Antlerless tag fee up by 7 cents

HARRISBURG — Hunters applying for antlerless deer tags in Pennsylvania need to take note of a minor fee increase this year – from $6.90 to $6.97 for Keystone State residents.

While license fees haven’t increased since 1999, the vendor that operates Pennsylvania licensing system collects a fee for each license issued. That fee has increased this year – from 90 to 97 cents.

Pennsylvania antlerless deer licenses now cost $6.97 for residents and $26.97 for nonresidents.

While the total amount now is only pennies higher than before, the change is an important one for hunters submitting antlerless-license applications. Checks or money orders written for an improper amount result in an application being rejected. So be sure to confirm you’re using a 2021-22 application and envelope that reflect the present fees of $6.97 and $26.97.

Up to three applications can be submitted using the same envelope. Those submitting two resident applications now must include a check for $13.94. Three resident applications total $20.91.

Bird deaths under investigation

HARRISBURG — A mysterious disease that’s killing songbirds in Pennsylvania and other states is being investigated by health experts from the Wildlife Futures Program (WFP) at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) and officials from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The most common symptoms include discharge and/or crusting around the eyes, eye lesions, and/or neurologic signs such as falling over or head tremors.

Affected birds are being tested for several toxins, parasites, bacterial diseases, and viral infections. To date, test results have been inconclusive.

Twelve species have been reported: Blue Jay, European Starling, Common Grackle, American Robin, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, House Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadee, and Carolina Wren.

In addition to Pennsylvania counties, reports have also been received across the United States, including the Mid-Atlantic region. Affected birds were first reported in and around Washington, D.C.

Experts are also encouraging the public to cease feeding birds and providing water in bird baths until this wildlife mortality event has concluded to prevent the potential spread between birds and to other wildlife

NRA online course OK’d for Pa.

HARRISBURG — Prospective hunters who need to become certified before getting their first Pennsylvania license now have yet another option.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that completion of the National Rifle Association’s free, online hunter-education course will satisfy the prerequisite for obtaining a hunter or furtaker license in the Commonwealth.

The NRA course will be offered free of charge in addition to the in-person and online courses currently offered by the Game Commission. In-person courses are back up and running after a year of being available on a limited basis during the pandemic.

Those looking to schedule an online or in-person course can check availability and make reservations from the hunter-education page at www.pgc.pa.gov.

The Game Commission first made available an online course in 2016, in partnership with Kalkomey Enterprises.

Pennsylvania joins Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia as states that accept NRA Hunter Education as a prerequisite for obtaining a hunting license.

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