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Pennsylvania hunting licenses are mandatory for individuals who intend to hunt within the state’s boundaries. Regardless of whether the individual is a resident or a visitor on vacation, this requirement must be fulfilled in order to participate in the sport of hunting, legally. Prospective hunters must also purchase the proper hunting permit in PA based upon their age and the species of game they intend to hunt. The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers numerous licensing options for applicants to choose from. The PGE also allows those seeking a license to hunt to apply in a few different manners, including online and in person. Discounted rates on hunting, as well as combination hunting and fishing licenses, are made available to certain segments of the population including military members, veterans, seniors and persons with disabilities. Though, before attempting to purchase a hunting credential, applicants should check to see whether or not they must complete the hunter education requirements. In Pennsylvania it is likely that hunting license applicants will have to complete the hunter-trapper education course offered by the Game Commission. First-time hunting license applicants must present a certificate of completion of a recognized hunter safety program. Certificates from all 50 states are accepted by the PGE. Interested individuals can obtain license information, and learn about the various application methods available by navigating through the following topics:

  • Types of hunting licenses in Pennsylvania
  • How to buy hunting licenses in Pennsylvania
  • Hunter education in Pennsylvania
  • Renewing hunting licenses in Pennsylvania

What types of hunting licenses are available in Pennsylvania?

The first step that an applicant must take before getting a hunting license is to choose the type of license to hunt that he or she would like to obtain from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The PGC offers a variety for residents and nonresidents to choose from including those valid for a year or for a shorter term. Hunting licenses are issued based on an applicant’s age as well. For example, a junior hunting permit is for youth 12 to 16 years of age, while a senior hunting license is designated for individuals 65 years age and older. Furthermore, hunting credentials are available based upon the type of game hunted and the form of weapon used. Some of the various kinds of PA hunting tags and permits are listed below:

  • Hunting licenses for adults
  • Hunting stamps/tags for special animal species
  • Military/National Guard hunting permits

Lifetime hunting licenses are also available from the PGC. To obtain a lifetime hunting license in Pennsylvania, applicants must meet the state requirements. PA residents, disabled veterans and senior citizens are eligible to apply for lifetime hunting credentials.

How do I purchase hunting licenses in Pennsylvania?

Applicants who intend to buy a hunting license in Pennsylvania will find that it is beneficial to know the different application methods that are at their disposal. While the Pennsylvania Game Commission does not offer as many options as other states, interested applicants can apply for licensure online or in person.

Get a hunting license online by providing personal information to identify yourself, picking the license you wish to purchase, paying with a valid credit card or E-check and printing out the confirmation ticket. Once finished, an official Pennsylvania license to hunt will arrive at your address within seven to 10 business days.

Applicants who are not prepared to buy a hunting license online may visit a licensing agent near them. Agents are located throughout the state and are available to help guide applicants through the license purchasing process.

Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a PA hunting license purchase?

Yes, it is a requirement in Pennsylvania that all first-time hunters must take a state-approved Hunter-Trapper Education course. As the name implies, this training is also mandatory for those who intend to become a licensed trapper. Individuals who are 11 years of age and older must take the course. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to accompany their underage children during the class. The hunter-trapper education course is available to take either online or in-person.

Online hunter education is an option for students who are 16 years of age and older. This remote version of the hunter-trapper training can even be completed from a smartphone or other mobile device such as a tablet. In fact, for online students, the process to get a hunting license in Pennsylvania can be completed online from start to finish. Upon completion of the web-based class, students can print their temporary hunter education certificate and proceed with the purchase of a PA hunting license. A permanent certificate will be mailed to the applicant’s home address.

Students who prefer to complete their hunter education training in the classroom have the option to do so as well. Though courses are held locally, students shall register online and download the study guide materials via the internet as well. Traditional classroom students can choose between two different course structures. The six-hour class requires that the student complete some independent study prior to their first class session. While the eight-hour class also requires pre-class prep, it also includes training in hands-on practical exercises with weaponry.

The PA Game Commission hunter-trapper education course covers topics such as how to handle firearms, skills for shooting, the importance of wildlife conservation and how to survive and be safe outdoors, among other specific subjects related to hunters and trappers.

How can I renew a Pennsylvania hunting license?

Hunting permit renewal in Pennsylvania is only required in certain instances, namely, if you own a lifetime senior/disabled veteran hunting or combination license. If so, renew your credentials on an annual basis. Fortunately, this can be done via the web.

First-time online renewal applicants will be asked to provide their Social Security Number in addition to a PA driver’s license or another identification document that shows a current Pennsylvania address.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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