Well, it’s official: If you hunt and fish in Minnesota, you’re going to be paying more for the privilege beginning next March.
According to C.B. Bylander, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources in St. Paul, Gov. Mark Dayton approved the increase Thursday night when he signed the Omnibus Game and Fish Bill, HF2171, a wide-ranging piece of outdoors legislation that includes the fee hike.
DNR officials and Dayton had requested the increase to replenish the Game and Fish Fund. Funded mainly by hunting and fishing license dollars, the account pays for a variety of fish, wildlife and enforcement programs and was projected to go into the red by July 2013 without the fee hike.
There hasn’t been an across-the-board increase in the price of hunting and fishing licenses since 2001.
As part of the increase, which goes into effect March 1, 2013, Minnesota residents will pay $22 for annual small game and fishing licenses, while a resident deer tag now will cost $30. Nonresidents will pay $45 for an annual fishing license, $102 for a small game license and $165 for a deer license.
The Omnibus Game and Fish Bill also includes a provision establishing a wolf season that will coincide with the opening day of the state’s firearms deer season. There’ll be a quota of 400 wolves available to hunters and trappers who buy a special license.