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HUNTING/FISHING — Die-hard outdoorsmen would have the option of purchasing a three-year hunting or fishing license under a proposal that passed the Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee Wednesday, according to a story in the Lewiston Tribune.
The cost of the license would be three times the cost of an annual pass, so there’s no savings there. However, people would only pay one vendor service fee, which would save them $3.50 compared to the cost of buying a pass every year.
Sharon Kiefer with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said the agency has been investigating various opportunities to improve customer service. A survey of 9,500 hunters and anglers found relatively high interest in a three-year license option, particularly among sportsmen ages 18 to 24.
The bill will advance to the full Senate. If it passes the Legislature and is signed into law, the new licenses would become available July 1.
Need a whopper of a gift idea for the avid outdoorsman- or -woman on your list? Idaho Fish & Game has one: A lifetime of Idaho hunting or fishing - or both. Fish & Game has been offering lifetime license certificates since the late 1980s, and since 1995, they've sold 7,895 of them. The lifetime certificates can be purchased only at Fish & Game regional offices or their state headquarters; they vary in price depending on age. “Occasionally people will come in and buy a lifetime license certificate for a child,” said F&G spokesman Niels Nokkentved. “It's a pretty good deal if you're a young person, not so good perhaps if you're a senior citizen.”
The prices: For kids 0 to 1 year old, $276.75 for hunting only, $601.75 for fishing only, $795.50 for combination. That jumps up to $386.75 for hunting-only for ages 2 to 50 years, $841.75 for fishing-only or $1,113 combo; or, for ages 51 and older, $221.75 for hunting-only, $481.75 for fishing-only, or $636.75 for combo. Lifetime license holders who move out of state can keep their licenses, but must pay the nonresident tag and permit fees; tag and permit fees aren't included with the license certificates.
Idaho Fish & Game has sold 296 lifetime certificates so far this year, up from a total of 294 last year but down from 2009's 343. Asked if there's a bump in sales around the holidays, officials said not really – they're an item that's most popular for birthdays, or just after the announcement – but before the effective date – of a fee increase. Gift certificates also are available for annual hunting and fishing licenses, if you're not that big a spender.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, is bringing its anti-fishing campaign to Boise today, with a noon protest scheduled outside a bait and tackle shop on Vista Avenue, Idaho Angler, to press the group's current campaign that fishing is cruel. “Parents should get their kids hooked on compassion, not on maiming and killing fish,” said PETA's Virginia Fort in an announcement of the Boise protest. The group contends that “fish are intelligent, sensitive animals who experience stress and pain when they are cruelly hooked or hauled up from the deep in commercial nets.”
Idaho is known for its fishing, which has a long history and culture in the state; hundreds of thousands of Idahoans hold fishing licenses, according to Idaho Department of Fish & Game records, and more than 100,000 out-of-staters purchased short- or long-term Idaho fishing licenses in 2010.
PAY TO PLAY – Washington’s first general hunting-fishing license fee increase in a decade kicks in Sept. 1.
Now’s the time to buy and save on most licenses – but you might want to hold off on buying some youth, senior or disabled licenses, which will decrease in cost. And the endorsement that allows angers to use two rods while fishing some waters will decrease substantially.
All of the new license fee prices are available on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
But here’s a sampling of increases for resident fees (nonresident increases are much more substantial):
- Deer, elk, bear and cougar tag package, currently $81.20, will increase to $93.50.
- Small game license, $38, will increase to $38.50.
- Freshwater fishing license, $24, will increase to $27.50.
- Combination fishing license, $48.20, will increase to $52.25.
Decreasing: Examples of fees that will go down starting Sept. 1 include:
- Senior freshwater fishing license, $8, will decrease to $5.50.
- Two-pole endorsement, $24.50, will decrease to $14.30.