Attention hunters and anglers in Georgia! It could cost more for you to hunt and fish in the future.
A state audit conducted in 2016 found that the state's license fees are too low. The low fees are said to be costing the state's Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division millions of dollars.
The money, according to the state, could be used to hire more rangers and facilitate other improvements in Georgia's outdoors.
State Rep. Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro) has introduced House Bill 208 to raise the price of basic annual hunting and fishing licenses. While the licenses would cost more, the bill would also reduce the number of required licenses.
In addition, the bill would eliminate certain fee exemptions.
State auditors found that certain fee exemptions, such as free lifetime licenses for seniors, has kept the state from qualifying for federal funds.
House Bill 208 would create a structured fee schedule for the purchase of lifetime licenses.
Currently, Georgia's license fees start at $17 for basic hunting and fishing. The licenses haven't cost more since 1992.
Officials say the Wildlife Resources Division could bring in $4.4 to $6.7 million more if fees are raised to the average price in the Southeast.
The bill would have to be approved by state lawmakers for the fee increase to take place.