Change comes easy for some, not so easy for others
Change comes easy for some folks. Don’t count me in on that group. And the older I get, the harder it seems for me to adjust – especially when it comes to changes in our sporting traditions.
Case in point: Hanging on the coat rack in my kennel office is an old, faded blaze orange deer hunting jacket – dangerously close to being illegal – faded and all. Time for change.
Pinned on the back is last year’s back tag. So many years and so many back tags later, two small holes where the back tag pin pierced the cloth have grown large. My old jacket’s faded orange, holes on the back side, a tear on one sleeve and bloodstains has seen better days – time for a change.
A new jacket for next fall is in order. Perhaps a camo blaze orange version. Always liked the one my father-in-law, John, sports. Madison has called for change – no more back tags come 2016, blaze pink, e-registration.
For nearly 50 years, purchasing annual hunting and fishing licenses has been a springtime affair. My first license was a big deal – a rite of passage for an eager teenager. As I grew older, it became routine – out with the old license, in with the new. A traditional trip to Fleet Farm for a box of nails, a bag of dog food and a patron license.
This year, I was told, it was time to “Go Wild.” According to some it may not be the smooth trip the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) made it out to be.
But according to the DNR, they are “making it easier than ever to get out and Go Wild by offering key licenses and registrations all in one place. The new Go Wild system puts a license to excitement right at your fingertips, 24 hours a day.” That was before their website crashed.
So I went wild online earlier this week to try it out. First I had to create a DNR account – with an easy to remember username and password which I can supposedly manage myself on a personal homepage. After two attempts at declaring U.S. citizenship, providing my DNR Customer number, Social Security number, driver’s license number, date of birth, declaring Wisconsin residency and creating a personal username and password, I was in the system.
Then I proceeded to purchase my annual patron license. Called the ultimate sportsperson’s combination license, it includes fishing, small game, gun deer, bow (vertical and cross), spring and fall turkey, goose and trapping. All are included along with special permit applications for otter, fisher, spring/fall turkey and state waterfowl, turkey, pheasant, trout and salmon stamps.
With a patron license I enjoy access to Wisconsin state parks and trails with their license, an annual park vehicle admission sticker and a subscription to the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. Everything I needed except a turkey tag, a leftover tag which I was also able to purchase online after several attempts.
Did I mention I’m not real computer literate? After an hour online, I printed out my licenses – three pages, five counting confirmation receipts. Madison says I am eligible to use my Wisconsin driver’s license for display of some recreational approvals. But I must visit dnr.wi.gov for more information on where this use is permitted. I chose to cut out the general license and carry that in my wallet.
When all was said and done I called Fleet Farm. “Yes, they still sell licenses over the counter, but the DNR’s website is experiencing problems.” Oh well, live and learn. Maybe next year I’ll need a box of nails and a bag of dog food come April 1. Did I mention I’m not a fan of change?