Santa should take note.
This holiday season, the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division is offering gifts that will please hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts, while also benefiting the wildlife and wild places they enjoy.
Before heading to the stores, go online to www.georgiawildlife.com to learn more about:
With a lifetime license, the Georgia resident hunter or angler on your gift list will not need to pay for another state hunting or fishing license. Ever! From hunting trophy whitetails to casting for lunker largemouths, their cherished recreation in Georgia is covered.
Prices are set by age group:
- The best bargain is for children: $200 for under 2 years old and $350 for kids age 2 to 15. That’s a potential savings of more than $2,600 over a lifetime.
- The price for ages 16 to 59 is $500.
- Discount lifetime licenses for resident adults age 60 to 64 are $95.
- Residents 65 and older can receive a free lifetime license, with an option to pay a one-time fee of $10 for a durable, commemorative plastic card.
Applications and document details are at www.georgiawildlife.com/LifetimeLicense.
A Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass, or GORP, is required for non-hunting or non-fishing recreation such as birding, horseback riding and hiking at 32 sites managed by the Wildlife Resources Division, which is part of the state Department of Natural Resources. Sites include the popular Crockford Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in northwest Georgia; Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, about an hour east of Atlanta; and Grand Bay WMA in southeast Georgia.
One of the best bargains for outdoors lovers is the annual GORP. Good for a year from the date of purchase, the annual permit costs only $19 for people ages 16 to 64. (Those older than 64 and younger than 16 are exempt from the pass, as are those with a lifetime, sportsman's, WMA or three-day hunting and fishing license.) GORPs are available at
www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes, by phone (800-366-2661) and from license retail agents (www.georgiawildlife.com/LicenseAgents). Transaction fees apply.
Outdoor recreation-related gifts have mass appeal. In 2011, 90.1 million Americans, or 38 percent of the U.S. population 16 years and older, enjoyed some form of fishing, hunting or wildlife-associated recreation. Participation is also on the rise. From 2006 to 2011, overall hunting participation increased 9 percent and the number of anglers nationally rose 11 percent.
Even more special …
A lifetime license or annual GORP not only provides access to the great outdoors, proceeds support Georgia wildlife and state-managed lands.
The Wildlife Resources Division uses hunting and fishing license sales to fulfill its wildlife mission. Yet sales of lifetime, sportsman's and other licenses are also a key measure through which states receive Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funding.
Since 1937, the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/) has channeled dedicated excise taxes on sporting equipment – more than $14 billion nationwide through 2011 – to states to manage fish and wildlife and provide recreational opportunities. Uses in Georgia vary from funding public fishing areas to managing the state’s 1 million-strong deer herd.
But it’s worth noting that Georgia receives federal funds only for paid licenses. Avid hunters and anglers who buy a discount lifetime license ($95) at age 60, rather than waiting for a free lifetime license at age 65, ensure their excise taxes are returned to Georgia for the rest of their life! (Those 65 and older can also support wildlife by buying a discount lifetime license instead of asking for the free senior license.)
GORP is another gift that gives. The pass helps pay for needed maintenance at wildlife management and public fishing areas that receive significant use for recreation other than hunting and fishing. Implemented in 2012, GORP has raised more than $300,000 for projects including boardwalk renovations at Grand Bay WMA and camping area repairs at Crockford-Pigeon Mountain WMA. Details at www.georgiawildlife.com/Georgia-Outdoor-Recreational-Pass.
Overall, wildlife recreation also supports the economy, with participants spending $144.7 billion nationwide – equal to 1 percent of the gross domestic product – and $3.6 billion in Georgia in 2011.
This holiday season, skip the wrapping paper and give the adventurers on your list a lifetime license or an annual Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass.
It’s the perfect gift for them and the wildlife they love.