Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Curt VanderWall creates additional opportunities to entice out-of-state hunters to choose Michigan as their outdoor recreation destination.
In 2014, the state of Michigan consolidated all hunting licenses into a more streamlined offering. One of the changes made was the establishment of a seven-day license for small game hunting at a cost of $80. VanderWall stated many out-of-state hunters come to Michigan for less than a week, however, and as such should not be required to pay for a full seven-day license.
Instead, VanderWall’s first bill would create a three-day license for small game hunting or waterfowl hunting at a cost of $40, giving out-of-state hunters more reason to choose Michigan as their hunting destination. This would put Michigan more in line with similar hunting licenses in other Midwestern states.
Additionally, the Ludington legislator’s second bill would offer individuals who live out of state, but own property in Michigan, an option to obtain a hunting license at a reduced rate to hunt only within the parameters of their own property.
“The cost of an out of state hunting license, at $150, can be quite a disincentive for a hunter who wants to come to their own property to hunt on their own land,” said VanderWall, an avid hunter and outdoorsman. “This bill creates a more reasonable fee of only $75 for an on-property-only hunt for an out-of-state hunter.”
VanderWall said the ultimate goal of his legislation is to encourage out-of-state visitors to come to Michigan by eliminating large fees that might deter hunters.
“Spending by hunters accounted for $2.3 billion in trip-related expenses and equipment in 2011 alone, according to the Michigan DNR,” VanderWall said. “Encouraging more hunters to come to Michigan will help further support local restaurants, sport shops and other small businesses.”
VanderWall delivered testimony on his legislation before the House Tourism and Recreation Committee today. The bills now wait to be considered by the committee.