Fairness questioned

To the Journal editor:

I just got an email from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources inviting me to read all about the new license structure. They tell me that “the new structure will create a simpler, more fair and efficient license buying process.”

Oops, forgot to mention it will also cost a lot more for us senior citizens and we may be paying for things we don’t need.

Let’s see now, I am well into my “Golden Years,” so my activity level has decreased somewhat. I now only fish for pike and walleye in Lake Independence, but now the DNR is telling me I have to buy a license that allows me to catch trout and salmon, too.

That’s like saying if you want to go deer hunting you must also buy a bear license. Oh well, there goes my $5 senior fishing license up to $11, more than double!

Being of the male gender, and living in northern Michigan I have always deer hunted. After turning 65 I was able to get my buck tag for deer hunting for $6, one of the few things that made it worth growing old. But the DNR says that license will now cost me $8, still not a bad buy.

But, wait, before I can buy my deer license I need to get a Base Senior Hunting License which will allow me to hunt small game at a cost of $5. I haven’t been small game hunting in over 20 years!

Why the (heck) do I want a small game license? Well back to the deer hunting. I haven’t been seeing all that many bucks the last few years so I have taken to getting an antlerless permit each fall at a cost of $4 for the application fee and $15 for the permit.

Guess what? That’s going up too. I assume that the application fee is still going to be $4, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was raised too, and the permit fee is now $20.

Remember the quote in paragraph one? “The structure will create a simpler, more fair and efficient license buying process.” Let’s see. I now must buy four licenses and pay one application fee for a total of $48. Using the old, inefficient process, I bought three licenses and paid one application fee for a total of $30.

That comes to a 60 percent increase for senior citizens. We have to buy more licenses, even if we aren’t going to use them, and it is costing us 60 percent more.

Who says this is more fair and efficient?

Russell Gust

Big Bay