State mulls increase in hunting, fishing fees
LANSING — The state legislature is currently reviewing proposals to raise the cost of the state’s hunting and fishing licenses.
The Department of Natural Resources notes in its website that Governor Rick Snyder in his Fiscal Year 2014 Executive budget called for an increase in hunting and license fees and changes in structuring of hunting, fishing and trapping license types and costs.
If passed, this would mark the first increase in 17 years.
“So far, it sounds rather positive,” said Pete Kailing, Mecosta County Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist.
The new structure reduces core license types from 227 to 31, a decease of nearly 90 percent.
“One of the biggest complaints we get is how confusing (the current system) is,” said Katie Keen northern Michigan wildlife biologist for the DNR. ”We’re hoping that by reducing the amount of licenses to choose from, it will be less confusing.”
When it comes to hunting, the proposal calls for a base license that would let hunters go for small game, waterfowl and migratory birds with a cost of $5 for juniors, $10 for residents between ages of 18 and 64, $4 for seniors and $150 for all non-residents.
There would then be tags added onto the base license with $20 for deer and antleress deer, $15 for fall and spring turkey, $15 for fur harvester, $25 for bear and $100 for elk.
The proposal also calls for three fishing license fees with $15 for 24 hours, $25 for resident all species and $75 for nonresident all species. Youth under age 17 would hunt for free. The DNR adds that active military and disabled veterans who received benefits at the 100 percent rate would hunt and fish for free.
Kailing said increased fees would allow more conservation officers to be hired statewide and allow more development to be done to state game areas
More information is provided on the DNR’s website. Kailing indicated that the fees are considered favorable compared to other states.