlife conservation history.
And for those hoping in this anniversary year to participate in Pennsylvania’s annual elk hunt, there’s still time to enter the drawing for licenses.
“Like so many other aspects of hunting, the elk hunt quickly has become a tradition here in Pennsylvania,” said Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe. “But hunters need to enter the drawing soon if they’re hoping to take part in this year’s hunt.”
Hunters have until Aug. 25 to submit an application through the Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS).
Applications can be submitted anywhere hunting licenses are sold, or online at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. Perhaps the easiest way to submit an online application is by clicking on the “Enter Elk Drawing” icon on the website’s home page.
Applicants must pay a $10.70 non refundable application fee to be included in the drawing.
This year’s drawing provides a greater opportunity for hunters to obtain an elk license.
The number of licenses to be allocated has been increased to 86, up from the 65 licenses issued in the 2012-13 season.
The drawing will be held on Sept. 13 in the auditorium at the Game Commission’s headquarters in Harrisburg.
Names will be drawn first for the 26 antlered licenses available, followed by the drawings for the 60 available antlerless licenses.
Individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to apply for the drawing.
However, if they are drawn for one of the elk licenses, hunters then will be required to purchase the appropriate resident or nonresident general hunting license and view the elk hunt orientation video produced by the Game Commission before being permitted to purchase the elk license.
The elk license fees are $25 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.
There is no cap, or limit, for the number of licenses that may be awarded to nonresidents.