Pennsylvania Senate Bill 344 (SB 344) would make a college student who attends a college or university located within the Commonwealth eligible for a resident hunting license. The student must provide a valid college identification card as proof of enrollment, and the student may be eligible for license and fee exemptions for no more than four consecutive years.
Please consider joining the National Deer Association (NDA) in supporting this important legislation. Hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) programs are a pillar of NDA’s mission. SB 344 importantly makes hunting opportunities more accessible for out-of-state students who may forgo – or never begin – hunting while attending post-secondary education in Pennsylvania. CLICK HERE to ask your state lawmakers to support SB 344.
The NDA’s Field to Fork program has proven to be incredibly efficient at recruiting adult hunters: they – including students – have the independence and ability to hunt on their own immediately after they receive a helping hand for their first experience, and more than 80% of Field to Fork recruits are in fact continuing to hunt independently. They are sharing their venison with others, buying hunting equipment of their own, and even taking other new hunters into the deer woods.
Still, young adults, and students specifically, can be hindered by the costs of licenses and tags, especially when purchasing at non-resident prices. Currently, non-residents in Pennsylvania pay $101.97 annually to go deer hunting – no small investment for a busy college student paying tuition and room and board. SB 344 would reduce this fee to the resident rate – $20.97, or just 20% of the non-resident rate. This affordable fee for students should encourage new hunters to give it a try, while also keeping out-of-state hunters engaged in the activity while pursuing their degrees in the Commonwealth.