County treasurers and state leaders remain at stalemate over application process for doe tags

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – A stalemate remains between county treasurers and state leaders over the process hunters have to go through to apply for a doe license.

Currently, the County Treasures Association is the sole issuing agent for doe tags, but some state leaders want to move away from the practice.

“I’ve been hunting since 1982,” said Representative Gerald Mullery.

He says it mind boggling that hunters still have to use a system that has been in place for decades.

“It’s a paper application that you have to submit to your county treasurer. And once you drop that in the mail, which we know right now is slow…you’re beholding to how quickly that mail gets delivered, how quickly your county treasurer processes it and then how quickly it gets back to you in the mail,” said Mullery.

He’s proposing that the application process be transferred from county treasurers to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and their PAL system.

“Which is the computerized system that the Game Commission utilizes for traditional hunting tags. So you would have immediate knowledge as to what tags are available and what WMU’s so you can have all that information in your hands, at the point of purchase,” said Mullery.

According to Mullery this bill has one single opponent, the County Treasurers Association.

“We have hundreds of thousands if not over a million outdoor men and women in this Commonwealth whose voices are being stomped out by a few dozen county treasures, and that is not right,” said Mullery.

The chair for the County Treasurers antlerless license committee, James VanSteenberg, says that’s not true, and that their hunters are their number one priority.

“It’s sometimes kind of frustrating we kind of get a black eye as an organization but yet we’re out here busting our humps for the hunters,” said VanSteenberg.

According to him, moving the application process online wouldn’t be fair to all hunters.

“The problem with that is, in the state, there’s a huge percentage of people who have no internet access. So at 12:01 the day the licenses go on sale, the hot units can pretty much be sold out before daylight brings up,” said VanSteenberg.

VanSteenberg adds that he’s concerned a new licensing software won’t be able to handle the volume of people trying to get a license.

“Tens of thousands of people who want to get there licenses right off the bat, get their favorite zone and they’re on at the same time? I highly doubt the system will even be able to boot up,” said VanSteenberg.

According to VanSteenberg if a system is proposed that would prove to be fair to all hunters, a compromise could be reached.

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