This year, I am going to hunt deer on my own land.
I will take my gun and my shells and my time and sit in my tree on my land and wait for my deer to come by.
Then I'm going to shoot them.
Or at least that's the plan. Sometimes the deer don't cooperate. But at any rate, that's what I hope will happen.
Which brings us to yesterday. Hunting licenses went on sale yesterday in New York. The town clerk had them and Wal-Mart had them and a bunch of guys lined up to buy them.
They didn't need to, really, but it's a tradition. Used to be that if you wanted to get a doe permit a license to shoot an antlerless deer you needed to get there pretty early and get one on a first-come, first-served basis. That put a lot of guys standing out in front of the Wal-Mart door at 6 o'clock in the morning waiting for them to open.
But those days are gone. Now it's set up so the computer puts you in an instant lottery and, supposedly, there's just as good a chance of getting a doe permit in October as there is in August.
But old habits die hard.
And yesterday saw a lot of guys going in to get their licenses.
Which brings us to the point of this column.
Last year, I went to the town clerk and bought what New York calls a "sportsman's license" for $37. A sportsman's license is a combination fishing, small-game and big-game license. If you have that, you can fish, shoot rabbits and squirrels, and hunt deer and bear.
It's extra for turkey or geese, or if you use a bow and arrow, but that's the basic price.
Thirty-seven dollars and you could catch all the fish the limits allow, ditto for small game, shoot a bear and, depending on how you did in the draw for doe permits, shoot three deer.
This year it's a little different.
This year the sportsman's license is $47. That's an increase of more than 25 percent.
And that's not all.
This year's sportsman's license doesn't come with doe tags. And that's what most people buy the license for. Sure, people fish, and try to knock the occasional grouse out of the sky, but most people who hunt in New York are looking to put a deer in the freezer. And inasmuch as female predominate in the whitetail-deer herd the same way they predominate on The View, if you don't have a doe tag, you're not really in the hunt.
So the folks in Albany have decided to charge extra. It's $10 to take a chance at getting two doe tags.
That brings the cost of this year's sportsman's licenses up to $57 which is, as a percentage, quite a bit more than last year's $37. Twenty bucks might not seem like a lot, but it is. Plus, there's the principle of the thing.
Just last week this same state government sent out $200 extra welfare money per child to public-assistance clients all across New York. If you get food stamps, and you have kids, you got an extra $200 for each of them on your food-stamp card. The big difference being that there was no restriction on what this money could be spent for.
Here's a state that's going broke that increased its annual spending some 9 percent in the depths of a recession - and which came up with more than a thousand new taxes and fees, and it's passing out a giant welfare windfall.
A windfall, by the way, which stores report went in large part to flat-screen TVs and other frivolous conveniences. It was passed off as "back-to-school assistance," but it in large part went for foolish luxury purchases. The parents blew it irresponsibly, with no apparent thought for practicality, which might explain how they come to be on welfare in the first place.
Which may seem to have nothing to do with my hunting license.
But this is one more example of those who produce in America being ripped off to provide for those who don't produce. There are two Americas and they both live off the paycheck of the one. The Democrats control the New York state capital, just like they control the national capital, and the same sort of socialism is running rampant in both.
People who work have to pay more so that people who don't can get more.
And that's not right.
And yesterday, as a bunch of us were paying through our teeth for our hunting licenses, we were reminded of that fact.
I earned it, you can't have it.
Somehow, we need to get the government to recognize and respect that simple fact.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2009
"The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded." --French political philosopher C. L. De Montesquieu (1689-1755)