Outdoor Life Online Editor

A Texas state house representative introduced a bill that would give active military free hunting and fishing licenses if they are residents of the state. The first version of the bill called only for reduced fees, but Rep. Terri Hodge, whose husband is serving in Afghanistan, successfully altered the language to require free licenses.

The concern about making the license free is that it could put a large dent in the Parks and Wildlife Department’s budget. There are close to 115.000 people serving in the Armed Forces who are Texas residents. Officials estimate that 6,300 of them would obtain hunting licenses and 17,000 would need a fishing license.

The legislation awaits final approval in the house and a vote in the senate.