By Virgil Moore, director of Idaho Department of Fish and Game
If you hunted or fished this year, I hope you brought something back for the frying pan or the freezer to go along with your memories afield. Life these days is pretty hectic, and many Idaho residents haven’t purchased a license because of time constraints or other factors. If this is you, I still encourage you to buy a 2017 hunting license, even if you don’t have a chance to use it this year.
You’re probably thinking my suggestion doesn’t make sense considering 2018 licenses go on sale in less than a month, but here’s why I think it does. A 2017 resident hunting license costs $12.75 – the cheapest annual resident license that Fish and Game sells. By buying one, you are automatically “locked-in” at 2017 prices through Fishing and Game’s Price Lock program.
That means your license, tag and permit fees won’t increase when the 2018 prices take effect December 1. Resident hunting and fishing fees are going up about 20-percent next year, so that $12.75 resident hunting license will cost $15.75 next year (including the vendor fee) for those who aren’t locked in. Deer and elk tags will increase $5 and $6.75, respectively, so you can see the Price Lock savings will quickly add up.
Price Lock will be in effect for at least five years, maybe even longer, if the legislature and Fish and Game Commission decide the program is worth continuing.
If you stay in Price Lock by purchasing your annual hunting license every year (or any annual license every year – you don’t have to buy the same license each time) and save 20-percent annually, it’s like getting your fifth one for free.
The Price Lock theory goes like this: by offering an incentive for more people to buy licenses every year. Fish and Game will have the funding needed to continue to effectively manage fish and wildlife for the people of Idaho.
Idaho Fish and Game doesn’t receive any general tax revenue from the state. Our agency operates primarily with money paid by hunters, anglers and trappers, either through license and tag fees, or on excise taxes paid on hunting and fishing equipment.
Next year’s resident license increase is the first in a dozen years. With Price Lock, we hope we can go another dozen years, possibly longer, before asking the legislature to raise resident fees again.
Nothing like Price Lock has ever been tried by a state fish and wildlife agency. You can help us make Price Lock a success, and start saving 20-percent on your license fees, by locking in now. And that $12.75 resident hunting license can still be used to hunt for the rest of this year too, while providing funds for conservation management.
Thank you for supporting Idaho Fish and Game, and you can learn more about Price Lock by visiting our website at https://idfg.idaho.gov/