Don't let your hunting license expire

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By Shelton Young

Your Kentucky hunting and fishing license will expire in a couple of weeks, on Feb. 29, Benny Kessler's birthday.
I usually get my new one at the Louisville Boat Show but missed it this year. My preference is for the Sportsman's license. With this deal you'll be able to hunt and fish for everything Kentucky has to offer, except elk.
Add a federal duck stamp for 2012 and you're ready to go for the year. Deer tags, wild turkey permits (spring and fall), waterfowl, doves and fishing are all included. Sorta like one-stop shopping.
If you're a "well-rounded" outdoorsman or woman this is the deal for you. Note: "well-rounded" refers to participation, not size!
Anyway, cost is $95. This saves you a few dollars over the cost of buying each license and permit individually. I also really like the idea of packing one license/permit that covers everything so I know I'm always legal.
- Ever wonder how you'd feel if it was the day after Christmas and Santa had just passed ya by? Or maybe he stopped by just long enough to consume your milk and cookies but then left nothing of equal value. Think you should've saved your money, or eaten the cookies yourself?
This is sorta like the feeling most of my waterfowling friends had after the season's end.
We spent a year dreaming about hunting the birds, with visions of waterfowl dancing in our heads. O.K., that was kinda weak, sorry!
Anyway, we had our stuff ready. Calls were tuned and guns patterned. Duck boats painted in camo colors and blinds built. We practiced our calling and shooting skills so as to fool wary birds, then hit the ones that committed.
In short, we were pretty much ready for anything.
Unfortunately Mother Nature showed us exactly who was in charge of our waterfowling destiny. And there was nothing we could do about it. The weather was just...wrong!
By the end of the waterfowling seasons we were still in early fall weather patterns. I say "seasons" because duck and Canada goose seasons start and end on different dates, if by only a few days.
On second thought, tornadoes are usually a spring thing. So let's see if I've got this right: We went from fall to sorta like spring while, so far, bypassing winter!
Any way you look at it, we didn't have a waterfowl season, or at least not much of one.
- So what do we do now? Well I think we're still going to have a winter. Possibly severe and, with luck, short.
But, there'll be snow. Wouldn't want to disappoint those kids who got sleds for Christmas.
With the snow we'll be better able to spot the dark form of a coyote against the mostly white background.
The cold will have their coats thick and the mating season will make them a little less cautious.
Please understand, I was pretty good on groundhogs but I'm not a coyote hunter...not yet. My friend Mike Short is a coyote hunter, a good coyote hunter. I'm just your average wannabe, for now!
- Fellow called me the other day wanting to know if I could direct him to a 4,000 to 5,000 acre hunting lease.
Yes, you read that right, 4,000 to 5,000 acres. I don't know of any acreage of that size, unless several areas were combined. And arranging that, even if it was a possibility, would be expensive.
But, if you happen to control that much land, and want to lease it out, call me. Word of advice, get your money up front, and only take a full cash payment!
On a smaller scale, if you have some huntable property with deer on it, and would allow an older, low impact guy to hunt, I'd appreciate it. As the kids would say, we could be BFFs.
- I've talked about Float & Fly fishing as well as casting for musky from the dam at Green River. Both activities are a good way to spend some February days. Dress warm and take a heater, you'll appreciate both.
As for me, I haven't done either yet. But now that most seasons are closed it's time to try everything else.
- For all practical purposes, we've just about finished all our "regular" 2011-2012 hunting seasons.
It's common knowledge that to improve on something an honest evaluation of past performance is critical. With that in mind I suggest we all look back and evaluate this past season.
Did you "get your limit" every time? How about some time? Is that even important to you? Or, do you value the good times and friends more than the numbers of fish and game animals taken?
We each measure success in our own way. Me, well I had a great year, and didn't shoot or catch much of anything.
- The Mid-KY Bass Anglers will have a meeting on Sunday, Feb. 12 to get set for our 2012 tournament schedule. We'll meet at 6 p.m., at the Lebanon Police Department. If ya have any outstanding warrants, I'd suggest avoiding this meeting. It's open to anyone, currently associated with Mid-KY Bass or not. So if you just want to show up and see what we're about or really want to be part of a fun group, come on out.
If you can't make the meeting, tournament dates and rules will be available, within a few days, on our website, www.midkybass.com.
- That's it for now. Get out, enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer, stay safe and I'll see ya next week!