Hunting/fishing licenses are great bargain

Hunting/fishing licenses are great bargain

If I were better at math, I could tell you to the penny how much it costs to hunt and fish for a year in Tennessee.

But since I’m not, let’s just say it’s a great bargain: 365 days for $34.

That’s the cost of a standard hunting/fishing license for a Tennessee resident.

And, as licenses expire Feb. 28, there are even better deals: a Junior License is available for kids under 15 for $10, and an annual Senior License costs a mere $5. A permanent Senior License costs $50. There are discounted licenses for the disabled.

Additional permits may be required for big game hunting, or hunting and fishing on Wildlife Management Areas.

I used to buy the annual Sportsman License which covered most everything. It cost $138 at the time. Now it’s $166, but still a bargain.

Even better, a few years ago I bought a Lifetime License which will last a, well, lifetime. No more annual renewals.

Lifetime Licenses come in six price ranges, depending on age, from $200 for kids under three to a high of $1,976 for 13-50.

The $200 Lifetime License for tykes sounds almost too good to be true. If a kid receives a Lifetime License as a gift, he or she will never have to purchase another license. Since license sales provide the bulk of revenue for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, it seems the Agency might be offering a good deal at the present while creating fiscal problems for the future.

But I assume smarter people than I have crunched the numbers, so for $200 a Tennessee kid can hunt and fish for a lifetime. Most spend more than that on a video game.

A few years ago the TWRA had its first license increase in decades, and I heard some grousing. Personally, I didn’t mind paying a bit more – we get a great return for our investment.

How can you beat $34 for a year of hunting and fishing? You can’t go to a movie for that price, if you include popcorn.

In return, fishermen get to use boat ramps, boat docks, parking lots and fishing piers built, maintained and supervised by the TWRA, as they fish for species often stocked by the Agency. Hunters can hunt small game on private land, benefitting from the TWRA’s management.

For big game hunters, there wouldn’t be any big game to hunt without the Agency. It restored the state’s deer and turkey populations through stocking and good management.

As TWRA Executive Director Bobby Wilson often says, “the Good Old Days” for hunters and fishermen are right now, and license sales make it possible.

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