I have lived here in the Bayou State for nearly all the 58 years of my life and to my recollection, Louisiana resident youth under the age of 16 have never been required to purchase a hunting license in order to legally hunt.

Regardless of the game they pursued; deer, duck, turkeys, squirrels, any of the plentiful bounty the Good Lord blessed us with, those youngsters were encouraged to participate and without any legal requirement to purchase a Louisiana hunting license.

We've Got a New Law Beginning This Year

That law is changing this year. Theadvocate.com reminded us of the upcoming changes adopted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries this year and one of the biggest changes was that, effective July 1, 2022, all hunters 17 and younger will be required to purchase a valid, original youth (hunting) license.

It’s a $5 license, and was the result of new recreational and commercial licenses fees enacted by the 2021 State Legislature.

So, yes, your 9 year old didn't have to have a hunting license this past season, but this year, they'll legally be required to purchase this $5 in order to hunt.

At first glance, this appeared to be just another opportunity for government to dig in our back pockets, but after speaking with a representative from LDWF, I totally understood this amendment.

Why Is Louisiana Making This Change?

Federal funds, such as those from the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, are appropriated to states based on the number of licensed hunters in those states.

Because Louisiana has never required our youth to be "licensed", we have missed out on monies that could have been used for conservation, hunter education and other issues including public access to natural resources.

With a nominal $5 fee, we should see a dramatic increase to those numbers and hopefully will realize the added benefits of those funds in a variety of wildlife related areas.

In the full scope of hunting these days, with the rising cost of guns, ammunition and other related expenditures, this small investment could be the best we've made in years.

At present, LDWF has made no changes in regards to youth fishing. As in previous years, Louisiana resident youth under the age of 16, will be allowed to legally fish with no license requirement.

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