January 30, 2009
Harrisburg, PA – Under a new law, Pennsylvania
Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that
he has selected the National Wild Turkey Federation to auction off a
special antlered elk license at its upcoming national convention
Feb. 19-22 in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Since its creation, the National Wild Turkey Federation, as well
as its Pennsylvania and local chapters, have been important wildlife
conservation and management partners with the Game Commission,” Roe
said. “The members of this organization have invested millions of
dollars in Pennsylvania for wildlife habitat improvements,
acquisitions of State Game Lands and input into wild turkey
management and research. Additionally, NWTF live auctions are proven
money raisers when it comes to auctioning off such hunts.”
Noting that Pennsylvania’s modern-day elk hunt, which began in
2001, has produced several Boone & Crockett book entries, George
Thornton, NWTF CEO, said this tag represents an incredible
opportunity to harvest a trophy elk while doing great things for
“The NWTF has had a great relationship with Game Commission
throughout the years,” Thornton said. “We’ve worked together to help
restore wild turkey populations, improve wildlife habitat and
strengthen the state’s hunting heritage. When this tag goes up on
the auction block, bidders can expect a lot of action and know that
the winner is doing great things for conservation.”
Pennsylvania Chapter NWTF and its 88 local chapters expect to
join the nearly 40,000 attendees from all 50 states, as well as
Canada and Mexico, at the NWTF’s national convention, said Jon
Pries, Pennsylvania Chapter NWTF president.
“It is an honor for NWTF to be selected to receive this
first-ever elk tag,” Pries said. “We look forward to raising
important dollars for the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the elk
management program, as well as habitat improvement for all wildlife
on the elk range of northcentral Pennsylvania.”
On Feb. 20, as part of is live auction, NWTF will put up for bid
the antlered elk license, which would be good for use in any
management zone open for Pennsylvania’s upcoming elk hunt, Nov. 2-7.
The winning bidder will be awarded the license once he or she
purchases the required resident or nonresident general hunting
license. The winning bidder also will be provided all of the
information normally given to those who receive an elk license
through the agency’s annual public drawing, including a listing of
permitted guides available should they choose to use a guide.
In September, the agency will conduct its annual public drawing
to award 59 elk licenses to those who submit an application, along
with a $10 nonrefundable fee. The exact breakdown of antlered and
antlerless elk licenses, as well as the elk management zones each
license will be assigned to, will be announced later. The
application period will open in May.
In 2001, a recommendation to provide one special elk license for
wildlife conservation organizations to auction was originally
included in the Game Commission Elk Hunt Advisory Committee Report
as one of the concepts for promoting elk hunting. However, the
recommendation was set aside at that time because it was determined
that legislative authority was necessary to do so.
Rep. Marc J. Gergely (D-Allegheny) introduced House Bill 747 to
grant the Game Commission authority to provide one antlered elk
license to a wildlife conservation organization to auction. Of the
auction proceeds, up to 20 percent may be retained by the wildlife
conservation organization and the rest turned over to the Game
Commission for elk management. Signed into law on Oct. 9, Act 101 of
2008 (previously House Bill 747) was unanimously approved by the
House and Senate.
The new law sunsets on July 1, 2013, and would require the
General Assembly to re-authorize the authority to allow for the
auction of one antlered elk license per license year.