Milford tot gets hunting license

MILFORD – It will be awhile before Daylen Brickley can go out into the woods to look for deer, but the 6 month old baby is already off to a good start.

Last week Daylen be­came the first child in New Hampshire to get a newborn hunting and fishing license under a new state program. When he’s 16 he’ll be able to re­deem the $300 combina­tion license for a lifetime fishing license, and after he completes the state’s hunter education course, he’ll have that license too.

Daylen’s grandfather, Chuck Brickley, read about the infant license in Hawkeye, the hunting publication, and the fam­ily all went to Concord on the first day it was avail­able, said Daylen’s moth­er, Erica.

"Everyone was happy and excited," she said, and "everyone behind us in line was very patient."

Erica and her mother, Candi, like to fish – catch and release – and Chuck and Erica’s brother, Alex­ander, are hunters. Daylen has already been fishing with his family in Milford’s Railroad Pond, and their favorite place to fish is Norway Pond in Goffstown.

Five infant licenses were sold during the first two days of the program last week, said Evan Mul­holland, the agency’s legal coordinator.

NH Fish and Game is in the midst of a revenue cri­sis, he said, and officials came up with the idea while trying to figure out how other states bring in more dollars.

"Vermont and Maine have had the newborn li­censes for 10 or 15 years," he said, "so we petitioned the Legislature for a bill" authorizing the program.

The pre-paid license will mean some immediate rev­enue for the state agency and yearly savings for the hunters once they are 16.

Fish and Game officials also hope it will inspire more interest in hunting, which has been lagging in recent years.

"We hope the children will end up hunting and fishing in New Hamp­shire," Mulholland said, and encourage family and friends so they will be "carrying on the tradition and sort of expanding the network" for the sports.

Of course, the children can’t get a hunting license until they pass a hunters’ education course.

Erica Brickley said she pays $80 a year for her fishing license, and her family, including her mother, father and broth­er, pays $400 for four com­bined licenses each year.

The license is available for babies younger than one year who live in New Hampshire, but a lifetime license can be purchased at any age, and the older the person is, the less ex­pensive, Mulholland said.