I received some NR hunting info from the QDMA in an email, which I thought was informative and interesting. Kentucky and Ohio both seem to offer excellent deer hunting at affordable rates for NR's, surprising when compared to NR rates in many of the southern states (Ms for example charges $382 for NR tags ) that offer relatively poor hunting in comparison.
Non-resident License PricesSeptember 2010
The last Kip's Korner discussed resident archery license prices across the U.S. and Canada. After it was distributed, I received numerous requests to provide a similar analysis on non-resident licenses so here it is. If you have not seen the Kip's Korner I referred to or if you'd like to review it, you can do so at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4660874/Hunting%20License%20Prices%20-%20June%202010.pdf.
States and provinces sell licenses with varying privileges and tags. Some include a buck tag and some do not. Some include multiple antlerless deer tags and some include none. To best compare "apples to apples", the following chart includes data provided by C.J. Winand and Bowhunter Magazine for the cost to archery hunt deer for an adult non-resident hunter in seven U.S. regions and eight Canadian provinces. I realize all deer hunters are not archers, but this analysis provides a solid comparison to state and provincial license prices.
The total combined average for the U.S. and Canada was $248.51. The Northeast averaged the least expensive non-resident license at $105.37 with a range of $73 (New Hampshire) to $140 (New York). That's quite a deal for New Hampshire hunters as 17 of 18 wildlife management units have a 92-day archery season that spans mid-September to mid-December. New Hampshire also has the least expensive non-resident archery license in the U.S. and Canada (Maine's is similarly priced at $74). The Mid-Atlantic States have the next lowest price with an average of $151.25. It ranges from $127 in Pennsylvania to $183 in Virginia. All six Mid-Atlantic States have similarly-priced licenses, and this region can provide exceptional hunting from either a quality or quantity perspective. The Southeast is next with an average of $233.97 and a range of $120 in North Carolina to $382.70 in Mississippi. Liberal bag limits and long seasons in most states provide exceptional opportunities for hunters in this region. Canada follows with an average of $240.50 and a range of $150.56 in Nova Scotia to $338 in Quebec. Even Saskatchewan's license is less than $300. It's no wonder so many deer hunters head to western Canada to fulfill a dream. The Midwest is next with an average of $246.89 and a range of $138 in Michigan to $551 in Iowa. You can find hunting jackets at Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas with higher price tags than most licenses in this region. Michigan and Minnesota ($140) have the least expensive licenses while Illinois ($473.25) and Iowa have the most expensive. Not coincidentally, Illinois and Iowa are also two of the top record-book producing states. The Pacific Coast is next with an average of $290.27 and a range of $95 in Hawaii to $394.20 in Washington. There aren't many whitetails in this region, so these prices are more reflective of hunting mulies and blacktails. The Southwest is next with an average of $354.81 and a range of $206 in Oklahoma to $609.25 in Arizona. As with resident licenses, Arizona also has the most expensive non-resident license. However, with over 70 days to hunt deer plus the other species opportunities, even this license price is warranted. Finally, the most expensive average non-resident license to archery hunt deer is in the West at $365.04. Licenses in this region range from $328 in Utah and $329 in Colorado to $418.25 in Idaho. Most states in this region have similarly-priced licenses, and they all provide spectacular views in addition to good deer hunting.
So, where does your state or province rank? Mine (Pennsylvania) is the cheapest in my region and barely half of the U.S. and Canada average. Resident hunters often complain non-resident fees are too low and thus too inviting for non-residents to intrude on their hunting land. Non-resident hunters often complain their fees are too high and thus uninviting for them to pump dollars into rural economies. Regardless of which side of this discussion you sit on, I hope you realize most state agencies are funded primarily by license revenues. Wildlife is a public resource to be enjoyed by all, but unfortunately not funded by all. Hunters are the backbone of wildlife management programs and they (we) fund the lion's share of our state wildlife agencies. Good luck this hunting season and be sure to donate $1 or more to support wildlife and/or your local venison donation program.
Post was too long, but here are the prices for individual states:
TOTAL COMBINED AVERAGE = $248.51
(Data provided by C.J. Winand and Bowhunter Magazine)
* 5-day license
** 7-day license
Kip's Korner is written by Kip Adams, a Certified Wildlife Biologist and Northern Director of Education and Outreach for the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). The QDMA is an international nonprofit wildlife conservation organization dedicated to ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. The QDMA can be reached at 1-800-209-DEER or www.QDMA.com.