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New senior hunting/fishing licenses going smoothly

Bob Snyder, of Hutchinson, shows his new, plastic senior combination hunting/fishing permit.Less than a month into the new requirement that resident hunters and anglers 65-74 must have hunting and fishing licenses, and all seems to be going well.

Karen Beard, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism licensing chief, said 4431 of the senior hunting/fishing lifetime permits had been sold as of mid-afternoon on Monday. The combination permits sell for about $40. Annual senior hunting or fishing permits sell for about $15.

Those purchasing the senior lifetime licenses will receive a plastic license

For decades Kansans 65 and older had been exempt from purchasing hunting or fishing licenses. Last year the Kansas legislature honored a Wildlife and Parks request to remove the exemption because a growing percentage of Kansas anglers and hunters were over 65.  Also, since such Kansans weren’t purchasing hunting or fishing licenses the state was missing out on federal excise taxes charged on most types of hunting and fishing gear.

Beard said the rush for the combination licenses has subsided, but she expects it will grow again as fall hunting seasons get closer. She’s heard few complaints, especially when the sportsmen learn the new licenses will qualify the state for millions of dollars in federal funds.

“Some guys that have (already) have a lifetime hunting license don’t think should have to buy a lifetime combo. They  dont’ think it’s fair and think there should be a (senior) lifetime fishing license,” Beard said. “Unfortunately that option wasn’t offered. I don’t think it was cost-effective.”