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Online Deer License Sales

“We’re going to do better next year.” That’s what the head of the Pennsylvania Game Commission told state lawmakers about the problems with the online sales of antlerless deer hunting licenses.

June 26th marked the first day rollout of the new online system, a day many hunters would rather forget.

Initial problems with the system created frustrations and long wait times for license sales.

In reality, after glitches were fixed, it was a busy time for the game commission.

“All told, since the licenses went on sale, we have sold 640,038 general hunting licenses, 1,340,384 antlerless licenses and 2,670,597 total licenses and permits, across all categories. That total is nearly a ten percent increase compared with last year at this time.”

Game commission executive director Bryan Burhans testified Tuesday before the state House Game and Fisheries Committee.

Despite vowing that changes have been, and will be, made in the online sales system, Burhans, and a technical advisor, still faced criticism.

“Frankly, there are a lot of things that I want to tell you, from the standpoint of this testimony. If you’re going to use this data or stand behind this; I don’t believe nor do I think it is remotely true.”

Burhans stressed he’s not blaming hunters for the initial problems but did suggest in the future that they don’t have to feel like they need buy a license on the first day.

“They can create a better experience for themselves and other hunters by waiting a day or two and spreading out the transactions over a longer period of time, and a time that’s more convenient for them. After all, that’s the goal of the new system, to make licensing easier and more convenient.”

Legislation approved last year replaced the system where hunters had to mail applications to county treasurers to obtain antlerless licenses.

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