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    Do I need a license to go hunting or fishing?

    Date: 09.06.07 | by Judge Tom.



    Photo by Longwayround.co.nz

    You may wonder why a permit or license to hunt or fish is required in the first place. Here are two good reasons:

    • The revenues raised by the money spent on licenses and permits help to support public education about hunting and fishing laws.
    • Regulation by issuing permits and licenses also controls the animal and fish populations, and provides protection for endangered species.

    Young people under a certain age, usually fourteen or sixteen, may fish without a license. This covers fishing in most lakes and rivers. However, you may need a permit for ocean fishing. A single-day or lifetime sportfishing license is also available in many parts of the United States.


    Photo by Michael(mx5tx) (Flickr)

    In most states, you may not hunt without a license, regardless of your age. Obey all posted signs wherever you′re fishing or hunting. The penalties for violating the fish and game laws of your state are stiff and may include the loss of your license and equipment. Contact your state game and fish department, tribal council, sporting goods store, or park ranger for information about hunting and fishing laws.

    You may be required to pass a written test before obtaining a permit. Taking a firearms safety course is advisable whether you hunt or target practice. Even if it′s not required, check into the classes available in your area.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    1 Comment subscribe to these comments.

    • James
      Sat, 21 Nov 2009 at 12:17

      Two wrongs will never make a right ! People,all people should have a natural right to interact with nature freely as long as they do so in a non-destructive manner.Fishing and hunting for food is a non-destructive means of interacting with nature which in fact should be a right not a purchased ”privalige”.
      Of course creel limits as well as bag limits are more than reasonable,as long as those limits are based upon science,not the desire of the state to raise revenue !Currently we are told such limits are based upon science.I seriously doubt this is the case considering the fact that a person who purchaces a permit and uses that permit say twice weekly will affect fish and game populations far more than the so called criminal poacher who might choose to hunt and fish even less than once a month.If I purchase a fishing liscence and fish weekly, nearly always catching my legal limit I have effected the fish population far more than someone who has bought the same liscence but only fishes once or twice a year.Where is the science here ?

      If a person can be forced to purchace fish and game harvest permits then people could in fact be obligated to seek a liscense for virtualy every activity in which man engages with nature,such as swimming,sunbathing,bird-watching,kite flying,the list is endless.Needing a permit for hunting and fishing,”particularly when doing so for food” is paramount to needing a permit to eat ! It can not
      be justified.
      Thanks, James, for your thoughts.