Bargains May End: Governor Wants Hunters, Anglers to Pay More For Licenses

Michigan FishingThe governor thinks it's time for Michigan to stop being a cheap place to buy hunting and fishing permits, compared with most states.   

His 2014 budget proposes higher prices for many yearly licenses to hunt animals or catch fish, as Jeff Alexander reviews for Bridge Magazine.

The higher fees would generate $18 million annually, allowing the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to add conservation officers, put more fisheries and wildlife biologists to work in the field and improve fish and wildlife habitat. . . .

DNR Director Keith Creagh said the fee package has a good chance of being approved by state lawmakers because hunting and fishing groups sought higher license fees and would lobby for their passage.

Residents and visitors currently get a bargain, in relation to what other states charge. Fees have been untouched since 1997.

Michigan’s hunting and fishing licenses now rank among the nation’s cheapest, according to a Bridge analysis of hunting and fishing license data from all 50 states. . . .

Michigan residents currently pay $15 for the right to shoot a deer -- the third cheapest deer-hunting license in America. An all-species fishing license for state residents costs $28, which ranks 26th nationally, according to Bridge’s analysis.Michigan Steelhead Trout

Alexander, an author, blogger and Bridge contributor, notes that Field & Stream Magazine ranks Michigan as the No. 1 fly fishing state nationally -- "yet the state offers a bargain to out-of-state anglers to use Michigan waters." The average nonresident license fee is $80 among the 11 other states ranked by Field & Stream.

The report in the Center for Michigan's online magazine lists the proposed new fees.

Read more:  Bridge Magazine
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