The last license price increase for residents of Georgia was in 1992. In 1992, a first-class stamp cost 29 cents, gas was a little over a dollar a gallon, computers ran Windows 3.1, Czechoslovakia was one country, and CDs outsold cassette tapes for the first time.
A lot has changed since 1992, and now the price of Georgia resident hunting and fishing licenses reflects that. These new prices are still some of the lowest in the country, and average for the Southeast.
A dollar doesn’t go as far today as it did in 1992. This change in prices will help us recapture lost purchasing power through increased license revenue and increased federal funding.
Under the new price structure, more hunters and anglers will be considered “certified” under the regulations that determine how much federal money a state receives. Hunters and anglers who were previously not charged the minimum amount to draw down federal monies, and who therefore were not counted as “certified” participants, will now be counted by the federal government. The primary source of revenue is not the dollars from the license fee itself, but the federal dollars for which we are now eligible.
This certification completes the cycle that brings money entering the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program through purchases made in Georgia back to Georgia. (For more on how we are funded and how the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program works, please see this article. [LINK])
Licensing is simpler under the new law. Wildlife Management Area, Deer-Dog, Waterfowl and 1-day Saltwater Fishing Shore licenses are all a thing of the past.
Increased funding in line with the costs of doing business in 2017 will allow us to maintain our current programs. It will also enable us to open more gates on WMAs for longer, plant more food plots, upgrade shooting ranges and build more ranges, create new fishing and boating access opportunities, increase technical assistance for landowners and hunting clubs, stock more fish and hire over 40 game wardens so that each county in Georgia has its own dedicated game warden.