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Need a great Christmas gift? Buy a fishing/hunting license

Fishing at Otter Creek 2021. Photo courtesy of Division of Wildlife Resources.

While some people may not be thinking about hunting or fishing during December, there are still plenty of opportunities to do both this time of year. So why not surprise your friends or family with a Utah fishing or hunting license for Christmas or by paying for their registration fee for a hunting or fishing challenge? They make thoughtful presents, and they’re easy to buy.

Along with ice fishing, Utah also offers several hunts during the winter months. Hunts for, cottontail rabbit, chukar and gray (Hungarian) partridge, snowshoe hare and the fall general-season turkey hunt run through most of the winter so the recipient of the gift could use it immediately if they wanted to. Annual Utah fishing and hunting licenses are 365-day licenses, so the license is valid starting the day you buy it, and they can start using it immediately.

Buying a hunting or fishing license online on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website is the easiest way to get one. However, you can also buy a license at one of the six DWR offices or from any fishing and hunting license agent across Utah. Combination licenses — which allow the license holder to fish and hunt small game — are also available at the same locations and on the website.

To buy a license for someone, you need the person’s name, their approximate height and weight, their eye color, hair color, date of birth, address and phone number.

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If you buy a license on the DWR website, you can have it mailed to you so you can wrap it and give it as a gift, or the license can be mailed directly to the person you’re buying it for. It usually takes about seven days for a license to arrive in the mail, so order one early if you want it to arrive in time for Christmas.

If the person you’re buying the license for is 18 years of age or older, instead of buying a one-year license, you also have the option of buying a license that’s valid for up to five years.

If the person you’re buying for already has a license, you can extend the period of time when their current license is valid. For example, if the person you’d like to buy for has a license that will expire next April, you can buy a license extension for them now. The extension will keep their license valid for one, two, three, four or five years from the day the license was supposed to expire.

Please be aware, however, that a license extension may be bought only for a license that will expire within six months from the day you buy the extension. For example, if a license doesn’t expire until November 2023, the soonest you can buy an extension for it is June 2023, six months before it expires.

Utah resident license costs are as follows:

Combination license

• ages 14-17: $20

• ages 18-64: $38

• age 65 and older: $29

Fishing license

• ages 12-13: $5

• ages 14-1: $16

• ages 18-64: $34

• age 65 and older: $25

Hunting license

•age 13 and under: $11

•ages 14-17: $16

•ages 18-64: $34

•age 65 and older: $25

Gift givers should also note that hunting and combination licenses do not include a deer or elk permit and do not allow someone to hunt deer or elk. Hunters can apply for a 2023 general season buck deer permit starting March 23. (This time frame is a change from past years when the application period opened in January.) General season elk permits will be available, on a first-come, first-served basis, starting in July.

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