Doe License Sales In Full Swing
Inside the Outdoors, July 16, 2009

I happened to be in one of the local sporting good outlets in the Latrobe area when I found myself standing in line to purchase two items which I needed for an upcoming fishing adventure. The holdup was this. A gent had arrived at the checkout spot before me to purchase a hunting license via the use of the Pennsylvania Automated License System known commonly as PALS. Being a former retailer, I knew what might be going through the mind of the employee behind the counter. So, I listened, watched, and amused myself with visual distractions of all sorts. But, I learned something very quickly, and was relieved I was not in the shoes of the fellow behind the counter. After a period of time had gone by, more people had joined me. To add to his frustration, PALS kept rejecting the information fed into the machine. After three times, he finally called Harrisburg and worked through the problem resulting in the man getting the license.

I thought to myself, I remember when I had long lines in my store, people refused to wait, and would literally plunk the stuff down and depart in disgust out of the store.

What I seemed to learn from this experience is that applicants must submit all information that corresponds to datum that was given to the state previously. In this case, the man making the purchase was a John Doe III. When the driver’s license was swiped through PALS with the name John Doe on it, the state did not recognize him as being Joe Doe III, and the rejection occurred.

When I did fishing licenses, there was the option of refusing to note the social security number. I got the impression that one had to submit these numbers or one didn’t get the license. If I would have stood closer to him, I would have gotten all the goods on him, so to speak, because he vocally spoke all the information aloud, something I learned was taboo.

Anyway, after twenty minutes or so, I was able to check out and be on my way. My only thoughts were this. I remember when I got my lifetime fishing license, I had a similar situation occur, and am glad now, I don’t have to concern myself with reapplying for licenses annually.

With that said, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reminded me that county treasurers will begin accepting antlerless deer licenses applications earlier this year as compared to previous years. This past Monday, July 13, was the official date for resident hunters could start applying. Non-residents may submit their forms July 27. Normally, this would take place three weeks later for each date.

According to Carl G. Roe, PGC executive director, the license fees are the same as in 1999, but new this year, “There is a 70-cent transaction fee attached to the purchase of each license and permit, which is paid directly to Automated License Systems, the Nashville-based company that runs PALS.”

He also noted, “By state law, antlerless deer licenses will continue to be sold only by county treasurers, so hunters will need to prepare and mail separate applications for antlerless deer licenses.” He pointed out, “Hunters must use the new pink envelopes, which are provided to each license buyer, and the previously used yellow envelopes should be thrown away.”

One of the many good things about the use of PALS is that hunters will be able to submit applications to any county treasurer. Also, “This new process will nearly eliminate the chance that a hunter will not be able to receive at least an antlerless deer license during the processing of regular antlerless deer licenses.” He also stated, “The early start to the antlerless deer license application process will help ensure that county treasurers will be able to mail antlerless deer licenses back to hunters prior to the opening of the archery season in Wildlife Management Units 2B, 5C and 5D on Sept. 19.”

Change will always have its challenges, something we all have to get used to.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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