No one will be happier to see the 2017 hunting season close than me. This year has been a mix of good luck, bad luck, blessings or curses.
My trip to hunt Bighorn sheep never happened because my paperwork didn’t get in on time. The North Carolina hunt, for both wild turkeys and black bears, was a bust. And now I have learned that the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning to raise everyone’s license fees.
A few months ago, I wrote in Struttin’ Time about how the state wanted to raise the Senior/ Disabled License from five dollars to $47.50. Well I suppose the senior and disabled hunters said the same thing I told them, “No way,” so now they are asking the Kentucky state legislature to go for a 225 percent raise to $18.
First let me say that I could afford the raise, but can’t stand the principle. You can’t give away or sale your principles. If you do, you are worthless.
Let me explain where I am coming from. Before 1996, or somewhere in that era, seniors and disabled hunters got their license for free. Around that time the Department of Fish and Wildlife asked the hunters to allow a $5 license fee, because the state was losing federal money.
The state’s story was that because licenses were being given free to hunters the federal government would not give them proper credit. Like fools and not wanting our Commonwealth to lose money from the federal government, the hunters agreed to let the state have the $5. Now the state is acting like it is a fee that can be raised anytime.
I have bought a hunting or fishing license as long as I have needed one. My dad always took pride in making sure we never violated the law, and got me licensed when it was time. I told the state a few months ago that not one more penny would come from my coffers to hunt in the Commonwealth — none.
Now in case you younger hunters are sitting there laughing while you are reading this, you need to know that your license fees are also going up. Yep, now it doesn’t sound so funny, does it? Your increase will be from $12 to $42, depending on the type of license.
I am telling everyone now that I will not be buying another hunting or fishing license in Kentucky if this rate increase is approved. Am I asking you to join me? The answer is no. Will you sell your principles? That is up to you.