Comments sought on proposed increase to hunting, fishing licenses, fees

DES MOINES -- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments on its proposed menu of hunting and fishing license fee increases, through Aug. 21.

The proposal would set the cost of an annual resident hunting or fishing license at $20; an increase of $3. The proposed license fees do not include the vendor or convenience fee that pays license sales vendors and for the license sales system that is added to the transaction.

The proposed fee schedule for all hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and habitat fee is available online at This would be the first increase in the price of an annual resident hunting license since 2002 and of an annual fishing license since 2004. If approved, the new fee schedule would be effective when 2019 licenses go on sale on Dec. 15.

Revenue from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses is deposited into the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund, which is state constitutionally protected fund supported by hunting and fishing license sales and federal excise taxes paid on ammunition, fishing tackle and other hunting and fishing supplies. The fund receives no tax payer money from the state general fund and is used to promote and improve areas to hunt and fish in Iowa.

The authority to set hunting and fishing license fees had rested with the Iowa Legislature until 2018, when the Legislature passed a bill, signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, that shifted the authority to the Iowa Department of DNR Commission. Any proposed fee increase would be subject to review by the five-member bipartisan Administrative Rules Review Committee before enactment.

Comments on the proposal can be submitted through Aug. 21 via email to, or by mail to Joe Larscheid, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wallace State Office Building, 502 East Ninth Street, Des Moines 50319-0034.

The Iowa DNR has scheduled listening sessions from noon to 2 p.m. Aug. 21 at six locations where individuals can convey their comments if they choose. Attendees can come and go on their schedule during this time. There will not be a presentation on the proposed fee increase. Locations include: Lake Darling District Office, 110 Lake Darling Road, Brighton.