8 States with Underused Outdoor Recreation Benefits for Veterans
Underused Outdoor Recreation State Benefits for Veterans
If you are a member of the military community, and you love hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation, then you do not want to miss these awesome benefits that are often unused each year, as reported by the following states.
According to Gina Chandler, assistant director of Veterans Services, the state’s “most underused benefit is Resident Military Retiree Lifetime Combination License, a hunting and fishing benefit available to Veterans of Arkansas.
Following Arkansas’ lead, California’s most underused state benefit is the hunting and fishing license program. For 2022, reduced-fee licenses are available for any honorably discharged veterans of any of the US Armed Forces with a service connected disability rating of 50% or higher. The price paid by veterans meeting those requirements is $8.38, according to the website.
Colorado offers a free Lifetime Fish & Game license (small game) for Veterans with a service connected disability of 60% or greater, which often goes unused each year. This license will exempt its holders from purchasing a Habitat Stamp each year and will remain valid for as long as the veteran maintains their Colorado residency.
Discounted hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses are this state’s most underused benefit. Any member of the Armed Forces, while stationed within the state, shall be deemed a resident of the state for the purpose of obtaining a license. Veterans with a 60% or higher disability rating may obtain a no-fee license. Learn more about the Delaware license benefit.
Georgia’s VA stated that many Georgia veterans do not take advantage of the discounts available for state park entrance fees, or for the hunting and fishing licenses offered by the state. “Honorably discharged veterans with a VA service-connected disability rating are eligible for a 25% reduction of the entrance fee to state parks, historical sites, and recreational areas”, explained Mike Roby, Georgia’s Commissioner of Veterans Services. Veterans discharged after July 1, 2005, and who served 90 days on active duty are eligible for a free one-year full sportsman license. Additionally, all honorably discharged veterans are eligible for a 20% discount on hunting and fishing licenses.
This state’s most underused benefit is the free pass to access state parks along with a free hunting and fishing license for disabled veterans. To apply for these recreation and outdoor benefits, contact your local Fish, Wildlife and Parks office for more information.
This state offers a Free State Parks, Monuments and Museums Pass for disabled veterans that often goes unused each year. This benefit offers veterans who have a 50% or higher service-connected disability-free admission to any state monument or museum.
New Mexico also offers a reduced-fee Hunting and Fishing License program for resident and non-resident veterans who are disabled.
Robert Burke, the director of Vermont’s Office of Veterans Affairs, stated that the most underused benefit each year for his state is the free daily passes to Vermont State Parks. Getting one is easy, as you just have to apply through your local town clerk. Check out their webpage for more benefit information.
I’ve been hunting and fishing in half of these states, and I can tell you it is an amazing experience. These states are gorgeous and worth the adventure! If you are a resident of any one of these states, please take advantage of these outdoor recreation benefits available to you.
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(Image courtesy of Dmitry Kalinovsky via www.123rf.com)
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About the author
Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.