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Higher fees for Wisconsin hunting
and fishing licenses kick in today

MADISON , Wis. – Deer hunters 18 or older who live in Wisconsin will pay $4 more for a gun deer hunting license and resident anglers will pay $3 more for an annual fishing license under new fees that took effect today under the final state budget.

License fees directly support state fish and wildlife programs the Department of Natural Resources administers. Wisconsin has 716,000 licensed hunters and 1.4 million licensed anglers. Hunting and fishing generate a $5 billion economic impact in Wisconsin.

“Wisconsin hunting and fishing license fees remain a bargain compared to other states,” says DNR Secretary Scott Hassett. “People will be able to continue enjoying time outdoors on the water or in the field, and Wisconsin will continue to benefit from the tourism dollars that fishing and hunting contribute to our economy.”

Resident deer hunters age 18 and older will now pay $24, up from the $20 this license had cost since 1997. A resident annual fishing license increased from $17 to $20.

The cost of an inland waters trout stamp and a pheasant stamp each rose to $10. Stamp fees pay for habitat restoration and maintenance for certain game species. Pheasant stamp revenue also pays for pheasant-rearing.

Two new licenses are now available to help introduce young people to Wisconsin’s hunting traditions. A resident junior gun deer license and a resident junior archery license will cost $20 each for youth aged 12 through 17 -- $4 less than other residents pay for these licenses.

A conservation patron license, which consolidates multiple licenses into one, now costs $165 for residents, resulting in a savings of $86 when compared to purchasing these licenses individually.

Fishing license fees for nonresidents also were increased. An annual nonresident Wisconsin fishing license now costs $50, up $10. A four-day, nonresident fishing license now costs $24, and a 15-day nonresident fishing license costs $28. Wisconsin ranks second in the U.S. for the number of fishing licenses sold to nonresidents.

“The higher fees were needed to maintain Wisconsin’s premiere fish and wildlife programs, which were facing a $20 million deficit in the next two years,” Hassett says. “The old fees – many of which hadn’t been raised since the last decade -- didn’t bring in enough revenue to help conservation programs keep pace with rising operation costs, even though we took many actions to reduce spending and get more efficient.”

To keep a lid on spending, the department eliminated a number of positions, held biologist and warden positions vacant, cut back on pheasant and fish stocking, cut hours at DNR service centers and reduced travel and other expenses in recent years.

“Many hunters, anglers and conservation groups supported fee increases because they wanted the state to continue maintaining fish and wildlife programs,” Hassett says. “We will now be able to do that thanks to their support.”

The DNR produces an annual report on how license fees are invested to support state hunting and fishing. That report can be picked up at DNR service centers or found on the agency’s Web site.

People may buy hunting and fishing licenses from nearly 1,500 DNR-authorized sales agents statewide, from DNR offices, by telephone at 1-877-945-4236 or online at Updated resident license fees and nonresident fees and stamp prices and related information can be viewed on the DNR Web site.

New fee increases effective July 27, 2005 for the following types of Wisconsin hunting and fishing licenses:

Resident annual fishing

Resident husband and wife fishing

Resident conservation patron license

Resident sports

Resident small game hunting

Resident senior citizen small game

Resident gun deer (age 18 and over)

Resident archery (age 18 and over)

Resident junior gun deer (ages 12-17) NEW

Resident junior archer (ages 12-17) NEW

Resident Class A Bear

Resident Turkey License (fall and spring)

Nonresident annual fishing

Nonresident 4-day fishing

Nonresident 15-day fishing

Nonresident sturgeon spearing

Nonresident junior conservation patron

Nonresident junior sports

Nonresident small game

Nonresident 5-day small game

Inland water trout stamp

Pheasant stamp

4,992 Posts
Dang I forgot about they would go up when the budget was fixed. I guess I should have bought my deer licenses in July. I would not mind if it really helped the DNR but I think this was more the Governors deal to raise money and I cannot stand him nor do I trust him not to rob the funds to pay for some schooling program to satisfy his wife as that is why his big push for education comes from. Yet the first thing he did was decrease funds from public libraries when he got elected. The DNR said non of this would go towards the general fund but I do not believe it. Instead of raising all those non resident fishing licenses they should have raised the price of those 20 dollar doe permits they give out like candy. :x Jim
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