"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Senior Citizen's Fishing License Battle Revisited
Copyright © 2007 by Bill Scifres

First meeting of the Summer Study Committee for legislation that may be considered by the upcoming legislature will be staged Thursday [July 26, 2007] in Room 404 of the State House, but on Monday afternoon the entire agenda for items to be considered was up in the air.

I have learned that the fiasco adopted by the legislature on a fishing license for senior citizens (now law) will be dialogued--mainly because the measure currently excludes those 64 years and older that were born before April 1, 1943. These citizens can’t purchase the senior citizen’s license to fish, even if they want to do so. That's costing the state federal funds.

The issue is important because each senior citizen license purchased to fish gives the Department of Natural Resources about $9 in federal funding. The federal funding is derived from a federal excise tax on some outdoor paraphernalia.

The senior citizen’s fishing license battle dates back several years, but until a few years ago the DNR showed reluctance to push for it, undoubtedly because certain governors were opposed for political reasons (NO NEW TAXES).

While not a monster issue, it's something that should be done correctly if it is to be done.

MIKE GRIMSHAW-- Mke Grimshaw, a former resident of Fort Wayne, and as close to the passenger pigeon as you can get in importance to the Hoosier conservation movement, died last week at the cabin he had shared with his brother, Gerry, who died previously.

You can’t write--or even think--of Mike without including Gerry. Mike was Mr. Indiana, among Hoosier conservationists, while Gerry was more active in Michigan. Together, the brothers were the “bacon and eggs,” (maybe with hash browns, toast, and coffee) on a frosty morn. 

Mike was a former president of the Indiana Federation, who “poked” into everything involving natural resources in the state. Gerry was chief of the Izaak Walton League of America in Michigan. To find one at a meeting or fight involving resources was to see the other.

You’ll both be sorely missed.

HUMMERS--Mary Cooper phoned about last week’s hummer column (in which Jim Wall, near Muncie, reported that birds at his feeders suddenly stopped coming to feed). Mary told me that she couldn’t be positive about it, but she believes she read somewhere that hummers will not eat liquid made with sugar beet sugar. Mary said hummers much prefer sugar cane liquid, she thinks.

In any event, Mary says those buying sugar can tell whether it is derived from sugar cane or sugar beets by reading the printing on the package.

So it may be that Jim Wall’s hummers were merely putting out a message on preference.

In checking out the hummers, we have learned from friends and readers that hummers are doing land office business elsewhere in the state. And Jim now tells me that that they had some hummers today slurping the same water they shunned earlier.

It all adds up to the fact that wild things can be goofy, at times, and make very good sense at other times.


All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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