Avoid Expired Licenses as New Year Arrives

December 31, 2016

Checking licenses is among a game warden's duties, ensuring that each hunter or angler contributes toward wildlife management and conservation for the future benefit of everyone. As the new year arrives, sportsmen are reminded to keep licenses current.    (DON P. BROWN / ODWC)


    It happens every year around this time. Some hunters and anglers venture out to enjoy some hunting or fishing, and they forget that their annual license has expired.

    This all-too-common scenario warrants a friendly reminder from your Wildlife Department: It might be time to renew those licenses as we welcome 2017.

    “After the New Year’s holiday, we usually meet several sportsmen in the field who don’t have the current year’s hunting or fishing license,” said Lt. Col. Nathan Erdman, assistant chief of the Law Enforcement Division for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “It’s something that’s fairly easy to forget to take care of, but it could end up costing you a fine if you are checked in the field or on the water by a game warden.”

    The annual residential hunting license and fishing license are valid from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of the year for which they are issued. Each costs $25 and is available from hundreds of license vendors across the state, at the Department’s interim headquarters, 2145 NE 36th St. in Oklahoma City, during regular business hours, or anytime online at wildlifedepartment.com. 

    These types of hunting licenses for residents expire Dec. 31 each year: annual hunting, annual combination hunting/fishing, annual youth hunting, and annual youth combination.

    These types of fishing licenses for residents expire Dec. 31 each year: annual fishing, annual combination hunting/fishing license, annual youth fishing, annual youth combination, and Lake Texoma fishing.

    Other licenses and permits that expire each year on Dec. 31 include the annual Wildlife Conservation Passport, Land Access Permit for Honobia/Three Rivers WMAs, fishing guide license, and paddlefish permit.

    Hunting seasons that open in one year and close during the following year, which would require a renewed annual hunting license, include quail, pheasant, ducks, geese, crow, resident archery deer, resident archery elk, rabbit, squirrel, prairie dog, beaver, coyote and furbearers.

    “Conscientious hunters and anglers are the folks who pay for a great deal of wildlife management and conservation activities whenever they buy their licenses and heed the regulations,” Erdman said. “When you buy your license, you are helping to ensure these traditions can be enjoyed by future generations."

    Another option instead of renewing each year is to buy the longer-term licenses instead. These licenses carry an overall lower cost on a year-by-year basis, making them more economical and doing away with the need to renew them annually. The Department offers hunting, fishing and combination licenses valid for five years or for a lifetime.

    For more information about hunting and fishing licenses, go to www.wildlifedepartment.com or call the Department’s License Section at (405) 521-3852.