I briefly mentioned these changes Monday on the show. Things are certainly going to change when it comes to licenses for hunting and fishing in New York State.

One that I noticed right away is the removal of the ability to buy a combo license (i.e., Sportsmen). According to the NYS DEC website:

Starting February 1, annual combination licenses like the Sportsman, Super Sportsman, and Conservation Legacy will no longer be available for purchase. Individual licenses, privileges and permits will need to be purchased instead. Combination licenses that were purchased prior to February 1 will remain valid through September 30, 2014.

On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo is expected to make mention of other changes during his State Of The State Address, one of which will be the ability to add your Lifetime License/Marine information to your drivers license -- at an added expense no doubt.

True, some of the prices appear to have dropped a bit, and some are saying that the reduction in fees is a way to "schmooze" the gun rights groups that are outspoken against the NYS SAFE Act. When it comes to politics, I wouldn't say that theory is too far fetched. Anything is a possibility, as we have seen over the years in New York.

As I tell people all the time, we as hunters in New York do more for conservation efforts than most other groups. Whether it be monetarily through license fees and taxes on outdoor products, or by improving habitats through various organizations and groups, NYS relies heavily on its hunting population. It appears that some prices have gone down a bit. But the critic in me is suspicious of how they are going to find ways to make that money up in the long run and what hidden fees/restrictions we may face down the road.