March 20, 2023

Michigan Hunting And Fishing License Fees Could Jump 400% Under New Proposal

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Just when you think you’ve heard enough of this kind of talk, along comes another state that is looking to balance the budget on the backs of hunters and fishermen. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is proposing to the state Legislature a budget that would require – and they are asking for – as much as a 400% increase in license fees. Here’s a look according to the Soo Evening News.

Buck hunters currently pay $15 for a single tag or can purchase the combo license allowing for two antlered animals for $30. Under the proposed hike, that would increase by 100 percent for the single license to $30 and $75 for anyone wishing to purchase the combo license. Antlerless tags which currently are sold for $10 apiece would increase 200 percent to $30 under this proposal while bear hunters would see an increase well in excess of 200 percent with tags going from the current $15 to $50.

Turkey and elk licenses would also double. Turkey hunters would pay $30 under the proposal up from the current rate of $15, while elk hunters would see the price of a tag go from $100 to $200.

Waterfowl stamps would double from $5 to $10. Other hunting increases can be found in the small game stamp going from $15 to $20, the fur-harvesters license from $15 to $20.

Fishermen will not be off-the-hook either with the restricted license going from $15 to 20 and the all-species fish slated for an increase from $28 to $40.

Seniors – those 65 and older – face even larger increases for hunting opportunities at a minimum of 400 percent. Bear and deer licenses had been available to this group for $6 apiece, but under the proposal that would go up to $40 and $24 respectively. The combo license would increase from $12 to $48 under the proposal. Older anglers would also see an increase in their fishing activities with the restricted license going from $6 to $16 and the all-species license increasing from $11.20 to $32

Who will be the first state to put some sense and sensibility back into the funding process of state’s fish and game departments?

Tom Remington