Huting, fishing licenses may cost more

Greg Massé

It soon could cost more for Colorado residents to hunt and fish. After 12 years without an increase, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is looking at raising the price of hunting and fishing licenses for state residents. To gather public comments on these fee hikes, four meetings have been scheduled across the state. The scheduled meetings come on the heels of a failed attempt earlier this year to raise the fees. That attempt failed in the state Legislature, so the Division of Wildlife – strapped for cash – is trying again.”It’s all up for discussion again,” said Pat Tucker, a Glenwood Springs area wildlife manager for the agency.

The bill introduced into the Colorado Legislature earlier this year would have raised fishing license fees from $20 to $25; deer hunting licenses from $20 to $30; bull elk licenses from $30 to $50 and cow elk licenses from $30 to $40. All other hunting license fees would also be raised. But the bill didn’t pass. Tucker said the bill was developed with input from most of the state’s sportsmen’s groups.”What we’re doing now is reaching out to those same sportsmen’s groups and also regular license buyers who might not belong to those groups,” Tucker said. “We’re trying to determine, ‘Is there still the support of raising license fees?'” Tucker said 70 percent of the Division of Wildlife’s funding comes from license fees, and with issues like chronic wasting disease and whirling disease, along with new responsibilities for the agency, more money is needed.

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