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Monday, May 2, 2016

DNR expands licensing options

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Department of Natural Resources launched four new license options for Iowa hunters and anglers. One type of license, called the "Hunter's Special" and "Angler's Special," offer a three-year license instead of the traditional one-year license. In addition, anglers can buy a "Bonus Line" license, allowing them three lines instead of two. Those who enjoy both hunting and fishing can purchase the Outdoor Combo license, which includes both licenses along with the habitat fee.
(Photo submitted)
In the first days of the new year, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has launched a new set of hunting and fishing licenses to make the outdoor activities more convenient for hunters and anglers across the state.

Of the four options, two offer three-year licenses instead of the traditional one-year license, one each for hunters and anglers.

Another license, named the "Bonus Line" license, allows anglers to fish with three lines in the water instead of two.

For those who enjoy both hunting and fishing, the Outdoor Combo license combines the hunting license, the fishing license, and the habitat fee.

Both the three-year option and the Outdoor Combo licenses cost less than three one-year options or separate hunting and fishing licenses.

"We did a survey of hunters and anglers to find out what they were interested in for added convenience," Julie Tack, with the Iowa DNR, said. "These were the top three issues."

These license options were made available on Jan. 1. On that first day alone, over 100 people purchased a three-year fishing license, over 85 people purchased a bonus line license, and nearly 250 people purchased the Outdoor Combo.

The Outdoor Combo license had been offered until 2001, when the DNR began selling the licenses electronically. Until then, each license had been written out by hand.

"People were very interested in it, so we decided to reintroduce the license," Tack said.

Currently, the three-year licenses and the Outdoor Combo license are only available to Iowa residents. Many other states have a version of the Outdoor Combo license, though only a handful of states offer a three-year license.

The Bonus Line license is available to residents and non-residents.

Tack noted the biggest motivation behind the DNR's added offerings was to "increase participation in hunting and fishing."

"We want more people to enjoy the natural resources," she said. "We're trying to break down barriers and make it more convenient for people to get outside."

The incentive behind the Bonus Line license, Tack said, was to get anglers more excited about fishing and to give them more opportunities to catch fish.

The three-year license, also, is designed to give hunters and anglers "peace of mind" when preparing to hunt and fish.

"Our goal as an agency is to remind them at the three-year period," Tack said. "We want to increase the convenience of our hunters and anglers and give them more chances."

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