"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Feds Won't Match State Fishing License Funds From "Old-Timers" 
Copyright © 2008 by Bill Scifres

With a spanking new fishing season shifting from one foot to the other while waiting for permission from the weatherman to go full speed ahead, we are plagued with a mild broil (hastle) between state and federal agencies over a fishing permit for oldsters.
Rather, it is about $7.90 for each senior fishing license we sell that the feds should be sending our Division of Fish and Wildlife, but won’t come from behind their view that volunteer licenses don’t count in apportionment of tax dollars which they collect.
Recently, I have had several reader requests for information on purchasing the $3 annual, or lifetime $17, fishing license in order to bring more federal funds to the Indiana DFW.
To explain this thing (I don’t know what else to call it) would require a book, and this column will not fill the bill. I think it is so complicated that it may reach all the way back to the veteran’s free permit after WW II.
Thus, I will point out that officials of the DFW tell me there is no way to acquire a greater share of federal funding from those born prior to April 1, 1943.
One could, I am told, voluntarily give the DFW a gift (the DFW loves the idea). But this will not make federal funding greater.
The big rub with the feds lies in the fact that they lean heavily on two words in the qualification for federal funds. The two words are “certification” and “voluntary.” If either word, or both, is involved in the deal it is a no-no.
Beyond that, my own view of the situation, seems to suggest, that the Indiana DFW is a bit reluctant to cross the feds in any way for fear that the latter may cut off all of their funding. Just a thought, not fact, as I view the proceedings from afar. 
Actually, the entire ball of wax is more concerned with those who fish and belong to the group of citizens known as “baby boomers.” The real old-timers are being exempted from the whole thing. If they buy a fishing license, according to the law, it is voluntary thing--the transaction does not activate the feds cash register bell.
So if you entered this veil of tears before April 1, 1943, your best bet is to enjoy life, fish free and often.
As one of the early advocates of the concept, the rationale seems to be: “Never awaken a sleeping dog.” You might get bit. Some day it may be straightened out, but for now let the dog sleep . . . unless he snores.

SIGNS OF SPRING--Crocuses are in bloom, daffodils are close, the first spring beauty was spotted Sunday and some of the birds are paired and house hunting to rear families. . . lots of maple trees are budding to reveal breath taking beauty if viewed through macros or magnifying glasses . . . the first bee fly greeted me today as I walked to the mailbox . . . buzzards are having a field day cleaning up winter’s kill.         

MORE ON MORELS--I have yet to hear of a first find of morel mushrooms this spring, but that first spring beauty (wildflower) I spotted in my front-yard jungle Sunday tells me they are not far in the offing . . . maybe now in the southern third of the state--say in the hardwood hills country south of State Highway 46.
Incidentally, there is a wild mushroom web page: http://www.wildmushroomsonline.co.uk/ 

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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