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Kansas considers increasing cost of hunting and fishing licenses

Whitetail deer

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Kansas is considering a new bill that would allow the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) to increase the cost of 35 licenses, permits and fees. Senate Bill 50 (SB 50) is currently being considered by the Kansas Senate. If approved, it could impact resident and nonresident hunting and fishing licenses and other permits like falconry and fur harvesting by allowing a change in fee caps. However, the bill only grants the KDWPT secretary “the authority to make price increases up to the new maximum limits” and “not without first holding a public hearing,” The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

While the new bill covers a wide range of fees and permits, ranging from elk permits to turkey tags to nonresident combo hunting and fishing licenses, SB 50 would also eliminate commercial guide permits and associate guide permits. And, while the new fees are nearly double for some, individuals interested in mussel fishing are “the hardest-hit group” with a new maximum cap of $1,500 under the new bill, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal.

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KDWPT is the sponsor of the bill. Language within the bill states that SB 50 would “give the agency latitude over time to respond to alterations in wildlife populations, changes to the environment, and the fiscal demands of agency operations.” In other words? Fees may not go up immediately, but, over time, at KDWPT’s discretion, they could likely increase.

Per The Topeka Capital-Journal, here is the breakdown of some of the proposed hunting license fee cap increases for residents and nonresidents under SB 50:

Proposed license fee increases

Type of license Resident Nonresident
Annual Increased from $25 to $50

Adult: Increased from $125 to $200

Youth: Increased from $75 to $100

Annual Combo Increased from $50 to $100 Increased from $200 to $300
Big Game Permits n/a Increased from $400 to $600
Elk Permit n/a Increased from $350 to $500
Mule Deer Stamp n/a Increased from $150 to $250
Big game application n/a Increased from $25 to $40


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Jeffrey H. - posted 1 year ago on 02-08-2019 06:08:47 pm
Manhattan, Kansas

Big numbers make big news. This bill sets caps. The existing caps were set around 30 years ago. It’s time to raise them to give the Wildlife Commission latitude so they can manage our wildlife. That’s right, the commission sets fees not the legislature or the department. it’s done through a public hearing process, discussed in open meetings, and voted on by a body. The department administers what the commission decides. If you don’t support this bill you don’t support wildlife, opportunity, or good management.

Marshal L. - posted 1 year ago on 02-08-2019 05:04:54 pm

This bill is already dead and this wasn’t for a license increase. It was to raise the cap so that the department could raise fees as needed in the future.

James F. - posted 1 year ago on 02-08-2019 03:35:51 pm

The just increased the NR deer tags about 4 years ago, thing it went up about 25% around 125 bucks...the Deer tag is already over 500. If KS wants to stop its decline in quality they better go away from a demand based quota and move something based on biology data.