Michigan’s fishing, hunting and ORV licenses will change beginning March 1, 2014. The new license structure – authorized by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013 – makes buying a license easier and provides vital funding to improve outdoor recreation opportunities for anglers, hunters, trappers and ORV riders.
“By greatly reducing the number of license types and enhancing our sales system, we’re simplifying the license-buying process,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh. “This new structure keeps Michigan’s license costs competitive with other Great Lakes states, and makes a critical investment in our natural resources and outdoor recreation – putting more boots on the ground, waders in the water and eyes in the field.”
Among the most significant changes to the license structure:
- Anglers will no longer need to choose between restricted and all-species fishing licenses. All fishing licenses will be good for all species.
- An ORV trail permit will be required, in addition to the ORV license, for riding on state-designated trails, routes and scramble areas.
- A base license will be required for all hunters. In addition to providing critical funding for wildlife conservation and management, the base license allows hunters to hunt small game and purchase additional hunting licenses for other species.
- Outdoor enthusiasts can purchase a hunt/fish combo license that includes a base license, a deer combo license (two tags), and an all-species fishing license.
- A single deer license, valid throughout archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons, replaces the separate archery and firearm licenses. The deer combo license remains available for hunters who wish to harvest two bucks.
The license-buying process will also be improved, with streamlined options for simplified purchasing at retail agents and a new mobile option that will allow users to buy licenses using their smartphone or tablet and store non-kill tag licenses as a PDF on their mobile device.
Additional funding from these changes will enable the Department of Natural Resources and its partners to provide:
- Better hunting opportunities – expanded habitat management on public and private lands to enhance habitat for deer, pheasant, grouse, woodcock, turkey and other game species.
- Greater access to world-class fishing opportunities – improved fisheries habitat in inland lakes and streams, and increased health and quantity of fish stocked.
- A first-rate ORV trail network, providing enhanced riding opportunities and benefiting local economies.
- Increased protection of natural resources and a safer outdoor recreation experience for residents and visitors by increasing the number of conservation officers in the field.
- Expanded outreach and education for new and existing hunters and anglers.
The all-species fishing, base hunting and hunt/fish combo licenses will include a new $1 surcharge. In accordance with statute, revenue generated from these funds will be used to educate the public on the benefits of hunting, fishing and trapping in Michigan, and the impact of these activities on the conservation, preservation and management of the state’s natural resources.
To learn more about how these changes will benefit hunters, anglers and ORV riders, watch this short video about the new license structure.
For more information about the license restructuring – including license prices, frequently asked questions and details about how license dollars will be invested – visitwww.michigan.gov/dnr and click on “hunting and fishing license structure” under “In the Know.”