Reduced fee proposed for hunting permits

Members of the Natural Resources Committee heard testimony March 12 on three bills that would provide reduced-fee hunting permits to retired and active duty military.

LB634, introduced by Bellevue Sen. Tommy Garrett, would allow a resident veteran who was a prisoner of war to obtain a combination fishing and hunting permit, habitat stamp, aquatic habitat stamp and Nebraska migratory waterfowl stamp for a one-time fee of $5, instead of the normal $64 fee.

Garrett said the proposals would help make Nebraska a more military-friendly state.

“[These bills] will improve the quality of life for military men and women and their families,” he said. “They will go a long way in retaining active duty members after they retire.”

Currently, Nebraska residents who are 64 and older are eligible to receive the combination permit and stamps for $5.

The committee also heard testimony on LB636, which would allow a resident military member deployed out of state and their spouse to obtain a combination hunting and fishing permit for $5, valid only during the military member’s leave period.

Garrett’s third proposal, LB637, would allow any military member stationed in Nebraska for at least 30 days to obtain any permit at the resident fee level. The current fee for a nonresident combination hunting and fishing permit is $120. Under LB637, the military member could purchase the permit for $29.

Timothy McCoy, deputy director of the state Game and Parks Commission, spoke in favor of the three bills.

“It just makes sense and is a good way for us to honor [military members’] service,” he said.

No one testified in opposition to any of the bills and the committee took no immediate action on them.

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