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People boating at Shakamak State Park.

STATEWIDE — You may have noticed that prices for hunting and fishing licenses have increased from last year. You’re not seeing things – it’s real, and here’s why.

“In September of 2021, the Natural Resources Commission approved increases to fees for our hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses, as well as a number of commercial licenses and permits,” says Linnea Petercheff, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Licensing/Permitting Supervisor.

You may have missed that bit of news due to the constant flow of headlines, or because it just doesn’t happen that often. Petercheff says the last time Indiana DNR increased fees was 2006.

Now you’re probably wondering why the increase was necessary. Petercheff says it’s a complex process of looking at financial numbers from Indiana DNR and other natural resource offices from across the country. In this case, the Natural Resources Commission felt Indiana DNR’s financial numbers justified a price increase.

“Those funds from those license sales are split between the Division of Fish & Wildlife, law enforcement, to manage fish and wildlife resources and to manage fish and wildlife laws,” Petercheff explains, “we’re not funded by taxpayers, so it’s those hunting and fishing license fees, as well as federal grant money that is based in part on the number of licenses that are sold, that helps funds the operations of the Division of Fish & Wildlife.”

Simply put they need the money to keep doing what they do.

Petercheff doesn’t expect another fee increase for a long time. “We typically don’t increase fees that frequently.”