This year, Governor Paterson pushed through a state budget which included increased sporting license fees. The fee increases range from raising the age in which seniors qualify for a Senior Sportsman License, creating a fee for licenses that were previously free, and just flat out raising the cost. Even though the need to have a balanced state budget is critical during this fiscal crisis, I could not support and I voted against these increases because the budget should not be balanced on the backs of New York’s sportsmen.
Hunting and fishing are both popular pastimes here in the 114th Assembly District, and I would be remiss if I did not make sure that all of my constituents were aware of the license fee increases. The cost of a regular sportsman license will go from $37 to $47 per year. The qualifying age for a Senior Sportsman License is being raised from 65 to 70 years old. This means that after September 30, 2009, hunters aged 65 to 69 will no longer be recognized as senior sportsmen and, therefore, will pay the regular $47 annual license fee rather than the annual Senior Sportsman fee of $5.
To avoid a nearly ten-fold increase in price for a sportsman license, I encourage hunters 65 and older throughout the North Country to purchase a Lifetime Senior Sportsman License, which costs a one-time fee of $50. This license is only available for persons of that age through September 30. After that date, the Lifetime Senior Sportsman License fee increases to $75 and hunters between the ages of 65 and 69 will not have the chance to buy another lifetime license until the age of 70 and, instead, will have to pay the annual $47 fee.
To learn more about this lifetime license or about the sportsmen fee increases, please visit www.dec.ny.gov or call me at my district office, 518-562-1986.