Save Money, Hunt Longer in Oklahoma

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With 2009 just days away, it's time for sportsmen to renew their annual hunting and fishing licenses, but with that reminder comes a new opportunity to purchase a fishing, hunting or combination license that will last five years.

"Every year we remind Oklahoma sportsmen that their annual hunting and fishing licenses need to be renewed in order for them to head to the field after the start of a new year," said Mike Chrisman, license supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. "That means different things to different people, depending on what outdoor activities they are pursuing such as trout fishing or archery hunting. For a lot of people, the new five-year hunting, fishing or combination license will be just the right choice to meet their hunting and angling license requirements."

Not only is this five-year hunting, fishing or combination license a nice convenience, but it's also a money-saver. The fee for these licenses is set at $88 for a five-year fishing license, $88 for a five-year hunting license and $148 for a combination license, which also includes the five-year fishing and hunting legacy permit. Normally, hunters and anglers pay $5 each year for the legacy permit, or $25 over five years.

"This is a $62 cost reduction for sportsmen who normally purchase a combination annual license," said Melinda Sturgess-Streich, assistant director of administration for the Wildlife Department. "There's no question that this is a significant savings, and we here at the Wildlife Department encourage you to take advantage of it."

The majority of annual hunting and fishing licenses, including deer, turkey and trout, expire Dec. 31. Sportsmen should remember to pick up their 2009 deer archery licenses to hunt for the remainder of the archery season (Jan. 1-15) or a 2009 trout license in addition to their hunting, fishing or combination license.

Three licenses that are valid until June 30, 2009 are the harvest information program (HIP) permit and state and federal waterfowl licenses. In addition, trapping licenses expire Jan. 31. A 2009-2010 trapping license must be purchased to trap beaver, bobcat, nutria, striped skunk and coyote after Jan. 31. The fur license expires Jan. 31 for raccoon, gray/red fox and river otter and Feb. 28 for bobcat.

All annual licenses can be purchased from the Wildlife Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com or from any license vendor statewide. The new five-year license also will be available from the Wildlife Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com/apps.htm, or an application can be printed off from the site and mailed to License Section, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152. Complete license requirements and exemptions are outlined in the current "Oklahoma Hunting Guide" and "Oklahoma Fishing Guide." These publications are available at hunting and fishing license dealers statewide or by logging on to the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com. Information is also available from the Department's licensing section at (405) 521-3852.