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Most New York State lifetime license holders received their tags in the mail this past week and saw the new illustration format for each panel.

Over-the-counter purchasers also viewed the new multi-colored backdrop scene of an angler (male) and hunter (female) afield. The finish on the new licenses and tags looks to be a bit more water resistant, but the processed paper still cannot be laminated/heat-sealed. Directions note, “it will turn black.”

As for fishing and hunting guides, the Department of Environmental Conservation will not be forwarding guides via U.S. Post to licensees, but those guides are available at sales sites and at the DEC booth in the Conservation Building at the Erie County Fair today.

Annual license renewal for anglers now is set for a full year from the date of purchase, but the lifetime licensees and hunters, trappers and all other sporting licenses renew each year on Oct. 1.

However, early hunting seasons, such as squirrel and the early Canada goose season, require a 2013-2014 state license be in hand.

For waterfowl hunters, the Federal Duck Stamp renews each calendar year and early goose season will require a 2014 stamp. The stamp price remains at $15, which has been its annual cost since 1991. Waterfowl agencies and support groups suggest purchasing this stamp simply to support habitat acquisition and maintenance for waterfowl.

Goose hunters are reminded to also renew their HIP (Harvest Information Program) number for 2014. New York State residents can renew this free number at (888) 427-5447 after a brief survey of each hunter’s harvest. The HIP program helps federal and state officials study duck, goose and other waterfowl dynamics.

Along with on-line or over-the-counter license purchases, sportsmen and women of New York are encouraged to look for the Habitat/Access Stamp option and consider a donation to support the H/A programs that sustain and expand outdoors opportunities statewide.

All licenses can be obtained at issuing agency sites, by phone at (866) 933-2257, or at the DEC Web site.

email: odrswill@gmail.com