Gov. Brad Henry has signed HB 2963, which makes several changes to the state hunting and fishing regulations.
Several hunting and fishing bills were consolidated into HB 2963 and passed during the legislative session.
As a result of the governor’s signature, the following measures now become law on Jan. 1:
A layaway system for buying lifetime hunting and fishing licenses: Lifetime licenses sold to persons under the age of 18 can be paid for through installments over a three-year period, in a manner to be determined by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The license will not be issued until full payment is completed.
No more trout license: The trout license will be eliminated. The money lost will be offset by increasing the price of non-resident fishing licenses.
One deer license per season for non-resident hunters: Instead of having to buy several deer licenses during a season, non-resident hunters now will be able to buy one $279 deer license for that specific season (archery, muzzleloader or gun).
One more day of fishing: The five-day non-resident fishing license will be extended to a six-day license.
Pick your year: Hunters can choose to buy a hunting license that runs from the calendar year, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, or the fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.
Some hunting seasons overlap, so buying an annual hunting license that would run from July to June will keep hunters from having to remember to renew during the season.
A break for military personnel: Anyone on active duty in the United States Armed Forces will be able to buy a resident hunting or fishing license in Oklahoma.
Senior citizens get more benefits: All the benefits that regular lifetime fishing and hunting license holders have will be extended to senior citizen lifetime licenses. For example, senior citizen license holders now would receive all of the deer licenses as part of their lifetime licenses, just like regular lifetime license holders.
Trapping now included: Lifetime license holders also will be exempt from having to buy the trapping license. All trapping licenses will be extended to the end of February.