Even though young people are allowed to hunt and fish in Florida without having to buy a license until they turn 16 years old, a change in the license system now makes it possible for youngsters to voluntarily purchase their licenses early and start contributing today toward conservation.
Youths under 16 years of age can now purchase their very first annual freshwater, saltwater or hunting license, which will remain valid until their 17th birthday, no matter how young they are when they buy it. All three types of licenses are $17.
“You’re never too young to start contributing to our great state’s hunting and fishing heritage and protecting our wild habitats and resources,” said Richard Corbett, a Commissioner with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). “And this new ability to purchase a license creates a wonderful opportunity to do just that.”
Youths under 16 years of age will still have to complete the state’s hunter safety certification before taking advantage of this special license opportunity for hunting. The classes are free. Safety classes aren’t required for fishing licenses.
Another opportunity for youths is the $100 Gold Sportsman’s license, which authorizes the holder to take game and freshwater or saltwater fish and provides the deer, management area, archery season, muzzleloading season, crossbow season, turkey, waterfowl, snook and spiny lobster (crawfish) permit privileges.
For every year that passes until a youth turns 17, the FWC will receive approximately $7 in matching federal funds, which will be used to preserve and manage the nearly 6 million acres of the state’s public-hunting, wildlife management area system and the state’s saltwater and freshwater fisheries.
Go to MyFWC.com/HunterSafety to learn when to register a child for a hunter safety class. The new hunting and fishing youth licenses can be purchased at all outlets that sell hunting and fishing licenses, such as county tax collectors offices. They also can be bought online at License.MyFWC.com.
The youth license became available at the same time the FWC launched its new Recreational License Issuance Services (RLIS) on Oct. 2. The license vendor is Brandt Information Services of Tallahassee.
Logo courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission