AUBURN, Ala. – Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) has shepherded a proposal through the Alabama Legislature that will make it easier for out-of-state college students living in Alabama to hunt and fish. Whatley was the Senate sponsor of House Bill 3, which will allow non-resident college students in Alabama to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the same price as resident licenses. A non-resident, all-game hunting license for one year costs $301.85, while the same license costs only $26.20 for Alabama residents.
“We have thousands of out-of-state college students in Alabama each year, hundreds of whom would love to hunt and fish in their adopted state, but the costs are just too high,” said Whatley. “Alabama welcomes these prospective hunters and fishermen to our woods and lakes, especially since many of these students will settle in Alabama after graduation.”
Under Whatley’s plan, an out-of-state student will have to present proof of enrollment at a state college or university to qualify for an in-state license. Lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, meanwhile, are exempt.
“This will bring more money into the state, because I think a lot of students at Auburn and other schools are simply choosing to not hunt or fish at all, given the outrageous cost. Heck, even a three-day hunting pass for non-residents is $131.65,” Whatley observed. “These kids already pay three times the in-state tuition, so this is a way to make them feel more at home in their adopted state.”
House Bill 3 has received final passage in the Legislature and is awaiting Governor Robert Bentley’s signature.
Senator Tom Whatley represents Lee, Russell, and Tallapoosa Counties. He is chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee. Follow him on Twitter: @SenTomWhatley.