Alabama lawmakers look to increase fees paid by hunters and fishermen.
There’s just not enough money to go around to police areas where illegal hunting takes place. This is just one of many reasons some say the increase could be a good thing.
Michael Faye is a regular when it comes to hunting. When the season allows, you can find him deer, and upland game hunting and Faye says if a proposed fee hike goes into effect for hunting and fishing licenses, it won't stop him.
"We need more game wardens out there and I hope this will increase the number of game wardens that get out there and police the area," Faye says.
Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley has proposed to raise the fee, which hasn't been touched in 18 years and as co-owner of Sportmans Outfitter's in Dothan, Janice Brooks says it's about time, especially for the warden.
"They are constantly doing research and they receive no outside money. There is no federal funding, no state funding for this department," Brooks says.
According to hunting experts, Alabama has the lowest fees in the tri-state area, though it’s fifth in the nation for hunting and fishing license purchases.
Now, a resident hunter could purchase a license for $16 dollars. Under the commissioner’s suggestion that price could rise to $24 dollars.
A fishing license currently cost $9.50, but could increase by $2.50.
Meanwhile, Faye says avid outdoors-man should look at the bigger picture. "Hopefully, this'll get more people interested in the fish and game wildlife commission and encourage college students to get in that line of work as far as game wardens are concerned.”
News 4 did talk with one Florida fisherman, who wouldn't go on camera, but is concerned because he believes Alabama's license hike will only cause Florida's to go up even more.
As of now, the proposal only pertains to residential licenses for hunting and fishing.
The item will go before the state legislature March 6th.
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