The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced on Monday several changes to its hunting, inland fishing and trapping licenses, which will go into effect Aug. 1.
· * Increased fees for certain short-term, annual and lifetime licenses. The duration of a short-term hunting license also will increase from six to 10 days, making it consistent with short-term fishing licenses.
· * Eligibility requirements for senior licenses, which raise the age to 70 for residents who were born after Aug. 1, 1953. The age requirement remains 65 for residents born on or before Aug. 1, 1953.
· * Elimination of county licenses, which include Resident County Hunting, Resident County Trapping, and Resident County Inland Fishing.
· * Increased reciprocal license fees for Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Non-resident, short-term (10-day) hunting license fees will cost $60 for Georgia residents, $75 for South Carolina residents, $70 for Tennessee residents, and $110 for Virginia residents.
Also new this year is the Bear Management E-stamp, which is a mandatory $10 e-stamp for bear hunters. Along with the e-stamp, resident bear hunters must possess a valid hunting license with big game privileges. Non-resident bear hunters must possess a valid hunting license, a big game privilege license and a non-resident bear hunting license, in addition to the bear management e-stamp. Lifetime license holders who purchased their lifetime sportsman or hunting license before July 1, 2014 do not have to purchase the $10 bear e-stamp, but still have to obtain the bear e-stamp, at no cost to them, to hunt bear.
While the prices have increased for many hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, the majority increased by less than $10 and there is no increase for resident lifetime licenses. This year is the first time since 1987 that the Commission has raised license fees.
“The fee increase is part of a comprehensive plan passed by the legislature to move the Wildlife Commission toward fee-based self-sufficiency while reducing reliance on general fund tax appropriations,” said Tommy Clark, the agency’s budget director.