Lifetime hunting, fishing licenses now available

Starting on March 1, lifetime fishing and hunting licenses have been available for residents of the state of Minnesota.

The licenses allow hunters and anglers to buy a single license for the rest of their life. Lifetime licenses are available for fishing, small game, and deer. Another license, called an individual sports license, combines fishing and small game.

Costs for each license depends on the age of the licensee. Younger applicants - who would have to pay more in yearly license fees to hunt for a lifetime - have higher fees for lifetime licenses.

Proceeds from the lifetime licenses will go to a special fish and wildlife trust fund at the state treasury.

Licenses may be obtained at any licensing agent. It does take three weeks to process a lifetime license application.

As of mid-March, Karen Beckman, who coordinates the program at the DNR, said her office had sent out over 3,000 applications, but most had yet to be returned. "We're getting a lot of interest," said Beckman.

One point of interest for the lifetime licenses, Beckman noted, is that they are the only licenses that can be bought as gifts for someone else.

Lifetime license holders still will need to register for each hunting or fishing season and must purchase any stamps. Stamps that lifetime license holders will be required to purchase each year, as needed, include trout, waterfowl, turkey, goose, and pheasant.

When registering, lifetime license holders will not have to pay, but will receive a new regulation booklet and will be counted in the active anglers or hunters. Such information is needed to maintain proper fish or wildlife management. These counts are also needed for federal reimbursement, said Beckman.

Lifetime licenses remain valid even if the holder moves out of state. Lifetime licenses for out-of-state residents will go on sale on March 1, 2002.

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