Pennsylvania Game Commission Applauds Bill to Increase License Fees

Senate bill proposes $10 increase in cost of resident hunting or furtaker license.

Pennsylvania Capitol Building
Pennsylvania Capitol Building
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Pennsylvania Game Commission

Harrisburg, PA -(AmmoLand.com)- Legislation that would authorize Pennsylvania’s first hunting-license fee increase in more than 17 years – critical funding for the state’s wildlife and the future of hunting and trapping – was introduced Friday in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 1148 of 2015, which is sponsored by Sen. Chuck McIlhinney, R-Bucks County; and cosponsored by Sen. Jim Brewster, D-Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, Sen. Richard Alloway II, R-Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties; and Sen. Mario Scavello, R-Monroe and Northampton counties, would increase the fee for a resident general hunting or furtaker license by $10, from $19 to $29.

Resident and nonresident junior and senior license fees would not be increased under the proposal.

But fees for a number of other resident and nonresident licenses, including bear, antlerless deer and archery licenses, also would be increased if the bill becomes law.

Additionally, the bill would create an inclusive combination license called the Ultimate Outdoorsman, for which residents paying the $110 fee would receive their general license, furtaker license, archery license, muzzleloader license, bear license, special wild turkey license and migratory game bird license.

The Ultimate Outdoorsman would save license buyers $38 compared to the cost of purchasing those licenses individually. Nonresidents would pay $350 for the Ultimate Outdoorsman license, based on the proposal. A complete schedule of fees as proposed by the legislation is included at the end of this news release.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough thanked the bill‘s sponsor and cosponsors for putting forth a proposal that, if approved in a timely manner, would provide the Game Commission with sustainable funding to enable the agency to meet the goals and objectives outlined by its 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

“Seventeen years is a long time, and I’m sure almost everyone can relate to how costs have escalated since the last license-fee increase took effect in 1999,” Hough said. “Without a single increase to cover the cost of inflation during that time, it has become increasingly difficult to stretch the same dollar any further, and we are at the point now where we have needed to make some very difficult decisions to cut staff and scale back programs solely for budgetary reasons.”

“The license-fee increase proposed by Senators McIlhinney, Brewster, Alloway and Scavello, would put the Game Commission back on solid financial footing, and the sooner this proposal is approved, the better for the state’s wildlife, and its hunters and trappers, and all citizens of the Commonwealth who care about wildlife,” Hough said.

Unlike many state agencies, the Game Commission does not receive tax money from the state’s general fund to help pay for staff and operations. Instead, the Game Commission is funded almost exclusively by the state’s hunters and trappers.

Today in Pennsylvania, almost 35 percent of the Game Commission’s revenue comes from the sale of hunting and furtaker licenses. Other primary sources of income include federal Pittman-Robertson funds collected from an excise tax on sporting arms and ammunition, and revenue derived from the sale of natural resources like timber, oil and gas on lands owned by the Game Commission.

The state’s hunters and trappers have demonstrated clear support for a license-fee increase. Thirteen of the Pennsylvania’s major sportsmen’s organizations with statewide membership have formally supported a license-fee increase.

The Game Commission last summer introduced a proposal to increase hunting-license fees, and now that legislation has been introduced, places its full support behind Senate Bill 1148.

Senate Bill 1148 of 2015 proposes increasing license fees by the following amounts:

  • Adult resident hunting $19 to $29
  • Bear hunting resident $15 to $20
  • Bear hunting nonresident $35 to $40
  • Antlerless deer resident $5 to $10
  • Antlerless deer nonresident $25 to $40
  • Archery deer resident $15 to $20
  • Archery deer nonresident $25 to $40
  • Muzzleloader deer resident $10 to $20
  • Muzzleloader deer nonresident $20 to $40
  • Adult nonresident hunting $100 to $150
  • Seven-day nonresident small game $30 to $50
  • Adult resident furtaker $19 to $29
  • Adult nonresident furtaker $80 to $100
  • Migratory game bird resident $2 to $5
  • Migratory game bird nonresident $5 to $10
  • Special wild turkey resident $20 to $25
  • Special wild turkey nonresident $40 to $50

New categories of licenses:

  • Senior nonresident hunting $100
  • Senior nonresident furtaker $80
  • Senior nonresident combo hunting and furtaker $150
  • Ultimate outdoor combo (bear, archery, muzzleloader, furtaker, migratory game bird, special wild turkey)
    • resident $110
    • nonresident $350

About Pennsylvania Game Commission:

For more than 100 years, the Game Commission has managed the Commonwealth’s wildlife resources for all Pennsylvanians. With the help of more than 700 full-time employees and thousands of part-timers and volunteers, the agency provides a host of benefits to wildlife, state residents and visitors.

For more information, visit: www.pgc.state.pa.us.

15 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John F. Lohr
John F. Lohr
4 years ago

The Game Commission has lost complete control. Politics now control them Experience should tell you that’s a bad thing. Name need changed to Pa. Gestopo Comm. COs and their Deputies have become total Idiots with NO COMMON SENSE. Time to quit funding this B——T!

Dennis DiBonaventura
Dennis DiBonaventura
4 years ago

How many of you morons play golf. Don’t get me wrong I have played many hours of chasing that little white ball but one round at a muni course, cost more that the anticipated cost increase of the hunting license fees in PA. And the xtra hours that you garner from the archery season more that warrants the extra money increase. If you say you cant afford this increase sell your hunting items because you obviously cant afford to hunt period. BTW you are cheep idiots.

Just Curious
Just Curious
5 years ago

I live in Ohio and own a cabin in Pa my parents bought in 1963. Have owned it and paid taxes on it since 1984. why don’t they come up with a non-resident land owners license. at a reduced price from a non-resident hunting license. PS i have not bought an archery license since you stupidly raised it. Since we pay land and school taxes we should be given some relief.

MRM 13
MRM 13
5 years ago

I was born and raised in Pa.,live now across the river in New York. Already can’t afford to take my sons back to hunt where I did,with family and friends.Now even 7 day small game is out of the question!!! 50 dollars! Are you serious?!

hunter
hunter
5 years ago

What is particularly egregious about the PA Game commission is that they charge an extra ~$20 for archery. This is absurd. Because one chooses to use a bow instead of a rifle he has to pay an extra $20? In what world does that make sense? Particularly when there are places like the Philly suburbs that are overflowing with deer and archery is the only legal way to hunt. Now, this would perhaps be acceptable if the Game Commission were even handed in how they handled fees. They are not. The game commission does NOT have an extra charge for… Read more »

Rob14
Rob14
5 years ago

Formerly a PA resident, now have lived across the stateline in OH for 9 years and still hunted PA every year for deer: inline, flintlock, regular. Not a rich man. But now I think I’m done. Just can’t swing that increase. So they lost me entirely and I bet I’m not alone. Kinda sad about this.

frustrated
frustrated
5 years ago

I think it’s time to start boycotting the pa.game commission see how surefire on a lot less money.

Robert M
Robert M
5 years ago

Let the antideer clowns they cater to pick up the bill. Pay more for an agency to just skrew me worse when it comes to destroying our deer herd and hunting heritage? No thanks. Here is a prime opportunity to squeeze those weasels into doing the right thing for once. No deer = no $$.

Galen Stone
Galen Stone
5 years ago

Question ? If you all ready hold a resident senior lifetime license can you up grade to the new ultimate outdoorsman license .This would get you the bear license and the special wild turkey. Remember this is a combo lifetime license that you all ready have.

5WarVeteran
5WarVeteran
5 years ago

Of course they “Applaude” they are nothing more than the “green” arm of the DHS in Pennsylvania.
JUST LIKE the Department of Fish and Wild Life in Oregon. The Woodsy mafia…

Colonialgirl
Colonialgirl
5 years ago

How about they start charging all the idiots in PETA and other moronic anti-hunting, environazi organizations a CONSERVATION fee; AFter all the License fees ALL are SUPPOSE to go for conservation projects and state game officers.

Just Luv Quality Deer Mis-management
Just Luv Quality Deer Mis-management
5 years ago

The reason the Pennsylvania Game Commission needs more of our money is because PA residents have bought 98,921 fewer hunting licenses since 2004 to 2014.

From 2004-2001 93,000 fewer deer were harvested. ***http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=625882&mode=2
From 2004 to 2014 : 18,665 fewer Nonresident Adult hunting licences were sold.
** Hunting License Sales Report: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=596054&mode=2

What is the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the PA Dept of Tourism doing wrong?

Peace

mikrat
mikrat
5 years ago

That’s Right – Charge the peasants more to get a Corporate Permission Slip to do something they already have a Right to do.

@Janek – AmeriKa is the land of taxes. And the Subjects seem plenty happy to pay for their own enslavement.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
5 years ago
Reply to  mikrat

If you don’t like America being “the land of taxes” come on and join the revolution against political family dynasties and party elites. Group up with other Americans that think we are taxed enough already. Over through the party bosses that select a president rather elect a president. Get on board or wait another four long years.

Janek
Janek
5 years ago

It isn’t enough that Pennsylvania is already the ‘Land of Taxes’.