I’ll be the first to admit it.
I screwed up.
It’s the first time in my 25+ years of hunting that something like this happened. I’m not sure how it happened and I’m not happy about it.
It was opening day on Lac qui Parle and I expected to get checked by the Game Warden. What I didn’t expect was that I’d be the one causing a delay at the boat ramp: I somehow forgot to buy my Federal Duck Stamp.
We were checked and I had everything I needed, with one simple $17 exception. I’m always a proponent of doing whatever you can to support habitat and conservation efforts. That’s what the Stamp is for. 98 cents of every dollar spent on them goes to the purchase of wetlands.
This year I’ve bought everything I need to hunt and fish just about anything in 3 states. Plus a spring snow goose permit in South Dakota and a season fishing license in Ontario-my point is, I buy EVERYTHING. I get it done early in the year and print multiple copies.
I’ve been looking forward to the waterfowl opener since the day the season closed last year. I was more concerned with making sure decoys were ready, guns were cleaned and visiting relatives had arrived. The last thing I thought about was my licensing, (that I took care of months ago) and that’s my fault.
You should always check it before you go. Make sure you have copies with you every time you hunt.
And buy your Federal Duck Stamp. In fact, buy two. I’ve done nothing but promote conservation and the outdoors and it embarrasses me that I didn’t have it. When the waterfowl enforcement officers walked up, I gladly pulled out my paperwork. There was no way that I did this on purpose. But I was given a ticket and will have this on my record for 3 years as a “small game conviction”.
Chuck Ellingson from Watson Hunting Camp was also along and didn’t get his Stamp when he went this spring to purchase all of his licensing. Here are two guys that make their living off of hunting and just purchase all the licenses and stamps at once. There is no way that we would have tried to NOT buy a Federal Duck Stamp.
Consider this a $140 lesson learned. That’s a pretty expensive reminder to buy your stamp.
We did purchase the Stamp immediately like any sane and normal person would. So we were a bit surprised when we were greeted by the Game Warden again the next day, to be checked ONLY for our stamp. Seriously?
Again, I’ll take responsibility for not going over all my paperwork prior to opening day. Use this as a reminder for you as well.
Aside from that, we had a great opener with good friends and I’m looking forward the rest of the waterfowl season-in all three states that I’ve bought licenses for!
If you’d like to see our pictures and read about the HUNTING on the opening weekend, click here.