Those hunting in Maryland will see an increase in hunting license fees for the 2023-2024 season, which begins on August 1 and runs through July 31.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says legislation passed during the 2023 General Assembly will increase the price of hunting licenses and some associated stamps beginning with the 2023-24 hunting season.
The existing structure and fees had been in place since 2002, and the price of a regular resident hunting license had remained unchanged for 35 years.
“Updating our license fees was necessary for the department to continue to offer quality services to Maryland hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Acting Director Karina Stonesifer said. “These funds are essential for managing the state’s wildlife and associated lands that the public can enjoy.”
Hunting license fees, in conjunction with matching federal grants, comprise more than 90% of the department’s Wildlife and Heritage Service budget.
Under the new legislation, the price of a resident regular hunting license will go from $24.50 to $35 while the cost of a non-resident hunting license will rise from $130 to $160. Prices for apprentice and junior hunting licenses, 3-day non-resident licenses, migratory game bird stamps, and stamps/permits for furbearer-related activities have also gone up.
The 2023 legislation also created a new hunting stamp that will be required in order to hunt sika deer.
The resident sika deer stamp will cost $10 while the non-resident version will cost $25. The newly-created stamp will enable the department to better track how many hunters pursue sika deer annually and provide information for future management decisions.
Additional information concerning 2023-24 hunting license and stamp fees is available on the department website at https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Documents/Hunting-Poster-rev-2023-2024-June.pdf.
DNR officials said the increase in license fees will enable the department to:
—Recruit, educate, and certify new hunters;
—Better manage wildlife populations;
—Continue to acquire and restore wildlife habitats;
—Maintain and improve existing Wildlife Management Areas;
—Provide technical assistance to landowners;
—Conduct wildlife research; and
—Enforce wildlife laws and regulations for the benefit of all Marylanders.