Hunting throughout the U.S. is considered one of the nation’s most popular pastimes. Prior to heading out on a hunting expedition, though, you should make sure you are properly licensed through your state’s wildlife department. Hunting licenses are issued based on a few factors such as:
- Where you plan to hunt.
- When you plan to hunt.
- What type of game you plan to catch.
- How you plan to catch your game (i.e. archery, gun, etc.).
- Your residency status.
There are a few advantages to being a resident when applying for a state hunting license. There are also a variety of license types for you to choose. To find out more about residential hunting licenses, read the sections outlined below:
- Residential hunting license types
- Special resident hunting licenses
- Become a state resident
Types of Residential Hunting Licenses
The type of residential hunting licenses available to you depend on the state you live in, which species you will be hunting and the amount of time you would like your hunting license to be valid for. Types of residential hunting licenses in most states include:
- Annual hunting licenses.
- Multi-year hunting licenses (three-year, five-year, etc.).
- Lifetime hunting licenses.
- Combination fishing and hunting licenses.
Each of these licenses have subgroups depending on state regulations, with many of them distinguishing between the types of species the license allows you to hunt. Specialized hunting licenses for specific animal hunting seasons are offered in most states as well, with a variety of species to choose from including:
Residential status also gives you priority in states that hold lotteries for various animal hunting seasons.
Special Group Resident Hunting Licenses
Aside from the general residential hunting license, wildlife departments also offer many discounted hunting licenses to specific groups within each state. Specialized licenses that are offered by each state include:
- Mentally/physically disabled hunting licenses.
- Disabled military veteran hunting licenses.
- Retired military veteran hunting licenses.
- Active-duty military hunting licenses.
- Senior citizen hunting licenses (ages 65 and older).
- Youth hunting licenses.
Fees for special resident hunting licenses are significantly reduced compared to normal resident hunting licenses, with some of them even being issued for free.
How to Become a State Resident
Rules and regulations for obtaining residential status vary depending on the state you plan to become a resident of. All state wildlife departments make it mandatory for prospective residents to meet a few requirements before they can purchase a residential hunting license. The typical steps for receiving residency status include:
- Must live in the state continuously for at least the six months immediately prior to applying for your hunting license.
- Must register all pertinent identification information within your state (i.e. driver’s license, car registration, etc.).
- Must provide your new state’s wildlife department with one or more of the following documents proving your residency status:
- Property tax statement
- Recent utility bills
- Recent paycheck stubs
- Recent IRS tax return
- State driver’s license
- State voter registration
- Current vehicle registration
Once you have established your residency status, you are automatically eligible for resident hunting license pricing.