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Gov. Deal signs House Bill 208

Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 208 into law on Tuesday at a signing ceremony in Brunswick in response to hunters concerns around the state.

HB 208 is legislation that was meant to simplify hunting and fishing license structure as well as adjust the fees attached to the licenses for residents and non-residents for the first time since 1992.

House Bill 208 will increase Georgia resident hunting license fees from $10 to $15. For deer or turkey, the annual license fee would jump from $9 to $20.

For non-resident annual big game licenses, prices jump from $195 to $225.A resident fishing license would move from $17 to $25 under HB 208. For a resident Sportsman’s license, the price goes from $55 to $65.

The bill will become effective as of July 1, 2017.

Sponsors for HB 208 are Trey Rhodes, 120th district, David Knight, 130th district, Chuck Efstration, 104th district, Terry Rodgers, 10th district and Chad Nimmer, 178th district.

According to Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the additional revenue from the fee increase will go to improving habitats throughout Georgia. The revenue will also create shooting ranges and improve boating access in fresh and salt waters.

It will also be allocated to add youth education opportunities, increase fish stocking, and add approximately 40 conservation rangers.

There is also a bill still working its way through the house, House Bill 186, which aims to extend deer season through January.