Pa Game Commission Calls Webcast Good First Step
Nearly 800 people tune in to view public drawing for bobcat permits/elk licenses.
HARRISBURG, PA –-(AmmoLand.com)- Following today’s live webcast of the agency’s bobcat permit and elk license public drawings, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe called the event a good first step toward improving public access to the agency’s quarterly Board of Game Commissioner meetings and other events.
“We are striving to improve public access to Game Commission events and informational programs, and webcasting certainly is the best avenue we have to do so in an inexpensive manner,” Roe said. “We recognize that many who are interested in the agency’s activities are unable to travel to Harrisburg to attend Board meetings, or attend open houses on various programs, such as deer management.
“By seeking ways to maximize the use of our website with our present level of funding, we hope to better open the channels of communication between the public and its wildlife management agency.”
Roe noted that today’s webcast was initiated as a means to enable more people to view the public drawings for awarding bobcat permits and elk licenses.
“Each year, tens of thousands of individuals apply for an elk license or bobcat permit, and unfortunately, very few are able to attend public drawings,” Roe said. “And, due to financial limitations, we can’t afford to send everyone who applied for a bobcat permit or elk license a letter to let them know whether they were drawn, and we only notify those who were selected.
“By webcasting the public drawings, we were able to reach far more than the 45 people who were able to travel to the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters. In fact, according to the free webcasting service we used for today’s broadcast, we saw that there were nearly 800 people tuned in at one time.”
Roe acknowledged that, while viewing the drawing for the 59 elk licenses seemed to go smoothly, there were some limitations to today’s webcast that made it difficult to view the names and hometowns of the 1,780 individuals who awarded bobcat permits. But, he pledged that the agency’s staff would seek ways to improve webcasting of future drawings.
“We will review the process and see how we can make improvements to the broadcast for next year,” Roe said. “And, while state law prevents us from publishing a list of today’s winners, thanks to another of the agency’s technological leaps forward, those who were in today’s drawings can check on the status of their applications, by Sept. 16, thanks to the new Pennsylvania Automated License System (PALS).”
Presently, the status for all individual’s applications for elk licenses or bobcat permits is listed as “Pending.” Once the database is updated, which is expected by Sept. 16, those who were selected for an elk license will see the status changed to “Awarded,” as well as the designation of the Elk Hunt Zone and whether they were awarded an antlered or antlerless elk license. For bobcat permit recipients, they will see their permit number listed. Those not selected will see the status changed to “Unsuccessful.”
To access the information, go to the Game Commission website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and click on the blue box in the upper right-hand corner of the homepage. Click on the “Purchase License Permit and or Application/Replace License and or Permit” option, which includes the ability to “Check on the status of any Lottery Application,” scroll down and click on the “Start Here” button at the bottom of the page. At this page, choose one of the identification options below to check your records, fill in the necessary information and click on the “Continue” button. Click on the appropriate residency status, which will display your current personal information. At the bottom of the page, choose the “Check on the status of any Lottery Application” button, and then hit “Continue.”
“While this may seem like a lot of clicking and box checking to get to the information, the system is designed to protect an individual’s personal information, while at the same time enabling that person to check on the status of his or her applications, as well as their antlerless deer license applications,” Roe said. “In the past, the only way to know for sure that you were awarded an elk license or bobcat permit was to attend the public drawings, wait for a letter in the mail or to call the Game Commission.”