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Hunting licenses need a 21st century update

For many people across the country, this time of year means hunting season. A wide variety of game is out there in the wilderness, ready for the taking, and the only thing between Uncle Bob and his venison roast is the hunting license process. It’s been the same thing for years: fill out the paperwork for your license, pay the fees, have the paperwork submitted, and then play the waiting game. Once the application is confirmed and you receive your license, you’re free to go hunting – but you’re not done yet. Once you’ve bagged your deer, you have to take it to a game check location for logging and tagging.

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It seems like a hell of a lot of work to do in a world where more and more processes are getting automated.

Hunting is a massive money-maker for the United States. During hunting season, retailers make billions of dollars from sales of everything from equipment to services, and the industry employs over 500,000 American citizens. This isn’t just a hobby for most people: it’s a way of life. It would make more sense for an activity that people use to stock their freezers so they can survive the winter to be more easily accessible, and not waste thousands of hours of peoples’ time before they even make it out into the woods.

 

Smart phones, home PCs, tablets, and other devices have developed to the point now where there’s no excuse for them to not be part of the hunting licensing process. People can order food, buy clothing, and check on the status of a loan with their smart phone – but they can’t apply for a hunting license in most states. Why not?

 

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Some states have started trying out mobile and online technologies to help combat the absolute nightmare that is the “old-fashioned” system. These technologies allow hunters to apply for their license online, pay for it, and receive it in a timely manner, without as much headache as what they’d experienced before. Some states allow you to receive your license pretty much instantly. The new technology also allows hunters to register their game immediately after obtaining it – cutting out the necessity of having to chase down a game check location and wasting time that way.

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It’s time for licensing to enter the 21st century. If obtaining a license becomes easier, maybe more people will want to take up hunting – which means more jobs, and more money for the economy. Goodness knows we need both.

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