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DEC increases fees for sporting licenses

Whether or not Bambi will sleep any sounder tonight remains to be seen, however area hunters say they not too happy with state increases for hunting and fishing licenses; especially the latest round that doubles some fees.

The state's Department of Conservation is scheduled to start issuing its new sporting licenses for the 2009 and 2010 hunting and fishing season but there's a catch. Beginning Aug. 17, a fishing and sportsman license will cost $10 more and a super sportsman license will cost $20 more.

For those 65 and older, the Senior Lifetime Sportsman License will only remain $50 until Sept. 30, after which the age requirement for the same license becomes 70 and the cost will go up to $65.

The last time the state legislature raised the DEC sporting licensing fees was in 2002.

Area hunter John Glassbrenner of Selkirk, who turns 65 on Sept. 29 one day before the cutoff, said he's fed up with the state fees associated with sporting licenses. He said he has hunted "ever since I've been about 12 when I hunted the little rabbits."

He questioned why the fees are being raised in the first place.

"The sportsmen themselves, they get nothing out of it," Glassbrenner said. "They don't do anything more with the money. What are they doing with it?"

DEC spokeswoman Laurie Severino said New York is simply trying to maintain the funding it has for current programs.

"All of the fees go to the state conservation used for fish and wildlife across the state," she said. " A small percentage goes to processing fees or retail fees that are like a commission for license issuing vendors."

The bottom line for increasing the sporting license fees was the state fund's bottom line.

"Primarily they're being raised to generate more money for the conservation fund and to cover the same level of management and law enforcement," said Severino.

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