Double check all your licenses and stamps

By Bill Bartusek

As the fall progresses, so do the fall hunts. Bear, deer, ducks, squirrel and grouse are some of the seasons already in progress. Of course, you need a variety of different licenses and stamps to hunt legally. That’s where this phone call from John Lecniah comes in. It seems that his son (Phil) purchased his hunting license and duck stamps at a local licensing vendor. He signed his stamps and headed out for the duck opener. After hunting all morning, Phil and his friend headed out of the marsh to the truck. They were met there by a conservation officer. He wasn’t your everyday type of conservation officer, he was a Federal officer. He found both boys had steel shot, plugs in their guns, the correct licenses and stamps except for Phil. One of his stamps turned out to be a pheasant stamp. Apparently when he bought the stamps, someone pressed the wrong button and he ended up with a pheasant stamp. He signed them without reading them, as many of us have done so frequently. That stamp, or the lack of it, cost Phil about $150 in the form of a ticket and fine.

We must remember that clerks are not necessarily sportsmen or even know what you need. All they need to know is how to operate the computer system. Stamps with pictures are not given out. It’s just a computer print out. We have to read what we get and make sure we are legally licensed.

With the upcoming deer hunt, I thought I’d share this story with you. Seasons and licenses change every year. This one is no different. If you are an avid hunter, all your licenses, stamps and permits won’t fit into one billfold. So before you sign, take time to read what you have purchased. It might be a waste of time or you might have saved yourself a chunk of money. I’m sure Phil will read every one he purchases from now on. Especially before he signs them and puts them away.

The pheasant opener is Saturday, Oct. 16. The fields are full of crops, so get permission and be careful. Good luck!

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