Governor proposes changes to hunting, fishing licenses

A few years after increasing the cost of sporting licenses, New York may reduce how much reduce how it much it charges for fishing and hunting privileges.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last month the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting, a plan to reduce license fees and generate tourism.

The plan proposes across the board reductions in the cost residents and nonresidents pay for fishing and hunting licenses. It also seeks to reduce the number of license types available while preserving all current hunting and fishing privileges.

“Governor Cuomo’s proposal will make it simpler for people to purchase licenses, help attract newcomers to hunt and fish in New York and ensure that the programs that the hunting and fishing communities enjoy continue to be funded,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a prepared statement.

The plan would consolidate small and big game hunting licenses into a single hunting license and would include trapping privileges. The popular sportsman’s license would also be eliminated.

The plan would reduce fishing licenses by 14 percent, from $29 to $25 and hunting licenses by 24 percent from $29 to $22. Bow hunting privileges would decrease by a $1 and muzzleloading privileges would be $10 cheaper under the proposal. Discounts for youths, seniors, military disabled and Native Americans would be retained.

But it’s out of state residents that would see the biggest change.

An out of state fishing license would decrease from $70 to $50 (which is more in line with what Vermont charges out of state resident) and out of state hunting licenses would decrease by $40.

Another change, that is sure to be well received, is fishing licenses would be valid for one year from the date it is purchase. Currently a fishing license is valid through the end of September regardless of when it is bought.

If approved, the changes would take effect during the 2013-14 season.

It’s hoped the proposed changes would boost tourism.

It’s estimated 90 million residents participated in wild-life related recreation in 2011.

According to the governor’s press release, New York has the third most resident hunters in the country and hunters generated an estimated $290 million in state and local taxes in 2011.

To read the full press release, visit www.governor.ny.gov.

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