Our much sought after turkey season is only a few days away — youth season is April 3 and 4, regular season is April 17. I have not been out in the woods, so I can’t talk much about what the winter has done to our wildlife, be it couldn’t have helped.
As you may know or not, Quail Unlimited has closed its doors, sent everyone home, no money to pay them, and has its buildings and land up for sale. It was located in Edgefield, S.C. Asking price for everything is $690.000. This depression has cost more than we will ever know.
Its membership dropped from 65,000 to 30,000. People just cannot afford to belong to groups like this anymore.
The National Wild Turkey Federation has taken a hit, but to what extent I can’t report on today, I don’t have all the figures in yet.
Outfitters that I have hunted with in the past are calling me to come hunt, at one-third off . My black bear hunt to Vermont last year cost me $1200, same hunt this year, and I have decided to go, is $800. My trip to Montana three years ago, was $3500, this year $2300. Of course that is the cost of the outfitter, not my license, tags, and getting there.
One part of the hunting world that has not cut prices is the DNR’s. Although they see the same numbers you and I see, they are not willing to cut back. Some states have held the line, like Kentucky, but most are still raising prices.
In our little county of Letcher, there are 4,000 hunters, less than 100 belong to the Little Shepherd Chapter of The National Wild Turkey Federation. If we don’t get off the path we are on, letting our kids sit days on end in front of a computer, texting all day, playing video games from daylight till dark, our demise is closer than we think. It’s time everyone steps up to the line, and carries the ball, not just a few.
In just a few days I will be leaving for Florida, to start my season. Got a call from my baby, Nema, telling me hunting season is getting in the way of our baseball season. Nema is now 36 years old, and has my only grandbaby, so she should know, Daddy will make time for her, just after turkey season.
Hug and kiss a child, and an old person this week, it may be their only one.