“I think if you look back we had kind of a really strange spring where I think we had snow all the way into middle April,” Klemesrude says. “And when you have some of those crazy fluctuations in temperatures we tend to not see some of the license sales that you would have if you have a nice, steady spring.”
There were 201,765 annual licenses sold — while some people decided to buy a three-year fishing license. Klemesrude says they sold 7,500 of those type of fishing licenses, which he says is right around average. They sell anywhere form two to three thousand of the hunting licenses each year. The fees for hunting and fishing licenses went up starting January 1st and Klemesrude says they aren’t sure how that might impact sales.
“We tried to do it as way where we don’t have sticker shock. We tried to keep all of those below a 20-percent increase,” according to Klemesrude. “We think Iowans will absorb that cost and keep going out there and enjoying everything.” He says it has been 15 or more years since they raised the prices and most anglers and hunters supported the increase — because they know it will help them. “Our hunting and fishing areas are supported by license fees and the people who purchase those licenses, so its a benefit that goes right back to the user,” Klemesrude says.
The DNR also offers a lifetime hunting or fishing license for anyone over the age of 65. “Those are pretty steady sales, and we would always joke with them that you have to make three to three-and-a-half years and you are ahead of the game,” Klemesrude says.
There were around 7,500 lifetime fishing licenses sold in 2018 and nearly 3,000 lifetime hunting licenses.