DAN KIBLER COLUMN: State proposes increases in fishing, hunting license fees

Published 10:06 am Wednesday, January 24, 2024

If you didn’t like the increase in the prices of hunting and fishing licenses that went into effect last summer, get ready to be a little more unhappy.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has proposed license-fee increases that are pretty much across the board, and it is asking the public for comments about its proposals.

A virtual hearing will be held on Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. Preregistration is required at www.ncwildlife.org.

Here’s a handful of highlights to proposed license fee increases:

• Statewide hunting goes from $25 to $30;

• Statewide fishing goes from $25 to $30;

• Big-game tags go from $14 to $17;

• A recreational saltwater license goes from $16 to $19;

• A freshwater-saltwater combo fishing license goes from $41 to $49;

• An annual Sportsman license goes from $53 to $63;

• An annual Sportsman plus saltwater fishing goes from $69 to $82;

• A combination hunting and freshwater fishing goes from $35 to $42;

• Bear tags go from $11 to $14;

• A non-resident annual hunting license goes from $100 to $119.

In addition, most of the popular lifetime licenses – fishing, hunting, sportsman – are also scheduled to rise by some pretty stout amounts.

And remember, those are just the basic license costs; there’s a surcharge added at the cash register that pays the wildlife cooperator agent a little bit for his time, and there’s a surcharge added even when you buy the license directly from the Commission.

Typically, when the Commission begins the rule-making process, changes, if approved, will take place on Aug. 1.

Youth dove hunt scheduled

The Yadkin Valley chapter of the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation will hold a youth-only dove hunt on Jan. 27 in western Forsyth County.

Youths aged 15 and under are eligible for the hunt, which begins at 7 a.m. They must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Sausage biscuits will be served before the hunt, and lunch will be served at noon.

The hunt will be at 644 Davie Ave., in Clemmons.

To pre register or for more information, call Don Stroud at 336-682-3456.

Closing of most waterfowl seasons approaches

Waterfowl seasons are drawing to a close across North Carolina this month.

Statewide duck and sea duck season will end on the last day of the month, along with Canada goose seasons in the northeast hunt zone, brant and the permit-only tundra swan season.

Youth and veterans and members of the armed forces will have a couple more days – Feb. 3 and 10 – to get a field for ducks, geese, brant and tundra swan.

Seasons for Canada geese in the resident population zone and light geese will remain open through Feb. 10.

The seasons for dove and woodcock will also close on Jan. 31. Most small-game seasons will remain open through February.

Marine fisheries offers flounder symposium

The N.C. DIvision of Marine Fisheries is holding a Southern Flounder Symposium on March 20 in the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern to discuss various topics related to the management of southern flounder in North Carolina waters – a topic that has drawn serious fire from recreational fishermen over the past several years.

The symposium, which is open to stakeholders and researchers, will kick off at 9 a.m.

Dan Kibler has covered the outdoors since 1985 as outdoors editor of the Winston-Salem Journal and later as managing editor of Carolina Sportsman until his retirement in 2021.