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Commissioners to discuss 2021-22 season, regs

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners will hold its first meeting of 2021 on Saturday, Jan. 23.

Among the items the board will consider is a proposal to remove the limitation on the number of antlerless deer licenses for which hunters can apply, provided a hunter holds no more than four antlerless licenses at a time and licenses still are available for sale within the Wildlife Management Unit; proposed regulations to allow eLicenses to be carried afield as an alternative to paper licenses; a change to allow landowners an additional two months to apply for enrollment in the Deer Management Assistance Program; a proposal to expand the Game Commission’s response to address all wildlife diseases through executive order; and amendments to elk license regulations to better delineate the elk management area and elk hunt zones.

A new addition to the agenda also proposes to eliminate the use of centerfire and rimfire rifles in Pennsylvania’s fall turkey season. This proposal is being considered in response to data showing turkey populations are declining in 15 of Pennsylvania’s 23 Wildlife Management Units, as well as a tool to stabilize fall-turkey harvest without further reducing season length.

The updated meeting agenda is posted at www.pgc.pa.gov and can be found by clicking on Board Meetings & Events under Quick Clicks. The new proposal can be found on page 20 of the updated agenda.

In compliance with state guidelines to minimize the effects of COVID-19, the Jan. 23 meeting will be held only online, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The board will hear reports from staff before picking up its prepared agenda.

Those wishing to submit comments for the board to consider can do so in one of two ways. Comments can be sent by email to pgccomments@pa.gov. Those who, in recent months, already have emailed comments about policy matters do not need to do so again; those comments have been forwarded to the board.

People also may submit recorded comments by phone by pre-registering online to receive a call from the Game Commission on Wednesday, Jan. 20, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Their comments, up to five minutes in length, will be recorded during the call. The pre-registration form needed to submit comments by phone can be found directly at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LSHQ33P, or through the “Upcoming Events” link under the “Information and Resources” tab at www.pgc.pa.gov. Calls will be placed on a first-to-register, first-to-be-called basis until 11 a.m. If you pre-register and do not get a call from the Game Commission during this three-hour window, please email your comments to pgccomments@pa.gov.

All submitted public comments will be sent to the board to be read and heard before the Jan. 23 meeting.

To watch the virtual meeting live, register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/679579959715434256?source=news+release. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The agenda for the January meeting is available at the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov. Under “Quick Clicks,” on the left side of the homepage, select “Board Meetings & Events,” then click the link provided in the description of the Saturday, Jan. 23 meeting.

Those unable to watch the meeting live can view it later on the agency’s YouTube Channel.

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