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Hunting licenses are usually issued by individual states. Generally, a branch of the Fish and Wildlife Department in a given state will have all the information you need on their website. This should include fees, limitations, and exceptions. You can usually purchase the “tags” online as well. They should have contact information if you have specific questions or just want to be reassured that you have everything you legally need to hunt your specific game. Bag limits and possession change from season to season and sometimes even within season.

So it doesn’t hurt to keep checking back in with FWD in your state.

It is better to ask too many questions than to get caught on the wrong side of a bag limit afield. In the “good old days,” licenses and information was purchasable at local stores. Now, that task has been allocated to the internet. However, there are still plenty of municipalities that still allow the sale of licenses by retailers. Whether you consider yourself tech savvy or not, it might be worth your while to find out if you can still buy from a local store. If you purchase your hunting license from a store, which we recommend, ask for a hunting regulations booklet.

These will be found at any store that sells hunting licenses. Most stores that sell licenses will have a good idea of what you need to be legal, and might even have tips to help you have a more productive hunt. They might also be able to recommend a formal hunting class. This is a great way to strike up a conversation with someone who knows the ins and outs of hunting in your area. Never miss a chance to learn from a hunting veteran. But remember, he or she is also running a business. So buy some jerky or beer while you’re chewing the fat. It may be frustrating to have to pay Uncle Sam after already dropping a considerable amount of money on hunting equipment and even training. The fees seem arbitrary, but it is important to remember that you will most likely be hunting on land owned by the state or the country.

All regulations and limits, in theory, are based on the department’s goals to keep every species sustained. The fees are needed to pay for the expenses associated with the Fish and Wildlife Department. They are also designed to be kept low enough to encourage you to hunt. In return for the right to hunt, you are helping them balance out ecosystems through animal population control. As hunters, we have a responsibility to help maintain the balance of animal populations in the wild.