Mullery's antlerless hunting license issuance bill reported out of committee

HARRISBURG, Oct. 20 – A bill introduced by state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, that would update the current antlerless hunting licensing system was approved by the House Game and Fisheries Committee today.

Currently, the Pennsylvania Game Commission determines the number of antlerless licenses to be allocated, but county treasurers distribute the permits. To apply for a doe license, Pennsylvania hunters must fill out a form, write a check and drop an envelope in the mail. They can mail the form and check to any treasurer's office in the state; however, most hunters send it to their home county.

Mullery's bill would give the Game Commission the responsibility to distribute antlerless deer hunting licenses. He said it's a way to improve an outdated, inconvenient and sometimes ineffective system.

"Hunting and fishing licenses are available online, and Pennsylvanians should be able to obtain an antlerless license the same way," said Mullery, a member of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. "It's time to modernize this antiquated system."

Mullery said the current system led to Luzerne County hunters being shut out of a doe license last year when the treasurer's office, citing staff cuts, failed to process applications on time.

"A modern system run by the Game Commission would have prevented that inexcusable mistake," Mullery said.

Mullery's bill is supported by the Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.

The bill (H.B. 231) now moves to the full House for consideration.