Kentucky seeks increases in some fishing and hunting fees and licenses
Kentucky’s Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources says an increase in license fees is needed.
None of us want to pay more for anything. Most everyone tries to live within their budget, unless it’s the federal government. And now, KDFWR is building a case for increases. It says it needs a bigger budget.
Most of the proposed increases won’t involve basic hunting and fishing licenses.
Many people still believe state tax dollars are used to fund KDFWR. However, the department doesn’t operate on state tax revenues.
Funding mainly depends on hunting and fishing license/permit fees, boat registration fees, and federal funding. (That’s one reason more outdoor folks are pushing for fees for non-hunters who use state wildlife areas for wildlife viewing, hiking, etc.)
According to KDFWR, the amount of federal funding the Department receives depends on the number of hunting and fishing licenses sold in Kentucky.
KDFWR contends a license and permit fee increase is necessary every 5-7 years in order to keep up with rising operational and infrastructure costs, such as fuel, materials, maintenance of equipment, and required services.
The department says without a fee increase, it will be forced to cut important programs and services, such as law enforcement, fish stocking, fish and wildlife habitat improvement, conservation camps, and maintenance of public lands and lakes, to name a few.
Most of the proposed increases are planned for nonresident fees to align them with other states.
Prices of basic resident hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses will not change under the current proposal.
Senior and disabled licenses are proposed to increase from $5 to $11. Without the increase to $11, a pending federal rule change may result in the loss of nearly two million dollars each year of federal funding to the Department. From 1999 to 2012, the number of these licenses sold increased from 69,000 to 118,000.
With an aging population, in the next five years more than 20 percent of license buyers will be buying this heavily discounted license, rather than standard licenses that cost $20-$95.
The current $5 license fee has been in place since the license was created 14 years ago. The $11 fee for this license would still represent an 87 percent Senior/disabled discount when compared to the resident Sportsman’s License at $95.
Resident elk quota hunt permits (currently $30) are proposed to increase to $60 for cow permits
and $100 for bull permits, comparable to other elk hunting states.
The other proposed resident fee increases are modest: Deer permit ($30 to $35); migratory bird & waterfowl permit (currently $10 and $15, respectively; to be combined and set at $15); Youth hunting license ($5 to $6); Youth sportsman’s license ($25 to $30).
Two new licenses will offer added convenience and discounts for some customers:
-- A 3-year fishing license ($55).
-- Senior lifetime sportsman’s license ($82).
The proposed changes were developed after a series of inputs were sought by the department, and written comments still can be provided, but must be sent no later than Sept. 30.
Internet comments can be made to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to: Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife, %public comments, #1 Sportsman Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601.