Legislation has been introduced to allow a new hunting and fishing license tier for residents in a move that will cut costs and reduce red tape for outdoorsmen across the state. The proposed initiative has been welcomed by state Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur), a vocal supporter of the efforts.
The proposed license tier system will offer a five-year license at a rate equivalent to purchasing five annual licenses. Currently, the IDNR only offers annual and lifetime licenses for resident applicants. The department will also continue to offer discounts for seniors and veterans. Scherer believes the change will streamline the process of obtaining a license for hunters and fishermen and allow them to spend more time outdoors.
“Annual renewals for hunting and fishing licenses are an unnecessary bureaucratic hoop that our state’s sportsmen have to jump through year after year,” said Scherer. “Multi-year licensure has been implemented successfully for activities from driving to teaching in our schools. I don’t see any good reason to not apply this standard to our hunters and fishermen.”
The move towards multi-year licensure has been gaining traction across various sectors, as it has been shown to reduce bureaucracy and costs for both individuals and organizations. The change will enable hunters and fishermen to plan ahead and reduce the burden of frequent license renewals.
“The average resident who wants to hunt or fish already knows that they plan on hunting and or fishing animals next year,” said Scherer. “This bill will streamline our process to get our sportsmen more time outdoors and less time behind a screen dealing with unnecessary licensing requirements.”
Illinois is not the only state to suggest changes to its hunting and fishing licensing process. Other states, including California, Kentucky, and Oregon, have also introduced multi-year licenses for their residents.