Legislation passed yesterday that would see hunting and fishing license fees rise in the state of Georgia, adding a sizable amount of funding for the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
The approved bill (HB 208) will mark the first license increase in Georgia since 1992, a state that currently has some of the more inexpensive hunting license fees in the southeast. The Department of Natural Resources says they have done extensive research and believe the estimated $7-8 million dollars annually this increase is set to generate, they can successfully continue to reinvest in outdoor recreation.
Additionally, the department indicates that there are currently over 45 counties across Georgia without a game warden and the passing of this legislation should prove to drastically fill those gaps.
In addition to state lawmakers, the licensing initiative is being met with strong support by some of the biggest players in Georgia’s hunting and fishing industry. Industry leaders from Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Glock, Zebco, Muzzy Broadheads and more have voiced their support for more abundant wildlife and improved habitat along with increased Natural Resource staff across the state.
Marty Daniel, of Daniel Defense, expressed his support for both the bill and Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources.
“We at Daniel Defense have a strong partnership with the DNR. The excise taxes we and other manufacturers pay through the Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program fund much of the good work they do. It is time for Georgia to start certifying all participants in the state so that those funds are not lost to other states,” Daniel said.
Under the new bill lifetime sportsman’s licenses will increase from $350 to $600 for youth, $500 to $750 for adults and will create a new “older adult” category for hunters between the ages of 50 and 59, for whom licenses would run them $375.
The cost of an annual Georgia resident hunting license would increase 50 percent from $10 to $15. A resident fishing license would increase from $9 to $15.
Feature Image: Georgia Wildlife Resources Division-Georgia DNR Facebook