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Hunting, fishing licenses are a great bargain
Feb 13, 2013 5:00 pm
This time last year I decided to buy a Lifetime License that allows me to hunt and fish in Tennessee for as long as I’m able to climb ridges and wade streams.
When I left the house to drive over the nearby Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency office to purchase the license, my wife warned me to be careful on the way home and not get hit by a train – it would wipe out my investment in a Lifetime License.
She certainly is witty, isn’t she?
Now it’s almost time to renew licenses – Feb. 28 -- and my purchase of a Lifetime License ($270 for my age group) will pay off.
The annual Sportsman’s License that I had purchased in years past costs $136. So on Feb. 28, with no new license necessary, I’ll be ahead of the game by $2.
There is a wide range of licenses available, starting with the standard hunting/fishing license. It costs $28, but may require additional permits and fees such as trout license, fishing certain TWRA-managed lakes, big-game permits and hunting on Wildlife Management Areas.
A Sportsman’s License, on the other hand, covers all hunting and fishing in Tennessee except waterfowl and dove hunting, which requires an additional federal Migratory Bird permit.
A Sportsman’s License is convenient, but an even better bargain for the serious outdoorsman is the Lifetime License. It comes in six price ranges based on age. A great gift for a budding young outdoorsperson is the $200 Lifetime License for those under age three.
The most expensive Lifetime License is $1,620 for the 13-50 age group. There’s a $945 license for ages 51-64 and, for us old codgers 65 and over, $270.
There are also daily permits, Senior Citizen permits (different from the Lifetime License) and special discounted licenses for the disabled and military personnel.
To purchase a hunting license, anyone born after Jan. 1, 1969 must complete a TWRA-certified Hunter Education Class. Details are available in the Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide, available at most outdoor outlets, and at tnwildlife.org
There is a one-time Apprentice License available for kids who have not completed the Hunter Education Class but want to go on a last-minute hunting trip with a licensed adult.
There are no increases in any of the 2013-14 licenses, a tribute to the TWRA’s excellent management of its budget during lean economic times. For the past several years the Agency has provided an increasing amount of services with the same amount of revenue.
That revenue, incidentally, comes almost entirely from license sales, permits and other user-revenues. Hunters, fishermen and boaters fund the TWRA, whose services include programs for non-game species, public-use lands and other conservation projects.
I bought my first hunting license in 1962 and over the years I’ve never minded forking over my dollars. I consider it a good investment in something I enjoy and support.
And what a bargain – for $28 a resident can hunt and fish for a year. Nowadays $28 barely covers a movie and popcorn.
Of course that’s a moot point for those of us with a Lifetime License tucked in our wallet – no more license fees for us for the rest of our lives.
Now all we have to do is watch out for trains.