COLUMBUS—State Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) today joined Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) to introduce companion legislation aimed at better serving sportsmen and women by improving access and affordability of Ohio's fishing and hunting licenses.
"Over 900,000 fishing licenses and over 385,000 hunting licenses were purchased in Ohio in 2016," said Senator Uecker. "By providing better customer services and more convenient licensing options to these Ohioans, our sportsmen and women will continue to enjoy the activities they love for generations to come."
Under the proposed legislation, fishing licenses will be valid for one year from the date of purchase, while also removing the requirement to purchase a license every year by establishing a three year, five year and lifetime hunting and fishing license. Current law states that fishing licenses are only valid from the first day of March of the current year and expire the last day of February the following year.
"Our organization is heavily invested in getting Ohio's youth more involved and actively participating in our sport," said Harold “Bud” Graham, Tournament Director, Bass Federation Ohio Chapter. "Among other things, I believe the multi-year licenses are a critical part of ensuring that happens."
The bill also takes measures to promote additional family participation by expanding the apprentice hunting license, granting the Chief of Wildlife the ability to create license packages i.e. a husband and wife package, and allowing those with disabilities to hunt with an all-purpose vehicle on both private and public land.
"I think this is one more example of the Division of Wildlife listening to their customer base," added Paul Trautman, an avid Ohio sportsman. "I can speak to most of these issues personally. I have a friend who is handicapped whom I frequently hunt with, and allowing him to use a four-wheeler for mobility will be a great asset to him."
The Chief of the Division of Wildlife is also granted discretion in requiring people to have fishing licenses to better accommodate veterans and those with disabilities. In the past, veteran organizations have run into roadblocks when hosting charitable events due to participants not having an Ohio fishing or hunting license.
For additional details and to view the full press conference, visit the Ohio Channel's video archives by clicking here.