HARRISBURG — Hunters eager to see if their 2021-22 antlerless deer license has been awarded might need to wait a little longer than usual.
The new licensing system now used to issue all hunting licenses, including antlerless licenses, has experienced slowdowns during peak sales periods – one of which began Monday, when Pennsylvania residents were able to apply for their first antlerless deer license. That means it’s taking longer to issue antlerless licenses.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission is working with NIC Inc., the vendor that operates the new HuntFishPA licensing system, toward a solution that will speed up the sales process and enhance system performance.
Hunters wishing to check whether their license has been awarded can do so through HuntFishPA at huntfish.pa.gov. Once logged in to their account on the site, an awarded license will appear in a hunter’s purchase history. They also can click the Wildlife Quota option on the top right of the HuntFishPA home page.
Hunters also can monitor the number of antlerless licenses remaining in each Wildlife Management Unit by going to pgc.pa.gov, clicking on the Antlerless Deer License link under Quick Clicks, then selecting Antlerless License Availability in the gray box on the Antlerless Deer Licenses and Availability page.
In January, the Game Commission and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission began issuing hunting, furtaker and fishing licenses through the HuntFishPA platform. Previously, those licenses were issued by another vendor, but the contract had expired. NIC was one of four companies to submit a bid and was awarded the contract.
NIC has over 20 years’ experience in outdoor licensing across 11 states, including Wisconsin, Mississippi, Alabama, Maine, and South Carolina. The company said the slowdowns experienced in Pennsylvania result from a high volume of transactions, which is a testament to the number of hunters and trappers in Pennsylvania compared to other states.
“The technical teams are aware of the slower response time of the system and are working quickly to enhance system performance,” said Sandi Miller, Vice President Outdoors, for NIC.
Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said the Game Commission strives to provide hunters and trappers with outstanding customer service, and improving the new system is a priority for the agency.
“While the new system has been slow, antlerless licenses still are being issued and no doubt will be in hunters’ mailboxes well before the first deer seasons begin in September,” Burhans said. “In the meantime, we will be working with NIC to improve the system.”