For the first time in 17 years, the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) is awaiting approval of legislation to increase hunting license fee’s. Senate Bill 1148 of 2015 will increase the fee for a resident general hunting/furtaker license by $10 and from $19 to $29. Not seeing an increase are resident and nonresident junior and senior licenses.
If this proposal is approved, resident and nonresident licenses for bear, antlerless deer and archery licenses would also increase. In addition, the bill would create a combination license called the Ultimate Outdoorsman license for which residents paying the $110 fee would include; a general license, furtaker license, archery, muzzleloader, bear, special wild turkey and migratory game bird licenses. This Outdoorsman license would save license buyers $38 compared to the cost of purchasing those licenses individually. Nonresident would pay $350 for these same license, says the PGC.
PGC Executive Director R. Matthew Hough said “Seventeen years is a long time and I’m sure everyone can relate to how costs have escalated since the last license fee increase took effect in 1999. 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 need to make some very difficult decisions to cut staff and scale back programs for budgetary reasons.”
Unlike many state agencies, the PGC does not receive tax money from the state’s general fund. Instead, the PGC is almost exclusively funded by the states’ hunters and trappers with those licenses contributing almost 35 percent of the PGC’s revenue. Other monies come from the federal Pittman-Robertson funds that are collected from an excise tax on arms and ammunition, and from revenue derived from the sale of natural resources such as timber, oil and gas lands owned by the PGC.
According to the PGC, thirteen of the state’s major sportsmen’s organizations have supported a license-fee increase. And that includes many of the state’s hunters and trappers. As such, SB 1148 will increase license fees as follows:
* Adult resident hunting – $19-$29
* Bear hunting resident – $15-$20
* Bear hunting nonresident – $35-$40
* Antlerless deer resident – $5-$10
* Antlerless deer nonresident – $25-$40
* Archery deer resident – $15-$20
* Archery deer nonresident – $25-$40
* Muzzleloader deer resident – $10-$20
* Muzzleloader deer nonresident – $20-$40
* Adult nonresident hunting – $100-$150
* Seven-day nonresident small game – $30-$50
* Adult resident furtaker – $19-$29
* Adult nonresident furtaker – $80-$100
* Migratory game bird resident – $2-$5
* Migratory game bird nonresident – $5-$10
* Special wild turkey resident – $20-$25
* Special wild turkey nonresident – $40-$50
New Categories of Licenses:
* Senior nonresident hunting – $100
* Senior nonresident furtaker – $80
* Senior nonresident combo hunting/furtaker – $150
* Ultimate outdoor combo resident – $110
* Ultimate outdoor combo nonresident – $350
According to the PGC, if this SB is approved in a timely manner, it would provide the agency with sustainable funding to meet its goals and objectives outlined by their 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. Probably the most noticeable cut would be in the annual pheasant stocking program. Without it, there would be no pheasants to hunt in the Keystone State.
MOSSY OAK CAMO CELEBRATES 30 YEARS
Based in West Point, MS, Mossy Oak Camo and its founder Toxey Haas, are celebrating 30 years in business. Said Hass in a press release, “Mossy Oak sprang up out of my love for hunting and being obsessed with getting close to critters. I never dreamed we are where we are today.” And today is that Mossy Oak shares the lead with Realtree for the camo design business which has spawned a myriad of products where its design is being worn and shown.
A multitude of companies entered the market that initially started with Trebark camo, designed and started by Jim Crumley. Others have followed over the years but today none have been as successful as Mossy Oak and Realtree camo patterns.
Mossy Oak currently has over 1,000 licensees and partners. Not only does Mossy provide camo but is in Bio-Logic seed plantings for deer food, Nativ Nurseries for trees, GameKeepers, Mossy Oak Productions TV and video, MOOSE Media, Nativ Living and GameKeepers Kennels and sports clothes. The most recent announcement for this was that Mossy Oak signed a licensing agreement with Majestic Athletic (a subsidiary of VF Corporation based in Greensboro, NC) in Palmer Township, Northampton County. Majestic will be making Major and Minor League Baseball team uniforms with the Mossy Oak camo pattern.