ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Former Minnesota Vikings hall of fame coach and outdoor enthusiast Bud Grant testified Tuesday before Senate Natural Resources Committee in favor of a bill that would raise fees for hunting and fishing licenses.

The bill could give the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources some, but not all of the increases the agency is seeking.

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Grant said first he wasn’t at the hearing to promote the stadium, but instead, to support a tax increase for hunting and fishing heritage.

“I’m 85 years old. I’ve been doing outdoor activities my entire life,” he said.

He called Minnesota the “Crown Jewel” of the United States.

“Minnesota has more opportunities for hunting and fishing than any other state in the union,” he said.

Grant has been retired for more than 25 years and said it is hard work having fun. Grant has six children, 19 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and they all live within 30 minutes of his house.

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The one-year resident adult fishing license fee would rise from $17 to $22 under the bill. The DNR is proposing $24. A fishing license for a married couple would rise from $24 to $35, compared with the $40 the DNR is seeking.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Reports

Grant called it a bargain.

“That is a small price to pay.” He said.

But the bill would raise the fee for a resident deer license from $26 to $30, the same as the DNR’s proposal.

“In order for us to maintain our position, as the greatest state to live in, it’s got to be addressed, and it’s got to be addressed monetarily.” Grant said.

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DNR officials said fisheries, wildlife and enforcement programs face deep cuts without fee increases.