Hunting & Fishing License Changes

What Changed: July 1, 2017

WMA License

The WMA License is no longer available or required. A basic hunting or fishing privilege that allows hunting or fishing on state lands is all that is needed to be present on designated state WMAs, state PFAs, and state shooting ranges. (Big game, waterfowl, trout, or other licenses may also be additionally needed, depending on activity).

GORP License

GORP Licenses are no longer available. A license that includes the privilege to hunt or fish on state lands is all that is needed to shoot on state shooting ranges, or be on state WRD lands. All persons 16 and older on designated state WRD lands must have an individual basic hunting or fishing privilege. An individual WRD Lands Pass is optionally available for those that have objections to purchasing hunting or fishing licenses, but the cost for the Lands Pass is higher to make up for loss of federal funds that come with hunting or fishing licenses. Most persons not hunting or not fishing will still want the basic hunting or fishing license; the least costly basic fishing or hunting license for short term or annual use will suffice for basic access.

Deer Dog License

The Deer Dog License is no longer available and is not needed as an additional separate license. Just a hunting privilege with big game and a harvest record allows deer dog hunting on DNR permitted deer dog properties.

HIP License & GA Waterfowl Conservation License

The HIP License and the GA Waterfowl Conservation License are no longer available. These were combined into the new Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp. This stamp is always additionally needed for anyone 16 and older to hunt migratory birds including dove and waterfowl, and cost $5. There is a free version for any hunter with a valid Sportsman's License, Optional Multi-Year Youth Sportsman's License, Honorary License or Lifetime License (the system will offer the free rather than paid versions if you hold one of these licenses). There is a free Resident Landowner Migratory Bird Stamp for residents who hunt migratory birds only on their own property and don’t already have or need a regular Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp.

Alligator License

The Alligator License is no longer available and is not needed as an additional separate license to hunt alligator. Just a basic hunting privilege allows alligator hunting as long as accompanied by a quota alligator harvest permit holder. The quota harvest permit holder must purchase or obtain their alligator harvest permit.

Senior License

Senior Licenses are no longer free for those 65+ years of age with date of birth on or after July 1, 1952. There are lifetime options for these persons: senior lifetime sportsman’s = $70, senior lifetime fishing only = $35, and senior lifetime hunting only = $35. There is a senior sportsman’s annual option for these customers = $7. Senior Licenses are still free for those born before July 1, 1952. The system will show appropriate senior 65+ licenses for each person.

There are new license types available for residents and nonresidents.

License Duration

  • There are one day licenses available that can be extended up to 11 consecutive days total. As persons approach the maximum number of days, they may find that equivalent annual licenses are equal or less cost.
  • There are annual licenses available, and multiples of these annual licenses can be “stacked” to create licenses of any year duration.
  • There are lifetime licenses available to seniors online, and other lifetime licenses for non-seniors that must be obtained by DNR paper application or in person at some DNR offices (see WRD web site for details). Discounted lifetime licenses are available for resident veterans and resident active duty military.
  • Three year discounted licenses are available to persons that are 100% totally and permanently disabled from DNR only by paper application, or in person at some DNR offices (see WRD web site for details).
  • There is an optional 5 year resident youth license. This inexpensive license can be purchased by youth 12 through 15 only, is a full sportsman’s license, and lasts until the customer’s 17th birthday (advantage is not having to purchase a more expensive license at age 16).

Hunter Safety

Hunter Safety Certification (HSC) is NOT required to purchase any of the short term hunting licenses. Free Georgia issued Hunter Safety Certification cards (paper version) can now be added to the Go Outdoors Cart during any license transaction, if the HSC is showing in the account.

Current/Valid Licenses Held

Customer’s current licenses and expiration dates display at the top of the license selection page in their Go Outdoors customer accounts. Annual licenses stack after the expiration date of the same type current license with no loss of time. Make sure to use the customer number from your printed license when entering the account to see current licenses and facilitate license stacking.

Durable Hard Cards

Optional Durable License Hard Cards can be purchased for $5 plus a transaction fee and will display all valid licenses in your customer’s account at the time of printing, except Lifetime, Deer / Turkey Harvest Record and any short term licenses. Lifetime License Cards may be purchased for $10 plus a transaction fee, and are available for selection if you have a lifetime license.

Harvest Record

Free harvest records are required for all turkey and/or deer hunters. They are available to all hunters of any age through the online license system by setting up a customer account.

Salt Water Fishing

In addition to other required licenses, the free SIP license is required for all anglers 16 and older fishing in Georgia’s salt waters.

Why It Changed

The last license price increase for residents of Georgia was in 1992. In 1992, a first-class stamp cost 29 cents, gas was a little over a dollar a gallon, computers ran Windows 3.1, Czechoslovakia was one country and CDs outsold cassette tapes for the first time.

A lot has changed since 1992, and now the price of Georgia resident hunting and fishing licenses reflects that. These new prices are still some of the lowest in the country, and average for the Southeast.

A dollar doesn't go as far today as it did in 1992. This change in prices will help us recapture lost purchasing power through increased license revenue and increased federal funding.

Under the new price structure, more hunters and anglers will be considered “certified” under the regulations that determine how much federal money a state receives. Hunters and anglers who were previously not charged the minimum amount to draw down federal monies, and who therefore were not counted as “certified” participants, will now be counted by the federal government. The primary source of revenue is not the dollars from the license fee itself, but the federal dollars for which we are now eligible.

This certification completes the cycle that brings money entering the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program through purchases made in Georgia back to Georgia.

Increased funding in line with the costs of doing business in 2017 will allow us to maintain our current programs. It will also enable us to open more gates on WMAs for longer, plant more food plots, upgrade shooting ranges and build more ranges, create new fishing and boating access opportunities, increase technical assistance for landowners and hunting clubs, stock more fish and hire over 40 game wardens so that each county in Georgia has its own dedicated game warden.

Helpful guide to what's changed for 2017 hunting and fishing licenses.