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Lake life

Licensed and ready to go…

These cool mornings have me fired up about hunting.  I’m all legal and ready to go! Well, at least I hope I am.

At least I have my two-foot long multi-folding Louisiana State Hunting License for 2015-16. I even got my federal duck stamp, signed it and attached it to the back of my license like Uncle Sam told me to.

I’ve got my basic hunting license (basically because I want to go hunting, I guess). I’ve got my HIP Certification (that means I’m cool). Actually it stands for Harvest Information Program, which is a method by which our wildlife agencies ask you how many times you hunt, what you kill, etc. to help compile dead duck data. Personally, I find it a bit embarrassing to stand at the sporting goods counter buying a license and have to answer all those questions in public.

Clerk: “Did you hunt doves last year?” Me: No. Do you have a good place we could go?

Clerk: “How many times did you hunt ducks last year?”  Me: Oh, about 20.

Clerk: “How many ducks did you kill?”  Me: Oh, about 10. See what I mean? Embarrassing.

I have my deer tags, turkey tags, resident hunting license, resident fishing license, permit to walk on a state WMA, permit to walk  or birdwatch (but not park, ride a four-wheeler or stay beyond sunset) on a National Wildlife Refuge, state fishing licenses, state duck stamp, federal duck stamp (in case I shoot any ducks that flew in from out-of-state) and several other “licenses” that make it legal for me to go to the woods and actual appear to be trying to take game. I hope the fact that I lied just a wee bit about my weight doesn’t make it invalid. Hey, this is hunting and fishing.

I am also glad to see that the license is up with the times. I have deer tags for antlered deer, antlerless deer and either-sex deer. No kidding. I stop here without further comment.

One of the biggest challenges for me in deer hunting besides actually hitting one is that once I get a deer down, I  have to record the date and parish on the carcass tag (that’s after I see if it has antlers, does not have antlers or is either sex, so I pull off the right tag). Then I have to attach the tag to the carcass before moving it (“It” being the deer, not the tag, I think). Now where did I put that pen and duck tape? Removing one of the deer tags along the perforated lines also leaves you with two “pieces” of multi-folding hunting fishing license to keep up with. Three, maybe. And odds are, if I do kill one, it will start to rain just about the time I reach the downed deer and grab pen and paper.

But I’m not complaining. Nobody said this was going to be easy. At least you don’t have to buy a deer corn permit. I probably shouldn’t have given anybody that idea. Sorry.

Wait. I am not through. Then I have to record the date on the harvest report card and the tag must remain attached to the carcass until processed. And then I have to make sure and call 1-866-484-4805 within seven days of the kill to report it. This is to allow the state to compile accurate data on deer populations and harvests. I think some hunters don’t do it, so those numbers may be skewed. I would write more, but I have to fold up my hunter’s orange vest and put it back in the little plastic bag. I wear it because that’s the law and also so the 300-pound bears don’t mistake me for one of their own. Hey bear!

I think I remembered everything. Now if I could just remember which side of the thicket I parked my truck on…

I know there are reasons for every rule, regulation and license, but sometimes it seems a bit ridiculous. But at least I’ll never be sarcastic about it.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERATomorrow: What if this happened….

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