State Sporting License Fees Reduced!


Great news if you are resident or nonresident angler or hunter! As of Feb. 1, 2014, some exciting changes have been made for sportsmen and women looking to enjoy New York’s outstanding natural resources. For starters, the sporting license year will change. For fishermen, an annual license will start from the day you purchase it. For hunting, the new license year will be from September 1 to August 31 instead of the previous October 1 starting date. Those are both good changes, giving you more value for your dollar – especially if you are a fishing enthusiast.

                In an effort to simplify the Empire State license fee structure, many of the package licenses like the Sportsman and Supersportsman options are now history. And in an attempt to attract more hunters and fishermen to the state (and within), many license fees have been reduced. You heard that right – the fees have gone DOWN! In some cases, considerably.

                For the fishing end of things, annual resident licenses have dropped from $29 to $25; nonresident from $70 to $50. The 7-day license has been reduced from $15 to $12 for residents; $35 to $28 for nonresidents – nothing substantial, but still a drop during a time when everything else seems to be going up. A one day license will stay the same for residents at $5, but nonresident single day tags will drop from $15 to $10 – a great deal considering the world class fishing we enjoy in Niagara USA.

                For the hunting end of things, residents could previously purchase a small/big game license for $29 or a small game only for $26. The only option now is a single license now – both big and small game together for $22. For nonresidents, the previous options were $85 for a small game tag, $140 for a big game license and $50 for a bear tag. Those are all inclusive in a $100 single hunting license now. For bowhunting and muzzleloading, resident costs have dropped from $21 to $15; nonresidents drop from $140 to $30 for each. Turkey permits will remain at $10 for residents; nonresident tags will see a reduction of $30, dropping from $50 to $20.  Deer management permits will remain at $10 for everyone, except for junior hunters and lifetime sportsman license holders.

                While there are over 1,000 license issuing agents around the state, a new online sporting license system is supposed to make things easier to purchase your license before you arrive or while you are here. Simply log on to and take care of business, printing out your online fishing license. Another important option that is brand new for fishermen is a toll-free phone number at 866-933-2257. Call that number and be sure to have your credit card handy – it’s quick and easy. The hard copy will be sent out within four days. However, if you need immediate certification for a fishing adventure, they will issue you a documentation number that will prove that you are properly licensed. We’re trying to make things as simple as possible for you to enjoy the Niagara USA fishing experience. For a complete breakdown of state sporting license options, check out the Department of Environmental Conservation website at

                It’s important to note that fishing and hunting license fees are earmarked for a dedicated fund – the Conservation Fund – which is used to support fish and wildlife programs in the state. In addition, every license sold is used as leverage to obtain Federal funds collected through excise taxes placed on sporting equipment – which is also dedicated funding for things like access and hunter safety training. In other words, you are helping yourself to support New York’s dynamic and prolific natural resources. Thanks for helping.