New Senior Lifetime License will Expand Hunting & Fishing Privileges
A new lifetime hunting and fishing license with expanded privileges for South Carolina residents age 64 will go on sale in mid-June along with the season's new licenses for the 2005-2006 season.
Through a law enacted by the S.C. General Assembly, the former lifetime hunting and fishing license for 64-year-old state residents has been renamed the Senior Lifetime License and its privileges have been expanded to include lifetime privileges for hunting, freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, big game, wildlife management area permit and the state duck stamp. The new Senior Lifetime License will cost $9, the same as the license it replaces.
Sportsmen interested in the new senior $9 license can contact the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by calling (803) 734-3838 in Columbia. Lifetime licenses are also available through the regional DNR offices in Columbia, Charleston, Clemson, and Florence.
Previously the lifetime hunting and fishing license for 64-year-old residents did not include the wildlife management area permit, state duck stamp or saltwater fishing license, all of which came with the gratis 65-year-old resident hunting and fishing license.
As part of the new law, the Senior Lifetime License, costing $9, will now be required for all resident hunters and fishermen who turn 65 after July 1, 2005. Individuals turning 65 on or before July 1, 2005, can still obtain the free gratis license.
Hunters age 64 and older who purchase the one-time senior license will still have to purchase the Federal duck stamp and obtain the free HIP (harvest information program for migratory birds) permit each year.
"The new law passed this year will help provide needed funds for the management of natural resources in South Carolina," said Billy McTeer, DNR license sales coordinator. "Many sportsmen do not realize that a majority of the funds used to manage fish and wildlife in South Carolina come from Federal dollars apportioned to states based on the number of paid license holders. These funds are generated by taxes on hunting and fishing equipment."
McTeer said, "For many years, South Carolina has been losing a substantial amount of federal dollars when sportsmen are issued a (free) gratis 65-year-old license, because funds are based on the number of paid license holders. Unfortunately, gratis license holders do not count within the total of hunters and fishermen, causing the state to miss out on federal dollars earmarked for fish and wildlife conservation.
"Sportsmen age 64 who buy the new Senior Lifetime License for state residents this year will benefit substantially, compared to the more expensive combination or sportsman's license," McTeer said. "And South Carolina can receive more Federal dollars to use for wildlife conservation in the Palmetto State because our senior hunters and fishermen will now be counted officially in Federal funds apportionment."