I’ve known my friend Don Bailey of Haymond since the early ‘60s, when he was a repairman for Pound Hardware and Furniture Company. He has probably been in about everyone’s home on the upper end of Letcher County, working on washers, dryers, stoves, and everything in between.
I saw Don this past week in Pikeville at the funeral of my brother-in-law, Tim Lucas. Tim worked as a compliance officer many years for Community Trust Bank; he was a good guy
Although Don is getting on toward his sunset of life as many of us are, he never fails to take time and talk to me. As we talked, Don, being a lifelong hunter and fisherman as well as myself, I noticed like the old song said, “Time has made a change in the old homeplace”, and it has made a change in Don. Not because of the lack of interest he has in hunting and fishing, but because of the many laws and regulations that we now have.
He told me he has stopped fishing altogether because of the many different regulations you need to know before you fish a different lake. Some have a slot limit, some a size limit, some you may use a motor, another you can’t, and he told me the list goes on and on.
He said, “It stopped being fun, so I stopped fishing.”
It wasn’t fun anymore to try and stay legal. I wonder if that might be one of the reason license sales, both hunting and fishing, are down year after year. A lot of old men like us have just tired of all the regs and quit.
I even saw one regulation that said if you fish at a pay lake and the owner doesn’t have a pay lake license, you must have a fishing license to fish there. The same department that should be helping us enjoy ourselves has us in a chokehold, and we are going down like a French prizefighter.
Go to the Department of Fish and Wildlife online and check for yourself the many laws on the books before you can fish legally. You will be shocked. Gone are the days of a bobber, nightcrawlers, cane pole, and a hook, with a favorite fishing hole, now you need to have a book of regulations and a lawyer on retainer just to fish.
Oh yes, two things Don hasn’t lost are his smile and friendship for me.
Thanks, Don, for being my friend and a Struttin’ Time reader.