Include Bear E-Stamp on North Carolina Infant Lifetime Hunting Licenses

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The state of North Carolina no longer offers a comprehensive Lifetime Hunting License. General Assembly in Session Law 2013-283, the Wildlife Resources Commission Omnibus Act, changed the Lifetime License Law regarding bear e-stamps and North Carolina lifetime hunting licenses. The bear e-stamp is no longer included in any of the lifetime hunting licenses that North Carolina offers. Black bear make up 50% of the big game North Carolinians are allowed to harvest and the new law now requires lifetime license holders that want to hunt bear (purchased after July 1, 2014) to purchase an additional e-stamp for $10. This concerns me due to the fact that after the law change, North Carolina technically does not have an inclusive lifetime hunting license.  The purpose of this petition is to get the law amended to include the bear e-stamp on all new INFANT NC Lifetime Hunting Licenses as well as grandfather the INFANT licenses that were impacted by Session Law 2013-283, the Wildlife Resources Commission Omnibus Act.

The infant NC lifetime license is a gift given mostly by parents or grandparents. Today it is a $275 fee which purchases a hunting license for an infant’s lifetime. I look at it as a gift, the guarantee that our children will always have the means to obtain a license to hunt/fish in North Carolina. It is also a gamble in the fact that no one knows if the infant will enjoy the outdoors or ever desire to hunt/fish.

The price of an annual NC hunting license has tripled in my lifetime while Federal duck stamps have increased 500% since 1980. The lifetime hunting license is a way to ensure our children are not priced out of hunting as they grow older. I want our children to be able to hunt their lifetime never worrying about having to pay for their license. I have done so with my daughter but my son was born in 2015 and will be required to purchase a bear e-stamp to hunt bear annually for the rest of his life. How did this happen?

I respectfully request that this issue be addressed as soon as possible. I do not want my son (or any other children born after July 1, 2014) to have to purchase a bear management e-stamp if someone purchased an infant lifetime license prior to their first birthday. If an additional fee needs to be put in place to cover the lifetime bear e-stamp, then I am all for it. If North Carolina can quantify the cost of a lifetime license then I see no reason why we cannot quantify the lifetime cost of a bear e-stamp. Regardless of the fee, there should be a means for a North Carolina Lifetime Hunting License to include hunting privileges for all game native to our state.

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