Elk hunt drawing to be held

HARRISBURG -Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross today announced that hunters submitted 31,789 applications for the public drawing to award 70 licenses for the 2002 elk hunt. As part of the 2002 Elk Expo, the public drawing will take place at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Camp Owner Association Grounds on Airport Road, near the St. Marys Municipal Airport, Elk County.
Last year, 50,697 hunters submitted an application for the public drawing to award 30 licenses as part of the state’s first elk hunt in seven decades.
Ross noted that, based on a preliminary review of the applications received, up to 375 may be declared ineligible because of duplicate filings or incomplete forms. Once the review is completed, relevant information about all eligible applicants will be printed on three-by-five inch cards to be deposited in a single container for the public drawing on Sept. 28.
“Members of the Safari Club International’s Lehigh Valley Chapter have donated to the Game Commission a container large enough to properly handle up to 100,000 applications,” Hambley said. He noted that Expo attendees will be selected to participate in the drawing. The first 36 applications drawn will be awarded antlered elk licenses, and the next 34 will be awarded antlerless elk licenses.
The Game Commission received 12,340 applications via the Internet, and 19,449 by regular mail. Pennsylvania residents accounted for 29,728 applications, and nonresidents for 2,061 applications.
Applications were received from all 67 Pennsylvania counties, with the top five counties being: Allegheny (1,557); York (1,487); Westmoreland (1,437); Lancaster (1,379); and Berks (1,087).
In addition to Pennsylvania, applications were received from 48 other states, with the top five states, other than Pennsylvania, being: New York (461); Ohio (409); New Jersey (182); Maryland (180); and Virginia (119). Applications were not received from the District of Columbia, Hawaii or Kansas. There were 9 applications received from citizens of Canada.
Hambley also noted that those interested in serving as guides for hunters who receive an elk license still may apply for a permit with the Game Commission. Guides may provide assistance in locating or tracking elk, but may not harvest the elk. Guide permits are $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Permits may be obtained from the Game Commission’s Harrisburg headquarters.
The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will meet on Oct. 7-8, in the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters, 2001 Elmerton Ave., just off the Progress Avenue exit of Interstate 81. The Board will begin its meetings at 8:30 a.m. on both days.
On Oct. 7, the Board will accept public comments and receive reports from various agency bureaus and regions. As part of the reports, the Bureau of Wildlife Management is scheduled to present a draft of new wildlife management units to be used in managing all game and furbearer species in Pennsylvania. The Deer Management Section will present an update of the deer management plan and outline a draft of the Deer Management Assistance Program.
On Oct. 8, the Board will consider taking action on several agenda items, including: a proposal to expand the types of firearms that may be used to hunt woodchucks (groundhogs) and the purchase or donation of nearly 550 acres of land in Crawford, Lawrence and Northumberland counties.