The Missouri Conservation Department is gathering public feedback on proposed hikes in hunting and fishing fees.
The proposed fee increases would hit nonresidents of Missouri the most. That probably won’t bother state residents too much!
The Conservation Department wants to raise nonresident deer hunting licenses from $225 to $265 starting in 2020, according to the Associated Press.
Nonresidents also could see an increase in turkey license fees from the current $190 to $224. The department estimates the hike will generate about $230,700 a year and affect about 7,000 people.
The state agency also wants to increase annual trout permits from $7 to $10 for anglers ages 16 and over and from $3.50 to $5 for children younger than that.
The proposed higher fees are estimated to raise another $2.4 million for the department next year.
Like businesses, the higher fees will raise the revenue to meet higher operating costs. Some of the fees have not been raised for years.
The added revenue will help to pay for increased fish management costs, according to the director of the state agency, Sara Parker Pauley.
Not being a fisherman or hunter, we can understand the need to raise prices even though we hate to see it.
We know many fishermen and hunters, and how much they enjoy their outdoor recreation. Plus it can be of great economic value to many of them. It cuts their grocery bill. They also enjoy preparing the wild game to eat and preserve for another time.
Since it will hit nonresidents the most, that brings some peace of mind to outdoor Missourians. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the increase in revenue comes as Gov. Mike Parson is considering signing legislation that would force wildlife poachers to pay restitution — an initiative that if implemented could generate an estimated $2.4 million each year for public schools.
The outdoor people who hunt and fish and follow the rules undoubtedly hope the governor signs the legislation on restitution. Poachers should pay a penalty.