As I ready myself to head to North Carolina for my final big hunt of this season I reflect on the hunts we have taken together in 2016.
I still plan to hunt in Kentucky in hope of taking a black bear when firearm season comes in December 10. Although several of my friends have asked me to go after the “Big Three” again this year, I don’t see that in the works. To get a black bear, deer, and wild turkey the same day on the same property with my bow? It sounded great and I may try again, but not this year.
If the cost of hunting keeps going up, I may be forced to hunt only in Kentucky. In 2014, I paid $245 for my tag and license to hunt big game and black bear in North Carolina. That same tag and license this year cost almost $500. One tag that goes along with your big game tag and black bear permit is called an “e-tag.” It was free, but now it costs $10 extra. I never had a paycheck go up that fast, have you?
Hunting in as many states as we do, I can’t help but wonder if there’s an end to the greed. How much longer can hunters afford the rising cost of hunting? Just because you bought your license, that doesn’t mean that’s the last of your cost; that is a starting point. There is gasoline, meals, an oil change, outfitter and, if you use one, a guide. Even with the outfitter and guide, add at least an extra 10 percent for a tip at the least.
I will report on our black bear and deer hunt when I get back from North Carolina. It may be our last hunting trip to that state.