PLAINFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Harry Benton, D-Plainfield, is helping make hunting and fishing more accessible with a new law extending game licenses, as well as creating an automatic license renewal option.
“We all want to spend less time filling out paperwork and more time doing the things we love,” Benton said. “The last thing people want to worry about when planning a day out in the woods or on the water is realizing that their licenses need to be renewed. This law cuts down on the work needed to get out into nature by giving residents more time between renewals.”
Previously, residents looking to engage in hunting, fishing or trapping needed to acquire a new license every year, or commit to a lifetime license. Those with an annual license needed to remember to reapply, and could face disruptions to their plans if they forgot.
Benton’s House Bill 3677 creates three-year versions of these same licenses, allowing residents to hunt, fish and trap for multiple years in a row without having to deal with red tape. It also allows for automatic license renewal, so that those for whom hunting, fishing or trapping are an annual tradition have one less thing to worry about.
Illinois veterans as well as residents over 65 will only need to pay half the standard cost for these licenses, and those over 75 will only pay a dollar per year.
The bill was passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“Experiencing the recreational opportunities found across Illinois is one of the best parts of being from our state,” Benton said. “Excessively frequent licensing renewals that can keep people away from our great wilderness, potentially missing out on the memories that can be made, get in the way of that. Making it easier for residents to enjoy Illinois’ natural riches will help more people to get away from their daily grind and find some quality time on their own, or with friends and family.”