May 13, 2024

Pennsylvania Poised to Become 32nd State to Issue Discounted Hunting and Fishing Licenses to College Students

Why It Matters: College can be an incredibly challenging time financially for many students, which presents a real barrier for them purchasing a hunting, trapping, or fishing license while in school. If young adults cease their participation in hunting and angling for 4 years while other interests are blossoming, there is real potential for them to stop participating all together. Senate Bill 344 (SB 344) seeks to address this issue and safeguard our collective outdoor heritage by allowing non-resident college and university students, who are attending a college within the Keystone State, to purchase hunting and trapping fees at the same rate as Pennsylvania Residents – thereby encouraging ongoing participation in our beloved pastimes.


  • PA SB 344 is sponsored by Senator Chris Gebhard and is Co-Sponsored by Pennysylvania’s Sportsmen’s Legislative Caucus Co-Chairs Sen. Greg Rothman, Sen. Jim Brewster, and former Caucus Co-Chair, Sen. Dan Laughlin.
  • On June 27th, 2023, SB 344 passed the Senate unanimously and was referred to the House Game & Fisheries Committee but has yet to receive a hearing date.
  • Shortly thereafter, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) encouraged the House Game and Fisheries Committee to schedule a hearing for SB 344, via letter of support, so the bill can continue through the legislative process.

Several states have adopted legislation that allows non-resident, full time college students to obtain hunting and/or fishing licenses at the same price as in-state residents. These measures are intended to maintain access to, and encourage participation in, hunting and angling for student-sportsmen who due to the financial constrains faced by many students, may otherwise not be able to afford. With the complete passage of SB 344, Pennsylvania will be the 32nd state that has implemented legislation allowing non-resident hunting and/or fishing licenses at the same price residents pay. The states that currently have this program in place are, AL, AR, CO, GA, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MS, MO, MT, NH, NY, NC, ND, NV, NE, NM, OH, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WV, WI, and WY.

As one of CSF’s proactive policy focal areas, we are committed to ensuring that student-sportsmen remain engaged in our outdoors traditions while in school. Without college student licenses and other related programs, we risk disengaging the future generations of hunters, anglers, and trappers. Additionally, CSF looks forward to continuing to work with the  Pennsylvania Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus to move the bill through the House Committee and ultimately to the floor for final passage.

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