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License Fees

By Wildlife Lawyer on March 6, 2013

While pondering and agonizing about which states I would apply to hoping for a big game tag for the 2013 season it struck me that I would have to mostly apply for preference points because of the cost of these tags.

Applying for tags anymore is a nightmare; you need a service such as Cabelas and a good to figure out the seasons, dates, amounts, and whether you need a tag and a license or just a license. It’s crazy, add to that the rescue fees, habitat fees, hunter safety fees, and nonresident fees, and here is where the wildlife lawyer comes in, contracting with an outfitter for a guided hunt. Where does all end?

In fairness, I see that some states now have fee schedules that give a discount for families and also for youths under the age of 17. But typically if you and your wife or older school-aged son want to go on an elk hunt in Arizona, Colorado, or any western state for that matter, you are going to be spending around $1200 just for licenses and tags for the two of you. That’s doesn’t take into account the travel, lodging, food, etc.

In Colorado we have the Division of Wildlife being taken over by Colorado Parks, who do you think the cash cow is here? Are hunters paying more so that jet skiers have a place to put in? Or so those recreationists have a place to camp next to a lake?

How about mountain bikers and hikers and bird watchers who pay no rescue fees and yet use the same land we hunters do, who’s funding their rescues? I’m not proposing a battle with other outdoor recreationists as I pursue these other sports as well but I do not think the hunter should shoulder the whole financial burden of funding these pursuits.