The laws governing hunting vary state wise. While most states require a hunting license, a few do not. Interested individuals can get the license from the insurance department of the state, but they need to fulfill certain criteria. You can also opt for training programs for hunting. At the end of a successful program you will be provided with a license.
The purpose of a license is to legalize and regulate certain activities. Those who are interested in hunting, do it for recreational purposes. A hunting license is a way to regulate this variety of sport. The regulation of obtaining a license falls under the federal, provincial or the state jurisdiction; whichever may be the case.
The general criteria for qualifying for a hunting license
• Successful completion of any of hunting exams recognized by the state.
• A certificate of liability insurance.
• Personal trustworthiness.
• Persons should be 18 years and above. For a ‘youth hunter license’ the age limit is a minimum of 16 years.
• At least six months of continuous stay in the state.
• A clean criminal record.
The hunting exams are generally very difficult to qualify and thus the exams have a high failure rate. The exams include rifle and shotgun shooting tests, a thorough knowledge of the weaponry, local habitat and wildlife.
The regulations vary in different states. With a hunting license you are entitled to possess unlimited numbers of shotguns and rifles and a maximum of two handguns. The hunting rights of specific areas are regulated by the respective landowner. The hunting rights are associated with duty towards wild animals, which are listed by the law. The law regulates the animal population. Based on this, the state can fix the maximum number of animals that can be hunted in a particular season. In case of pest species (animals that are termed as pests such as wolves, coyotes etc.), you don’t need a license in countries like the United States. In this case, you may even get a reward; better known as ‘Bounty’. Also you don’t need a license to practice with clay targets.
For shooting migratory birds and ducks in the U.S., you need to purchase duck stamps, which are available from the department of ‘Fish and Wildlife’. On the other hand, there are strict regulations for hunting of endangered species.
The U.S. government in regard to hunting makes few exceptions. These are enumerated below
• Pest species (wolves, coyotes).
• According to the Indian Treaties, Native Americans require no license for hunting.
• Specific statutes like eagle feather law.
• Native Alaskan laws.
• Targets for sports hunting.
• Members of the military often get free licenses.
Although for some, hunting can be a recreational and amusement sport, it does affect the natural habitat. Also in view of the humanitarian laws, it is not worthwhile to take the life of a living being, even for the sake of amusement and recreation. There are many more avenues for recreation. For this reason, hunting can be stopped as means of recreational activity.