The senior license to fish is back in business
this year in the Legislature, but it is not expected by the authorities
to go any further this year than last, or any other year in its lengthy
As it stands now in the House Committee of Natural
Resources, the bill would (if passed) provide an extra $700,000 or there-abouts
for the Division of Fish and Wildlife, which doesn’t seem to have any unsurpassable
problems of divesting itself of an estimated $30-million or so, including
federal matching funds.
This has been an ongoing thing in the Indiana
General Assembly and the Governor’s office you might say (if you wanted
to be real corny) “since Hector was a pup.” But while it seems promising
every year, that is the end of the line for the trolley, and we drop another
million or so in federal matching funds.
It apparently isn’t a “do-or-die” situation, for
Division and Fish and Wildlife still is operating. The point--in this real,
live case--being that state government is giving old folks something every
year and one little arm of state government is paying for it. As they would
say where I come from,” “Hit don’t get no better then that” especially
for those unfortunate souls who get elected to the Legislature.
You see, many years ago (somewhere around the
1930, I believe), Congress authorized the formation of the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and established nationwide excise tax on some outdoor
paraphernalia to fund it. Some excess funding is returned to the states
in the form of matching funds for state and federal partners. A 75-25 split
is usual and it can be used by the state fish and wildlife agency in many
ways, but certainly related to outdoors.
DFW officials point out that the state has some
90,000 citizens who are getting the right to fish fee. Not all of them
fish, but those who do fish are costing the state some $711,000 each year.
That’s where the rub comes in. There have been
years in the past when we didn’t have enough of the 25 percent to use all
of the 75 percent. Now we have it, I am told. But when we can’t use federal
matching funds, they simply are apportioned to other states. It boils down
to the fact that our share may be going elsewhere.
The concept was considered last summer by the
Legislature’s Summer Study Committee, a panel of bipartisan legislators
that has a purpose, in effect, of separating potential legislative seed
from chaff. The concept always has a lot of support in the summer, but
it tends to die.
Could it be that the $3 fishing license for senior
citizens would amount to another loss of clout for the legislature.
An unsigned e-mail poses this question on shed
(deer antler) hunting.
My question is when is the best time to go hunting for shed antlers? I
live in Grant County IN. I know you are very busy but I may be too late
already for all I know. If you find the time could you please e-mail me
back? Thank you for your time.
hunting can start as early as November, but generally it does not start
to roll really good until late December. It may carry over with some animals
until the spring, but the bulk of the action will be in January and the
first part of February.
However, the shed hunter must remember that other
animals will cause some chewing damage to the shed if it is left in
a discarded condition for long periods of time. The same can be said of
mouse and rat damage, although I have had no damage to trophies, nor do
I know of anyone who has.
Ordinarily, only one side of an antler will be
found, but I have heard of a few where both sides were recovered. A good
bet is thick underbrush that is bisected by a deer trail, or both sides
of a high fence or obstruction that causes deer to jump (and thus dislodge
weakening antler anchors). Winter rubs, however, could produce. Like a
loose tooth drives you batty.
I like to hunt sheds as I hunt rabbits.
This website, (www.bayoubill.com) is stocked with
a number of references to shed hunting.