Idaho is proposing raising hunting and fishing license prices, but you can protect yourself by taking advantage of their new “price lock.”
Idaho Fish & Game is asking the state legislature for the first price increase on resident hunting and fishing licenses and tags in 12 years. However, you can avoid having to pay the new prices by using the new “price lock” feature that the state is also considering.
Basically, the price lock means that as long as you buy a hunting or fishing license every year, you may continue to do so at current prices. However, if you miss a year, you’ll lose price lock protection, and you’ll have to purchase a license at the higher price the next time you do so.
The State of Idaho is in a rough spot. Idaho Fish & Game does not receive any general tax revenue, so the vast majority of the department’s budget is funded by hunting and fishing license fees. The department’s costs have risen by 22% since the last license price increase in 2004, so the Fish & Game has been forced to reduce game management efforts.
To avoid further cuts to fish and game management programs, Idaho Fish & Game needs to increase revenue. Obviously, the proposal to raise hunting & fishing license prices is an effort to help along those lines. If approved by the state legislature and signed into law by the governor, most resident tags, licenses, and permit prices will increase by between $1 and $6 starting in 2018.
But, the price lock program is also a pretty creative way to generate additional revenue by increasing the number of licenses sold in the state each year. By giving outdoorsmen and women an incentive to buy a license every year, the state can raise additional revenue. They are reasoning that people will still buy a license for a particular year, even if they don’t really plan on hunting, to ensure that they’ll still be able to buy a license in subsequent years at the lower price.
What do you think about the price lock feature being proposed by the Idaho Fish & Game Department?