Rules and Regulations
2019 – 1st Annual Pennsylvania Whitetail Open (PAWTO) Rules and Regulations:
- The 2019 PAWTO will be held during the 2019 Pennsylvania deer firearms season (November 30th – December 14th). Measurements will be allowed Nov. 30th to 11:59 pm on Dec.17th .
- Registration can be completed on the PAWTO website www.pawhitetailopen.com or at one of the PAWTO partnering gun and outdoor store locations throughout Pennsylvania.
- Each PAWTO registrant must be at least 18 years of age at the time of registration.
- All registrations and entry fees must be entered and paid no later than 11:59 pm on Friday November 29th, 2019.
- All PAWTO registrants must be legally licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) to hunt deer with firearms in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- All registrants MUST adhere to the Pennsylvania State Game Commission hunting laws listed on the PGC website. https://www.pgc.pa.gov/
- All applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances must be obeyed by all hunters, including but not limited to, the Pennsylvania Game and Wildlife Code and all PGC rules and regulations.
- All buck must be tagged in accordance with PGC and maintain that tag throughout the measurement scoring process.
- Violation of such laws, regulations, ordinances and rules will result in automatic disqualification.
- PAWTO reserves the right to cancel the Annual Whitetail Open at any time for any reason. In the event of the tournament being cancelled, all participants will receive a full refund of the registration fee.
- All deer to be eligible for scoring must have been hunted and harvested within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the current year and season of the tournament.
- Deer harvested must be fair chase. Any deer harvested within a deer-proof fence, hunting preserve, or any other confined areas are not eligible for prizes. Any registrant with such an entry deemed valid by the PAWTO director or a valid protest determination will be automatically disqualified and fined $2000.00. Any such registrant will be banned from entering all future PAWTO tournaments indefinitely. By registering for the PAWTO, you agree to these terms.
- Buck rack scoring is based on the PAWTO determined scoring method. PAWTO scoring is not an official national recognized club scoring method and is unique only to the PAWTO. Scoring will be to the closest 1/8th inch.
- All deer that are eligible for scoring will be completed and verified by a PAWTO designated taxidermist throughout the state of Pennsylvania. PAWTO designated taxidermist are the only taxidermist allowed to score a PAWTO entree deer for the purpose of the PAWTO tournament.
- A complete list of the PAWTO designated taxidermist locations will be listed on the PAWTO website within fifteen (15) days prior to the tournament.
- Scoring via designated taxidermist is $10. Fee is waived if you choose the taxidermist to do a mount.
- All deer presented to a PAWTO designated taxidermist to be scored MUST have the full-head with / without cape intact. No antler-only or antlers with just the skull plate will be accepted.
- All deer presented to a PAWTO designated taxidermist for scoring must be tagged in accordance to the PGC law or will not be accepted for measurement.
- Deer harvested within a CWD designated area must be checked in at a designated PAWTO designated taxidermist within said CWD area as in accordance to PGC law. The PGC states that deer harvested within a CWD zone may not be transported out of that area for any reason.
- All scores are deemed final as measured by PAWTO and are not subject to objection.
- All PAWTO winners are subject to a polygraph examination to protect the validity of the current and future PAWTO tournaments. In the event a polygraph is requested but the registrant denies the polygraph examination, the scored buck of the registrant will be invalid and not eligible for prize money.
- Protest- A protest may only be filed by a PAWTO registrant. There is a $300 fee to file a protest. The PAWTO tournament director must be notified immediately by email in the event that a protest is being requested. Please see PAWTO website for the Tournament Director email. All persons filing a protest and all registrants having a protest against them will be subject to a polygraph examination.
- All protests must be made in writing (email) and include the registered PAWTO entrant being protested with the time and date of the protested incident occurred. The $300 will need to be paid to PAWTO Corp. or the protest will not be considered valid. The protest must contain a detailed description of the protested matter and include any supporting evidence available. All protest results will be decided by the Tournament Director after review of polygraph results. All registrants will accept the Tournament Director’s protest decision as final.
- No protests will be accepted after December 18th, 2019.
- Any registrant who filed a false protest, as deemed by the PAWTO Tournament Director, will be fined $2000.00 and the $300 protest fee will not be refunded. The false protester will be banned from entering future PAWTO tournaments indefinitely. No penalties will be assigned to the protested registrant and the buck score will remain valid and eligible for prize money.
- Any registrant that is deemed guilty of a protest by the PAWTO tournament director will be fined $2000.00 and will be banned from entering future PAWTO tournaments indefinitely. The guilty registrant buck score will be invalid and not eligible for prize money. The $300 protest fee will be refunded to the person who entered the protest.
- In the event that the tournament director feels the protest was legitimately filed but deemed inconclusive by the evidence provided the buck scored will remain eligible for prize money and no fines will be applied to the protester or protested registrant. The $300 will not be refunded in this situation.
Prize Money Payout Procedures:
- PAWTO Winners will be notified by email within ten (10) days of the end of the PAWTO tournament. All winners will be posted on the PAWTO website.
- If the event there is a tie with the overall score, 2nd, 3rd 4th and 5th categories the winnings will be split equally among the winners in each category. If there is a tie in either total main beam or total points category, then the highest over score in that category will be the winner.
- All PAWTO Winners will be paid by certified check.
- All PAWTO Winners may be subject to polygraph examination to preserve the validity of the tournament.
PAWTO CORP. is not, and shall not be deemed, responsible or liable to any Hunter for any losses, damages, injury or costs incurred as a result of hunter’s participation in the Pennsylvania Whitetail Open Tournament. By participating in Pennsylvania Whitetail Open, each hunter agrees to release and shall defend and hold harmless PAWTO Corp. and all employees, officers, directors, shareholders, agents, representatives of PAWTO Corp. from any and all losses, damages, rights, claims and actions of any kind in connection with the Pennsylvania Whitetail Open or resulting from acceptance, possession, or use of any cash payouts, including without limitation, personal injury, death, and property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy.