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Free Fishing Licenses for Veterans in Georgia!

Free Fishing Licenses for Veterans in Georgia!

Are you a veteran who lives in Georgia?  Are you interested in wildlife and outdoor activities?  We can show you which Georgia veterans discounts are available for hunting and fishing licenses and more!

Who qualifies as a veteran?

To receive Georgia veterans discounts, you must qualify for veteran status by US Code.  This is defined as someone who has served in the active military, air, naval, or space service and received an honorable discharge (or other than dishonorable).  A National Guard member or Reservist may also qualify as a veteran if disabled by disease or injury received or aggravated in the line of duty or training.

What qualifies as “active duty”?

To qualify for Georgia veterans discounts, the active duty definition includes:

  • Armed Forces full time duty (other than training)
  • Regular or Reserve Corps of Public Health Service full time duty (other than training)
  • Commissioned officer in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration full time duty
  • Service as a cadet in the United States Military
  • Service as a cadet in the Air Force
  • Service as a cadet at the Coast Guard Academy
  • Service as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy
  • Authorized ravel to or from duty
  • Reservist or regular National Guard called up to duty

So now that we’ve gotten those definitions out of the way, let’s talk about the fun Georgia veterans discounts you may be able to get!

Georgia veterans discounts disabled fishing license

Hunting and fishing licenses

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division administers the hunting and fishing licenses for the state.  For all of their Georgia veterans discounts, the person holding the license or permit is required to be a resident of Georgia.  This means declaring that Georgia is your only state of legal residence and that you have established residency for at least three months before license application.

There are four types of discounted or free licenses that you may qualify for:

  • One time Veterans License
  • Discounted Lifetime License
  • Permanent and Total Disability License
  • Totally Blind License

One time Veterans License

A one-year hunting and fishing license is available for one-time issue for free to Georgia veterans with 90 or more days of active duty, who were honorably discharged July 2005 or later.

This full privilege sportsman’s license includes privileges for all state paid recreational hunting and fishing.  Some additional free state licenses may be required.  FREE are the best kind of Georgia veterans discounts, right?!

Discounted Lifetime License

Once the free one-time veteran license has expired (one year from date of issue), veterans may apply for a discounted lifetime license.  This is a full privilege sportsman’s license that includes both hunting and fishing.  The Georgia veterans discounts are 20% of these fees!  The cost is determined by age at time of application:

Age at ApplicationCost
16 – 49 years$600
50 – 59 years$375
60+ years$315

Permanent and Total Disability License

Some Georgia veterans discounts are available to those who have received a rating of total and permanent disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  They may be eligible for a steep discount on the 3-year disability sportstman’s license.

For veterans with a mental impairment disability, a discounted disability fishing license may be available.

Totally Blind License

Georgia veterans discounts also include possible eligibility for a free lifetime honorary fishing license from the Wildlife Resources Division!  A physician’s certification of blindness is required to be submitted with the application.

What do the hunting licenses cover?

Georgia veterans discounts available for the licenses we described above.  There are hunter education requirements for access to some privileges, but here are some general items the licenses cover.

Basic hunting privileges cover small game, alligator, deer-dog hunting, and accessing certain state properties.

Big game privileges for deer, turkey and bear as well as an Alligator Harvest Permit are included in the Sportsman’s License.

A Georgia Migratory Bird Stamp is also required for doves, ducks, woodcock, rails, coots, snipe, geese, and gallinules.

The licenses do NOT cover trapping or commercial licenses.

What do the fishing licenses cover?

Basic fishing privileges include fishing in fresh and salt water and access to certain state properties.  Saltwater fishing requires a Saltwater Information Program permit and mountain trout fishing requires a trout license.

The licenses do NOT cover commercial use.

What if I don’t hunt or fish?

Are you looking for Georgia veterans discounts that might apply for visiting the great outdoors?  The Sportsman’s license may be the cheapest option for accessing many of the sites with land use agreements.

These sites include many rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, mountains, dunes, bridges, and forests!  These outdoor destinations are owned by a variety of agencies including the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Power Company, timber companies, colleges, trusts, and more!  Please visit the land access link for a directory on these sites.

Looking for more veteran discounts?

We’ve covered different Georgia veterans discounts available through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and we have more information available on how to visit Georgia State Parks on a budget!  We also share more resources available to veterans and their families!

After 27 years in law enforcement and state Veterans Affairs agencies, I found myself working from home and looking for dollar-stretching resources. Government programs can be notoriously difficult to navigate and I'm happy to lend my experiences to make this easier for others!