Keeping tabs on doe license applications

Posted on: July 12, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Whitetail_doeYou can’t hunt deer in Pennsylvania yet, but you can hunt deer licenses.

It’s that time of year, of course.

The earliest fall deer season doesn’t start until September, so we’ve got weeks to go before you can legally draw back your bow on a whitetail. Hunters who do their thing outside the state’s most urban areas have to wait even longer.

It is time – past time actually – to apply for your doe license, however. County treasurers began issuing antlerless licenses on Monday.

What are your chances of getting one?

For starters, you can track how many doe licenses were available by wildlife unit, and how many remain unsold, in real time. The Pennsylvania Game Commission posts that information here.

Expect some units to be sold out within a week or so, if past history holds.

You can check the status of you own individual application here.

And if you have yet to apply for a tag, get moving.

Nonresidents can begin applying on Monday, July 18, earlier than in years past, so dragging your feet could prove costly. There were 748,000 doe tags available going into the season. That’s only a few more than last year, when some hunters complained they couldn’t get one.

And if you already applied for one antlerless license, but hope to get another, keep the following schedule in mind.

Resident and nonresident hunters may apply for a second license beginning Aug. 1, and a third license Aug. 15. Applications during these rounds are accepted by mail only, in the official pink envelope.

In most parts of the state, hunters are limited to purchasing a total of three antlerless licenses.

However, in units 2B, 5C and 5D, an unlimited number of licenses can be obtained. Each hunter may apply for only one license per round in those WMUs until Aug. 1, when an unlimited number of applications can be submitted. Only three applications can be mailed in each envelope.

If licenses remain, over-the-counter sales begin Aug. 22 in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D, and Oct. 3 in all other WMUs.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.