@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

Higher NC hunting, fishing license fees have support at legislature

Posted July 23, 2019 12:18 p.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2019 1:18 p.m. EDT

— The price of hunting and fishing licenses would go up under legislation moving forward at the General Assembly.

House Bill 597 boosts fees for 17 licenses and permits, including some of the most popular ones. It also creates 10 new licenses, permits or certifications, mostly for niche activities, including hunting with a falcon.

Altogether, the bill would raise an estimated $2.4 million a year for the Wildlife Resources Commission, a largely self-sufficient state agency that manages the state's hunting and fishing grounds.

This bill already passed the House in a lopsided vote, and it began its path through the Senate Tuesday, clearing the chamber's Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources committee.

The measure would increase the fee North Carolinians pay for an annual inland fishing license, the Wildlife Resources Commission's most popular license, from $20 to $25. This would be the first increase for the fee since 2013.

A joint hunting and fishing license for state residents would go from $25 to $35. Just a hunting license would go from $20 to $25.

Fishing licenses for non-residents would go from $36 to $45.

The biggest increase in the bill for an existing fee, by percentage, is for a taxidermy license. Those cost $10 now but would go to $50.

Last year, the legislature voted to amend the state constitution to include the right to hunt and fish. Voters followed suit, passing the amendment by a wide margin.