Having survived youth, young adulthood and middle age, I can honestly say that every stage of life so far has been wonderful. Since I just crossed the border of my seventh decade, I look forward to discovering what enchantments seniorhood has to offer. Not long after celebrating my 60th birthday, I began exploring one advantage to being officially old--cheap stuff. I have discovered “senior coffee” at fast-food restaurants, discount days at grocery stores and--best of all--bargains on hunting and fishing permits.
I suspect that many 60-ish Missourians don’t know that they can start saving on permits before they become exempt from buying many permits at age 65. It’s as simple as buying a Resident Lifetime Small Game Hunting Permit, a Resident Lifetime Fishing Permit or a Resident Lifetime Conservation Partner Permit, which combines hunting and fishing privileges. These permits provide the same privileges as resident fishing, trout, small-game hunting, migratory bird hunting and conservation order permits.
Lifetime permits are cheap after age 60, because you are within a few years of being exempt from buying permits. Younger people can drop as much as $400 on a lifetime hunting or fishing permit and up to $800 for a combined lifetime permit, depending on their age. But at the magical age of 60, the price plummets to a ridiculous $35 for a lifetime fishing or hunting permit or $70 for the combo.
Do the math, and you will discover that $70 buys you hunting and fishing privileges that would cost $185 if you paid for them annually from age 60 through 65. If you buy the combination lifetime permit at age 60, you start saving money when you turn 61, reaping $74 worth of privileges for a $70 investment. The payback takes a little longer if you don’t chase ducks, geese or trout. But even if all you do is shoot squirrels and catch bluegills a couple times a year, you still break even before age 64.
Lifetime permit buyers get durable plastic cards, like credit cards, to carry in the field. They also receive mail updates about regulation changes and other information that most outdoors people pick up when they visit permit vendors annually.
Lifetime permits are just as much of a bargain for younger hunters and anglers, but it’s a lot easier to scrape together $70 than $800. How many of us had $800 to spare between the ages of 16 and 29?
There is a lesson here for grandparents who plan to spend their golden years outdoors with grandkids. You can score a lifetime hunting or permit for kids age 15 or younger for a crazy $275. Talk about a birthday present that keeps on giving!
Information about lifetime permits is printed in MDC’s annual hunting and fishing regulation summaries, which are available wherever permits are sold and online.
Lifetime permits are only sold through MDC’s Central Office in Jefferson City. You can apply by printing the application PDF, filling it out and mailing it to Lifetime Permits, MDC, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180. Can't download a copy? Call 573-522-4115, ext. 3574.