Well, the big day is here and it is not turkey season that I am talking about.
In 1998, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife asked the disabled and senior hunters, who had always before gotten free hunting and fishing license in the Commonwealth, to start paying $5 after the department said it only received money back for licenses sold and that it was losing federal money because of the free licenses.
I don’t know of one hunter or fisherman who was against paying the $5. A few months ago, I wrote here in Struttin’ Time that with the decline in hunters and fisherman, the fish and wildlife departments across the nation would not have enough money to operate like they have.
As my friend, Dr. R.G. Lee, preached his message of “Payday, Someday” the disabled and seniors are again being asked to pay more. I received a survey the other day — and so did a few of my friends — asking if we would be willing to pay $47.50 per year. I was all for the $5, but I told them not a single penny will come from my coffers to give them that kind of money.
The department has 600 employees with a $50-million budget. I have not heard any bad things on our new commissioner, but he needs to live within his budget just like you and I. Updates will follow as I learn more.
I am 70-plus years old. I don’t need to buy a license anymore in Kentucky. I can hunt in states that treat me like my years request. My job is to help inform; what you do with this information is up to you. But I will tell you this, and I hope the department gets the message, not one person I have spoken with said they would pay more.