How to Get a Hunting License

Written by Chris Alan

Your hunting license is basically your pass to shoot deer, get meat, and create memories. However, killing any animal without a current hunting license is illegal. By getting a hunting license each year, you may prove that you are a wise, moral, and responsible hunter. It is a legal requirement.

Most state wildlife agencies offer online license purchases for hunters. The license can then be printed at home or requested to be mailed to the hunter. Some archer stores and other licensing agents are sites where you can purchase your licenses. No matter where you live, obtaining a hunting license is a rather simple task. 

To get a license, you must fulfill a few basic requirements, and in some cases, you could also need to get specific tags. Be sure to abide by the regulations and have fun while hunting. Follow these procedures to receive your license and open the door to several hunting opportunities.

Basic Requirements

  • Minimum age

If you’re 12 or older, you can often purchase a hunting license. A parent or legal guardian’s permission is required if you are between the ages of 12 and 16 in order to obtain a license.

  • Valid ID

Make sure you have a valid driver’s license, passport, or other state-issued picture identification card, as you must provide your identity to obtain a hunting license. A cheaper license can be obtained if you can prove that you live in the state where you plan to hunt. Consider bringing a state-issued ID, a tax return, a voter ID card, a property tax statement, or a vehicle registration. You can also offer utility bills or pay stubs for the previous six months.

  • Eligibility to own a gun

It’s possible that you aren’t authorized to legally own or use a handgun if you’ve been accused of a serious crime. If so, you are not eligible to purchase a hunting license. Consult your local police department if you’re unsure about your legal right to possess a handgun.

  • Keep up child support payments

A social security number is required to get a hunting license. You won’t get a hunting license if you don’t fulfill your child support payments. If you don’t pay child support, all hunting licenses you currently have are invalid.

  • Clearing the hunter education course

Most states demand that you complete a hunter education course to purchase a hunting license. In these hunter safety courses, you will learn about safety, hunting tactics, hunting laws, shot placement, blood trailing, field maintenance, and equipment requirements. Before you go, they’re an incredible place to learn about hunting.

After passing your hunter safety course, you’ll receive a certification card with a personal ID number. This number serves as proof that you passed the course; to get a hunting license, you will need your ID.

Many states also provide some form of a “trail” hunting license, which allows the individual to go hunting without first completing a hunter safety course. However, youth and adult beginner hunters using the trainee license must hunt under the guidance of a licensed hunter. This strategy encourages hunters to go out hunting and learn the game before enrolling in a hunter education course.

Visit the website of the wildlife agency in your state to find out more information.

Get a license

  • Obtain a license in the state where you plan to hunt

Get a license in the state where you want to go hunting. A state does not require you to live there in order to hunt there. In fact, many hunters go on hunting trips to other states to hunt various species. Simply check to see if your license is valid in the state where you plan to hunt.

  • Choose license

Most hunters choose an annual license. This enables them to hunt throughout a single year. But several states issue temporary licenses (such as 1-day, 2-day, and 5-day licenses). This can be a more economical choice if you’re a non-resident or want to hunt for a short time. If you’re a serious hunter, you may wish to choose one of the several states that provide lifetime hunting permits.

  • Obtain a license 

Most of the time, you can buy a license from any store that offers hunting supplies. Simply walk up to the desk and inform the employee what kind of license you require. To ensure that your information is entered into the Wildlife Services database, present a valid ID, your hunter safety card, and your social security number. After paying the payment, you can print your license from there. 

The cost will change depending on the license type, the area, and possibly your age. If you are aged between 16 and 69, you can purchase a hunting license for $22 per year. Regardless of this age, the license only costs $5. An alternative is a yearly hunting license in Indiana costs $17 for citizens and $80 for non-citizens.

  • Apply for the specialized tags

Depending on what you wish to hunt, you could require a tag for that particular animal. You could obtain a small hunting license to hunt creatures like rabbits, turtles, beavers, prairie dogs, squirrels, and bobcats. However, you must apply for the draw if you wish to shoot big games in states like Colorado and California, such as elk, deer, or moose. You enter information about the kind of animal you want to hunt and the region where you want to hunt in the form.

You have to wait for several months to learn whether your request has been approved. If your application is denied, you might be able to purchase an expansive license for the same species later on in the year. The area where you can hunt the animal will probably differ from the one you applied for.

Follow the regulations 

The following laws must be followed after getting a hunting license:

  • Only hunt during the specified season:

Each species or group of animals could only be hunted during its season.

  • Respect the permitted limitations:

There are strict restrictions on how many animals you can kill with that licence in a single day, so find out the limitations for the state you’re hunting in.

  • Don’t wander from the restricted region:

Never go hunting on private property without the owner’s  permission.

  • Put the tag on and report your kill:

You might need to tag each animal you kill, depending on the state and the species. Both successful and unsuccessful hunts should be reported in order to track wildlife numbers.

In addition to enabling you to hunt legally, hunting licenses help governments finance conservation projects, including wildlife research, habitat renovation work, and open access initiatives. The state agency that sells hunting licenses receives payment from each purchaser.

About the author

Chris Alan

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