Starting today, St. Lawrence County hunters and anglers seeing lower license fees
Saturday, February 1, 2014 - 5:06 pm

St. Lawrence County hunting and fishing enthusiasts will likely welcome changes to licensing procedures which began today, including lower fees.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed simplifying the licensing system during last year’s budget negotiations, and state Sen. Joe Griffo (R-Rome) voted for it “because I felt it would encourage more hunters, anglers and trappers – whether living here or out of state – to make use of New York’s great outdoors.”

Some of the biggest changes Griffo thinks people in the North Country would want to know about are:

• Fishing license: A fishing license is currently $29 for New York residents and $70 for non-residents and it’s valid through Sept. 30, regardless of when you bought it. Starting Feb. 1, the price will be $25 for residents ages 16-69 and $50 for non-residents – and the license will be good for one full year.

• Hunting licenses: These licenses are currently valid from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. However, this year the dates are Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. This makes a lot of sense, as early goose, squirrel, early bear and northern zone bow hunting for deer have seasons that begin in September.

The state has also combined small game and big game licenses into a single hunting license, which will cost $22 for those ages 16 to 69. (The previous cost was $29.) It will be $100 for non-residents for a small game/big game license.

• Combination licenses: If you’ve got a combination license already, it’s good through Sept. 30. However, as part of the restructuring, the DEC has eliminated sportsman, super sportsman and conservation legacy licenses. You’ll have to purchase individual licenses, privileges and permits instead. For residents, the cost of old sportsman license versus the combined cost of a new individual hunting and individual fishing license will be the same: $47. The cost of an old super sportsman license for residents versus a new individual hunting, fishing, bow, muzzleloader and turkey license will also be the same: $88. Non-residents will see a slight reduction when purchasing the new licenses individually versus the old combination licenses.

There will be no changes to the cost of a lifetime license.

“I’ve also heard concerns that the DEC is transitioning to separate licenses so that it can eventually hike fees,” Griffo said. “I’ve not seen evidence that this is the case, but rest assured that I will keep an eye on the proposals and oppose any fee increases in the future.”

For more details on licenses – including reduced fees for juniors, seniors and military members – visit the DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/95007.html