The Pennsylvania elk hunt application period opens in the middle of June, and the deadline to apply is midnight on July 31st. The annual drawing will take place August 20, 2022 during the Elk Expo. Successful applicants who provide a phone number or email will be notified promptly by those methods, while others will receive notification by postal mail.
The number of archery tags is the same for 2022, but the general rifle elk season that starts at the end of October is down to 101 from 109 in 2021. The late season total allocation is down by one elk to 48, but the number of bull tags for late season changed from 10 to 15. Of the 187 licenses awarded for 2021, hunters bagged 144 elk, including 53 bulls and 91 cows in north central Pennsylvania.
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To apply for the 2022 elk drawing, go to huntfish.pa.gov. Pennsylvania accepts online applications for the elk drawing, or you can apply at any of the point-of-sale locations through the PALS system. Pennsylvania does not accept party applications for elk. For most of the seasons, there are four options when an applicant applies:
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Non-residents and residents have equal opportunity in drawing elk licenses. There is no non-resident quota. Non-residents are eligible to apply for all available elk lottery hunts, which include rifle, archery, and antlerless. Hunters who are successful in drawing a bull elk license will not be eligible to apply for five years for any elk license. Elk licenses are awarded by a lottery system, and hunters must apply separately for all seasons they wish to be eligible to hunt. Each application costs $11.97, meaning a hunter can enter all three drawings for $35.91. Individuals can be drawn for a maximum of one elk license per license year.
The $11.97 application fee for each elk application is non-refundable. You may use Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club, or eCheck to apply for an elk license.
Except during the archery season, elk hunters and those accompanying them must wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange, visible 360 degrees on the head, chest, and back combined.
Hunters need to be at least 12 years of age to apply for elk.
One bonus point is earned for each unsuccessful applicant, but points are exclusive to each season. Any existing bonus points for the general elk season will not be applied to the archery or late seasons. For example, if you have previously earned 5 bonus points for the general season and this year you apply for the archery season AND the general only included in your general season application. If you’re unsuccessful in drawing, you would earn 1 bonus point for the archery season and 1 bonus point for the general season, meaning you would now have 1 archery and 6 general points.
Simple draw odds are no longer available from Pennsylvania. Hunters must select at least one management zone they prefer to hunt. Up to five choices can be selected on the application. Selecting a Fallback Option can greatly increase the chance of being drawn. Fallback Options allow the applicant to be awarded any remaining license available outside of their preferred hunt zone choices.
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Pennsylvania does not have any youthonly elk licenses available. Youths may apply for elk after turning 12 years old.
You may use manually-operated centerfire rifles and handguns of at least .26 caliber that propel single-projected ammunition 120 grains or larger and manually-operated or semiautomatic centerfire shotguns at least 12-gauge firing a single projectile. Muzzleloaders must have at least .50 caliber propelling a single projectile weighing at least 210 grains. A bow must have a minimum draw weight of 45 pounds. For archery, you may use any arrow or crossbow bolt with a fixed or mechanical broadhead. The broadhead must have an outside diameter or width of at least 1 inch, and the length may not exceed 3.25 inches. Crossbows must have a minimum peak draw weight of 125 pounds.
Pennsylvania usually offers two special elk conservation licenses. For more information, contact them at 717-787-4250. There are no landowner tags available in Pennsylvania.
If you are successful in drawing an elk license, you may choose not to purchase it. The application fees are non-refundable.
A successful hunter must tag the elk immediately after harvest and mark the kill site before the carcass is moved.
Within 24 hours, each hunter who harvests an elk must take it along with their general hunting license and elk license to the official Game Commission check station.
Pennsylvania has the GoHuntPA Toolkit App, which features maps, tracking tools, weather forecasts, social media integration, and more. You can download it from the App Store. The best place to view the elk hunt zones in detail is through the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s online mapping center at http://pagame.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer.
Hunters have successfully harvested elk in every hunt zone. Carefully examine each zone, considering road access and the amount of available public and private land.