New Law Provides Exemptions from Fishing and Hunting Legacy Permit
At the close of the 2005 Legislative session, Governor Brad Henry signed several bills that will affect hunters and anglers across the state.
Oklahomans who are normally exempt from an annual hunting or fishing license will no longer be required to purchase a Fishing and Hunting Legacy permit thanks to House Bill 1814. The bill also allows the Department to use revenue from the permit to purchase, lease, or purchase easements for property to be used for public fishing and hunting.
“We were pleased that the Legislature passed this bill to provide some exemptions from the Fishing and Hunting Legacy permit. This is the one bill that was requested by the Wildlife Department and we think this will make the permit more equitable for the hunters and anglers of the state,” said Richard Hatcher, assistant director of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
A pair of bills affects Oklahoma residents who were injured while serving their country. House Bill 1240 exempts veterans who are 100 percent disabled from all deer archery, deer primitive firearms and deer gun licenses. Senate Bill 498 creates a $25 lifetime combination license for veterans with a compensable disability of 60 percent or more. It also creates a $200 lifetime combination license for veterans who have a compensable disability up to 60 percent.
Senate Bill 498 also exempts persons fishing in a Department sanctioned aquatic education fishing clinic from fishing license requirements.
Although not a law, House Concurrent Resolution 1010 directs the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission to adopt rules changing the class hour requirement for the traditional hunter education course from ten hours to eight hours.
For more information on these bills or to follow the law-making process next year, log on to wildlifedepartment.com and click on Legislative Tracker. Following is a list of other new legislation signed by the Governor that deals with fish and wildlife issues:
· House Bill 1575 - Authorizes residents who are 100 percent disabled and are receiving disability payments from the Multiple Injury Trust Fund to purchase disability hunting and fishing licenses.
· House Bill 1814 – In addition to exempting certain persons from the Fishing and Hunting Legacy Permit, it also creates a $5 rattlesnake harvest license for persons who are participating in an organized rattlesnake hunting event or festival. This license allows people in organized rattle snake hunts to participate without also possessing a hunting or combination hunting/fishing license.
· House Bill 1722 - Provides that any person who has been convicted or has pleaded guilty to two wildlife violations in a two-year period, may, after one year, apply for a new hunting or fishing license only after paying a reinstatement fee of $200 for residents and $500 for nonresidents. The reinstatement fee shall be in addition to other fees required for the hunting or fishing license.
· Senate Bill 685 - Allows residents of the 49 other states, including Kansas, to purchase nonresident deer, antelope or elk licenses regardless of the license policies in those states.