Many Ohio military veterans (and certain active members of the military) are eligible to receive free hunting and fishing licenses, free boat registrations and special recreational discounts at Ohio State Parks facilities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
?Ohio owes a great debt to her veterans,? said Sam Speck, ODNR director. ?Providing these benefits to our veterans who enjoy the outdoors is one way our state can show its gratitude for their service.?
As the national Veterans Day observance approaches on November 11, ODNR reminds all Ohio veterans to check on their eligibility for discounts before purchasing a hunting or fishing license, a boating permit, or before taking a camping trip to an Ohio State Park.
Here's a list of outdoor recreational privileges available to Ohio veterans:
Veterans displaying license plates with the international wheelchair symbol, as well as certain other permanently disabled veterans, may apply for free hunting and fishing licenses, fur-taker permits, deer permits, wild turkey permits and wetlands habitat stamps from the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
Former prisoners of war may also apply for free hunting and fishing licenses, fur-taker permits and wetlands habitat stamps.
Active members of the United States Armed Forces are not required to purchase licenses for hunting or fishing, or wetlands habitat stamps, while they are on annual furlough.
Applications for free permits are available from Division of Wildlife district offices in Columbus, Akron, Athens, Findlay and Xenia; or by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.
All 100% disabled veterans and former prisoners of war - as well as all Congressional Medal of Honor recipients - are eligible to apply for a free boat registration. The ODNR Division of Watercraft has details of the program at (toll free) 1-877-4BOATER or online at .
Ohio State Parks Camping Discounts
All honorably discharged Ohio veterans who have been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be permanently and totally disabled (and who receive a VA pension or compensation) are entitled to camp free of charge in Ohio State Parks campgrounds.
Former prisoners of war may also camp free in Ohio State Parks.
For more information on benefits for veterans, call the Department of Veterans Services in Ohio at 1-800-DVS-OHIO (1-800-387-6446).