Michigan DNR Raising Licensing Fee's

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- You might want to stash a few extra bucks away this fall because hunting and fishing is going to cost you more next year. Legislation raising the fees was approved on Tuesday.

Usually you hear nothing but complaints when prices go up, but many local hunters and fishermen seem to be ok with having to pay more.

"It was never too much to begin with. We've never paid too much for all the privileges that we get to do in Michigan," said Nick Saade. Saade is a hunter, fisherman, and taxidermist.

"I sometimes feel guilty for the price I'm paying, so a slight increase is not that big of deal," said hunter and President of the Deer Management Initiative, Tony Smith.

The Michigan DNR will be getting rid of their current license structure, and will be replacing it with a base fee that requires sportsmen to buy separate species licenses.

Some fees will go up, others will go down, but overall the DNR will be making more than $18 million extra dollars in revenue per year.

"It might seem like a lot, but when you're talking about the scale of the projects that need to be addressed it's really not that much," said Smith.

$4,500,000 will go towards General law enforcement, $3,466,600 will go towards Fishery and Wildlife management, and the rest is divided between grants, research, and education outreach.

(The full list can be found by clicking on the link at the bottom of the story)

"To me it means a higher quality of hunting, fishing, and trapping experiences in Michigan," said Drew YoungeDyke with the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

One of the biggest worries is that the increase will deter out-of-state hunters and fisherman. Out-of-state sportsmen will be paying a larger base fee than those in-state. But once they own an out-of-state base license they pay what everyone else pays for specific species licenses.

According to the DNR if out-of-state hunters are coming to kill more than one animal they should be able to get their money's worth.

"We are still competitive with the other states that they would otherwise go to. They did factor in whether or not there would be a loss into their projections," said YoungeDyke.

The legislation now heads to the governor, who is expected to sign it. Once he does, the changes will take effect on March 1st, 2014.

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