Mullery’s antlerless hunting license bill approved by House committee

The Pa. House Game and Fisheries committee approved legislation (H.B. 275) sponsored by state Rep. Gerald J. Mullery, D-Luzerne, that would allow hunters to apply for doe licenses online.

The legislation now awaits a full House vote.

“It’s time to upgrade our antiquated system and provide sports enthusiasts with a more convenient and efficient way of applying for and receiving hunting licenses,” said Mullery, who serves as Democratic vice chairman of the Game and Fisheries Committee.

Currently, hunters apply for antlerless deer licenses by sending an application to a county treasurer or similar official.

Mullery said many counties do not always have the financial resources or staff to process license applications in a timely manner.

“In this day and age, there is no reason why a Pennsylvania resident should not be able to get an antlerless license online,” Mullery said.

The Luzerne County lawmaker said the current system is managed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. That state agency is responsible for determining the number of antlerless licenses to be given out, while the actual distribution of permits is the responsibility of each county Treasurer’s office. While applying for a doe license, hunters across the state fill out a form, write a check and submit it to the county treasurer in their hometown.

“We have a lot of hunters out there who were excluded from participating in hunting in the past because of the antiquated and understaffed application process and I don’t want to see that happen again,” Mullery said.

“I am cautiously optimistic that my legislation will make it through the full House with an overwhelmingly positive vote and then on to the Senate,” he said.