Requirements for a U.S. hunting license
A hunting license is a privilege (but not a right) granted by statatal or the federal government to allow individuals to hunt certain species, during a specific period of time on a given area.
Hunting licenses are intended as both, a regulatory mechanism aimed to control how many people is hunting and how many animals are being killed, and a funding resource to collect money which will be invested later on conservation and wildlife.
Hunting licenses are usually on sale at sports goods stores and paperwork and requirements vary from state to state, however there are some common characteristics applied to almost every U.S. Hunting License.
The two most important are a hunting safety certification and a fees. The hunting safety certification is issued after complying with a capacitation course while the fees are paid during the license applying procedure.
How much to pay will depend of the season, residence status, game and many other variables.
Most of licenses are issued annually and must be renewed year after year; however some specific hunting permissions are limited to a specific season while some others are specific for certain areas. It's important to know that no hunting license implies authorization to hunt on private lands; thus if you are planning to hunt on those lands, owners signed permission is mandatory.
Regarding the type of license, in certain states such as New York there are life licenses issued only for residents, while in some others members of the armed forces receive free licenses upon completion of the paperwork and safety courses.
Young hunters below age of 16 (12 on certain states) don't require a hunting license.
Regarding species to be hunted, each one requires an specific permission; and particular cases such as big game hunting a tag is required for each specie; so be sure to count with the corresponding tag before shooting in order to be on the right side of the law.
If you live outside U.S. and are planning to hunt in the country, it's necessary to get a non-US resident hunting license; as it will be described on the next post.
Finally, native americans are exempted of hunting licenses if they comply with the regulations, hunting within the natives reserve limited zones.
It remains clear that complying with regulations and licenses is the best way to keep a long term sustainable hunting; thus be aware of the requirements and do your best to comply with every single detail. In case of doubt, don't hesitate to consult online about specific regulations on the state you are planning to hunt on.