3:06pm: Hotline with Dave Weekley

Senior Lifetime License Bill Approved


The top man with the DNR believes the legislative action creating a lifetime hunting and fishing license will be a huge asset for the agency going forward.

Lawmakers approved the bill which requires everyone who turns 65 after 2012 to purchase a lifetime senior license.  The cost is $25 and is good for the rest of the sportsman’s life.    The license will enable the DNR to drawdown federal excise tax dollars which until now have been going to other states.

"That excise tax is charged and you pay it, whether you’re 60, 65, or 70 years old," said DNR Director Frank Jezioro. "They send it back based on the number of hunting license per state.  The more hunting license you have in a state, of course, the bigger your share is."

During normal years, the US Fish and Wildlife Service returns about $5 for every hunting license on the books.  However, Jezioro laments taking three years to get the bill approved.

"In the last two years, that $5.50 jumped to almost $12.00 per hunting license," said Jezioro.

He says the windfall is credited to a run on guns and ammunition soon after the election of Barrack Obama as president.   Many, fearing Obama’s plans for stricter gun control legislation, increased the sales of firearms and ammunition the most in U.S. history.   Although it hasn’t completely subsided, the initial jump has cooled somewhat after two years of the Obama Administration.

Despite, missing the windfall, Jezioro is confident the senior license will pay big dividends to the state and its wildlife in the future.

"The purpose of this was kind of an investment in the future of these generations and kids that are coming on," Jezioro said. "So that we’ll have some money when they get old enough to get out and hunt and fish and really enjoy the outdoors, we’ll have some money to continue these programs we have in place now."

The money didn’t come a moment too soon.   Jezioro says like everything, the DNR’s bottom line is suffering with the increased costs associated with fuel, trout food, and many other areas. 


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