Montana makes changes to address a budget shortfall.
To address a budget shortfall, Montana hunting and fishing licenses will see an increase in price this year.
There are two different price increases that will take effect under the legislature and will mark the first fee increase in ten years. Hunters will now be required to pay for a $10 base hunting license and fishing licenses will see a $3 increase in price to $21 for residents.
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks service was forced to raise fees due to a $5.75 million funding shortfall. Rather than develop new individual fees for every license type, the new base license recommendation came from the License Funding Advisory Council. Included in the base license is the $2 hunting access enhancement fee.
The state will also have to start charging for some licenses that had previously been free. The only exceptions are for block management cooperator combination and military recognition licenses. Other licenses, such as youth, disabled or senior licenses will now be charged, although at half the cost of a regular license.
Youth anglers under 12 will still be able to go fishing for free. Youth is now defined as between 12 and 17 years old as the state does away with various age categories.
Another subtle change is in the sale of conservation licenses. These will need to be purchased separately for $8. Previously, they had been available with a fishing license.