5 States That Offer Free Fishing Licenses for Veterans and Service Members

5 States That Offer Free Fishing Licenses for Veterans and Service Members

Summer fishing season is right around the corner, and there’s no better time to get a fishing license or renew an old one. It’s important to find the best deals when it comes to fishing licenses, and many active-duty servicemen and veterans don’t make use of all the benefits available to them. Did you know that nearly every state offers some form of discount or exemption for fishing licenses? We’ve gathered some of the best deals accessible to those who served in our distinguished military.


Georgia offers two great deals for resident veterans. First, they have a free One Time Veterans License, a full privilege sportsman’s license covering both hunting and fishing. It includes coverage for both salt and freshwater fishing, as well as mountain trout, making it a complete solution for fishermen in the area. This free license lasts for a year, after which veterans can purchase a veteran lifetime license at a 20% discount. You can get yours at Georgia.gov.


Illinois is another state with great military-related benefits. Here, active-duty service members get free fishing licenses for every year or portion of a year that they serve, so long as they are an Illinois resident. Veterans aren’t left completely out though, earning a sizable 50% discount of normal fee rates for fishing and other sportsman licenses. You can get yours at Illinois.gov.


Colorado offers a frequently underused Lifetime Fish & Game license for all veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 60% or higher. One of the best features of this license is that, once you are approved for the program, you never need to renew it as long as you remain a Colorado resident. Aside from the benefit for veterans, any active-duty Colorado resident that is stationed outside of the state may fish without a license while on temporary leave, they just need to carry a copy of their leave papers with them. Get your license at their website.


Maine has great options for servicemen looking to angling in the state. Veterans with a disability rating of 50% or more can apply for a free fishing license, including all necessary permits and permissions. On top of that, other servicemen get a heavily discounted rate on both fishing hunting licenses, with a combination license available for only $3 (which would normally go for $43). Learn more about getting a Maine fishing license at Maine.gov.


Texas has a great deal for veterans, offering free fishing licenses for both residents and non-residents with a disability rating of 50% or more. This special offer covers both fresh and saltwater fishing, as well as other licenses, such as those for hunting and migratory game bird. In addition, the same offer is also available for all Texas resident active-duty service members. Find out how to get your license today at Texas.gov.

If you didn’t find your state listed above, don’t fret: This is just a small selection of the fishing license offers for military members and veterans. Regardless of the state you’re in, do a quick search for military-related fishing license benefits and make sure to use the discounts they offer — after all, you deserve it for serving your country. 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

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