Harrisburg, PA – If you haven’t yet submitted an application to enter Pennsylvania’s annual elk-license drawing, you need to act fast.
The deadline to enter the drawing is July 31.
It’s not one you want to miss. After all, drawing a tag means getting to participate in a hunt that’s big on opportunity, some of it new for 2021-22.
The Keystone State is home to about 1,400 elk, the largest wild herd in the northeastern United States. Some of the bulls roaming elk country are world class animals, among the largest to be found anywhere.
That’s notable because there are 20 more bull elk tags available this season than last. What’s more, half of those are – for the first time ever – available for the late season.
Overall, the Game Commission allocated 187 elk licenses for this year’s hunt. That’s 29 licenses for the Sept. 11 to 25 archery elk season (14 for antlered elk and 15 for antlerless); 109 licenses for the Nov. 1 to 6 general season (32 antlered and 77 antlerless); and 49 licenses for the Jan. 1 to 8 late season (10 antlered, 39 antlerless).
Add it up and Pennsylvania’s 2021-22 elk season offers more opportunity, and more opportunity at big bulls in more seasons, than at any time since the dawn of the 20th century.
Elk hunt applications can be submitted anywhere hunting licenses are sold or online at the HuntFishPA website, https://huntfish.pa.gov/. The cost is $11.97 per application, or $35.91 for all three.
Individuals are not required to purchase a resident or nonresident general hunting license to enter the drawing. However, hunters who are drawn for a license must hold a valid general hunting license and a valid elk license to hunt elk.
Adult general hunting licenses cost $20.97 for residents and $101.97 for nonresidents, and elk license fees are $25 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.
Those who enter the drawing but are not selected to purchase an elk license still benefit by increasing their chances to be selected in coming years. Each applicant in the drawing receives a bonus point that will serve to multiply the number of chances the applicant receives in subsequent drawings.
Additionally, hunters who want to earn a bonus point for this year, but who know they won’t be able to participate in the elk hunting season if drawn, have the option of simply purchasing a bonus point. While they will not be included in the drawing for the 2021 elk licenses, they will continue to build their bonus points.
Those applying for an elk license can choose either an antlered or antlerless elk license, or they may select either-sex on their application.
Hunters can also specify their Hunt Zone preference. But, unlike in other years, if a hunter is selected for a license after all licenses for their preferred zone have sold out, they’ll have the opportunity to decline the license.
Meanwhile, those who specify a Hunt Zone preference, but who are willing to hunt somewhere else if licenses for their preferred zone already sold out, still can opt to receive a license in the next available zone.