Nonresident License Fees

The rising cost of nonresident hunting licenses is making it more and more difficult for average hunters to afford to hunt outside of their home state.

Non-Resident License

Key Facts:

  • For most states, nonresident hunters are more affluent and urban‐centered than their resident counterparts. Again, this is not surprising given the costs associated with travel and accessing lands via leases, guides or other means.
  • On a national scale, only 7 percent of nonresident hunters can be expected to purchase a hunting license in five consecutive years.
  • The percentage of hunters who hunt outside of their home state has decreased 5 percent from 1996 to 2006.

While the vast majority of sportsmen don’t leave their home state to hunt, the most recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey shows that 15 percent do travel to other states to pursue wild game. That number might be a lot higher if nonresident license fees weren’t extremely expensive.

For instance, in Montana, it costs residents $20 to $25 to hunt elk, whereas nonresidents have to pay well-over $250 for an elk license. And the fee for a combination tag is $809 in 2013.

As state budgets continue to feel the economic pinch, this issue continues to be a problem for hunters wishing to travel, with states increasing nonresident license fees.