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A great Christmas gift idea

Ice fishing season is almost here

Looking for that perfect gift for the angler or hunter on your Christmas list? If so, a Utah fishing or hunting license might be the answer. These licenses make great Christmas gifts. And they're easy to buy.

Jason Robinson with a turkey he harvested.

A fishing license is a Christmas gift that keeps giving.

Photo courtesy of Troy Johnson

Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says winter is a great time to give a license as a gift. "It won't be long before some of the state's waters start to ice over," she says. "When that happens, another ice fishing season will be underway."

And Tutorow says there's still a chance to get out and hunt. "Several hunting seasons," she says, "including the cottontail rabbit, chukar partridge and snowshoe hare seasons, run through most of the winter."

Where to get one

The easiest way to buy a fishing or hunting license is at the DWR's website. The licenses are also available at DWR offices and from 320 fishing and hunting license agents across Utah.

Combination licenses — which allow the license holder to fish and hunt small game — are also available at the same locations and at the website.

Order early

If you buy a license at the website, you can have it mailed to you (so you can wrap it and give it as a gift). Or you can have the license mailed directly to the person you're buying it for.

It usually takes about five days for the license to arrive in the mail.

Costs

Utah resident license and permit costs are as follows:

 License Fee
Combination license $30
Fishing license (14–64 years old) $26
Fishing license (65 years old and older) $21
Fishing license (12 and 13 years old) $5
Hunting license (under 14 years of age) $11
Hunting license (14 years old and older) $26

They're good for 365 days

In addition to enjoying the outdoors in 2014, the person you give the license to will receive an added bonus — they won't have to wait until Jan. 1 to use it. Utah fishing and hunting licenses are 365-day licenses. That means they're good for 365 days from the day you buy one.

For example, if you buy a license on Dec. 12, 2013, the person you give it to can use it immediately. And they can continue using it through Dec. 11, 2014.

(One note: 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 2014 general buck deer permit in February. General elk permits will be available by mid summer on a first-come, first-served basis.)

They're easy to buy

Tutorow says buying a license for someone is easy. "About the only information you need to provide is the person's name, height, weight, eye color, hair color, date of birth, address and phone number," she says.

If you buy a hunting or combination license from a license agent or the DWR's website, you must also supply the person's "blue card" number. This number verifies that the person you're buying the license for has completed a DWR-approved hunter education course. The course is required for anyone born after Dec. 31, 1965 who wants to hunt in Utah.

If you buy a fishing or hunting license at a DWR office, you don't need the person's blue card number. "Using the computers at our offices," Tutorow says, "we can verify that the person you're buying the permit for has completed hunter education."

She says license agents can't verify — via computer — that someone has completed hunter education.

"If you buy a hunting or combination license from a license agent," she says, "you'll have to give the agent the person's blue card number."

For more information about Utah fishing and hunting licenses, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.

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