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Looking for that perfect Christmas gift? Consider a fishing or hunting license


Youth fishing at Gigliotti Pond
Youth fishing at Gigliotti Pond

SALT LAKE CITY - While some people may not be thinking about hunting or fishing during December, there are still plenty of opportunities to do both, and you can surprise your friends or family with a Utah fishing or hunting license for Christmas. They make thoughtful presents and are easy to buy.

Along with a great ice fishing season, Utah also offers several hunts during the winter months. The hunts for cottontail rabbit, chukar partridge and snowshoe hare run through most of the winter.

Buying a hunting or fishing license online on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website is the easiest way to get one. However, you can also buy a license at one of the six DWR offices or from any fishing and hunting license agent across Utah. Combination licenses - which allow the license holder to fish and hunt small game - are also available at the same locations and on the website.

To buy a license for someone, all you need is the person's name, their approximate height and weight, their eye color, hair color, date of birth, address and phone number.

If you buy a license on the DWR website, you can have it mailed to you so you can wrap it and give it as a gift, or the license can be mailed directly to the person you're buying it for. It usually takes about seven days for a license to arrive in the mail, so order one early so it arrives in time for Christmas.

In addition to providing an opportunity for someone to enjoy the outdoors next year, the person you give the license to will receive an added bonus: Annual Utah fishing and hunting licenses are 365-day licenses, so the license is valid starting the day you buy it.

If the person you're buying the license for is 18 years of age or older, instead of buying a one-year license, you also have the option of buying a license that's valid for two, three, four or even five years.

If the person you're buying for already has a license, you can extend the period of time when their current license is valid. For example, if the person you'd like to buy for has a license that will expire next April, you can buy a license extension for them now. The extension will keep their license valid for one, two, three, four or five years from the day the license was supposed to expire.

Please be aware, however, that a license extension may be bought only for a license that will expire within six months from the day you buy the extension. For example, if a license doesn't expire until November 2020, the soonest you can buy an extension for it is June 2020, six months before it expires.

Utah resident license and permit costs are as follows:

Gift givers should also note that hunting and combination licenses do not include a deer or elk permit and do not allow someone to hunt deer or elk. Hunters can apply for a 2020 general buck deer permit, starting Jan. 30, 2020. General elk permits will be available, on a first-come, first-served basis, starting July 16, 2020.

Another great gift idea for the angler in your life is a registration fee for the Utah Cutthroat Slam. The goal of the Slam is for anglers to catch each of the four native Utah cutthroat trout - Bonneville, Colorado River, Bear River and Yellowstone - in their historic ranges. Registration costs $20 for adults and $10 for youth, and you can register on the DWR website. All but $1 of the registration cost is dedicated to conservation projects throughout the state that help native cutthroat trout. The Slam can provide a fun challenge and a great way to get outdoors.

So if you are having a hard time finding stocking stuffers this holiday, don't worry - we've got you covered.

Photos courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources