Monday, September 7, 2015

Landowner Tags

Gloria Jean, with her gobbler, killed at a distance which classifies her shot as a world record.

Since I am Gloria Jean Dablemont and am in charge of putting Larry’s columns on this blogspot, I get to place a disclaimer on this next column, which I have done at its conclusion.

      I got my landowner permits yesterday, the darndest roll of yellow tags you ever saw.  I actually have some land in three counties, but the total of those places comes to just under 80 acres.
       That makes me one of those people that really upsets the Conservation Department.  Remember not too many years back, they decided that they would give landowner permits only to those who owned 80 acres or more?  A near revolt on the part of Ozark landowners put a quick end to that.

       They could surely have made a million dollars more if they could have pulled that off.  I once contributed a lot with archery tags, gun deer tags, and turkey tags, but now all three are on that long line of yellow plastic.  I caution you though, check them thoroughly.
       Last year I found that my fall turkey tags consisted of five or six archery tags and no gun tags.  I killed a turkey on my place and had no tags for it.  If you remember I wrote about how I figured I had little recourse but to let a father and his daughter take the turkey and tag it with their tag.  That sure upset the MDC.
       In all last fall, four agents spent about six hours at my home trying to find a way to write me a citation for two articles I wrote. They wasted their time, but vowed to find some technicality soon they can get me on so I have to be careful what I write.  I can do pretty much what I want to in the woods because they seldom go there, I just have to be careful of what they can nail me on while standing on my porch.

       Gloria Jean will have no part of landowner tags. She don’t want any!  She will go out and watch and enjoy it all, but she is what is known as a non-consumptive hunter.  That goes back to the only turkey she ever shot.
       I called up a nice pair of gobblers and Gloria Jean cut down on them with my three-inch magnum twelve-gauge and dropped one in his tracks at 80 or 90 yards.  Or so it seemed.  Maybe it wasn’t that far but it certainly was too far for anything but a miracle and I told her that.  Of course, like she always does when I try to offer constructive criticism, she got all huffy and said it was the last time she was ever going to shoot at anything.

       The thing about women is, they so often do just what they say.  A hundred times I have said, after missing a turkey in the fall, or shooting one that doesn’t weigh much more than store-bought chicken, that I was through hunting fall turkeys.  But Gloria Jean has stuck with it.
       I point out to her that if she would get her landowner tags we could have four wild turkeys in the freezer for the coming winter instead of just two, but she remembers that time years ago when she swears I yelled at her for shooting at a gobbler I mistakenly thought was too far away.

       I didn’t actually yell at her, just as I haven’t ever yelled at her when she casts one of my best lures into a tree high above the water, or scares away a flock of ducks by refusing to wear face paint.  She gets huffy… at any suggestion about how she might do better as a fisherwoman or hunter.
       And tell me why it is that a woman will spend an hour putting all kinds of makeup on their face just to go to church, but they won’t dab on a little camouflage face paint that takes only a minute before climbing up in a tree stand with their husband?

       I am sure that occasional huffiness something other men have experienced.  Wives are bad about confusing actual yelling with constructive criticism and they get huffy.  And then they won’t get their landowner permits or make cornbread when you want it. 
       Gloria Jean says there is an upside to it.  She won’t have to stand on the porch and argue with a pair of game wardens this fall who want to see if she can actually shoot a gun!

       Sometime in a future column this fall I will let all you readers know about those six hours of arguing with game wardens on my porch.  You don’t have to oblige them.  You can leave them standing there if they are without search warrants.  But truthfully, I learned a great deal which I am glad I can pass on.

On another much more serious subject, just the other day I went into Walmart to buy a new battery for my trolling motor and I was going to pay for it in the automotive section.  I had to wait quite some time because two women were in front of me with shopping carts filled with groceries.
       The cashier said there was nothing he could do, he had to check out whatever they brought and in both cases it was groceries.  These two looked a little stupid there in the automotive section with a hundred dollars worth of groceries, but they didn’t want to wait in the regular checkout line behind four or five other customers.
       It shows what is bad about Walmart stores, and what kind of people give it a bad name.  The man who is suppose to be taking care of brake jobs, oil changes and tire purchases has to stand there and check out bread and milk.

       “Sometimes,” he said, “Someone who wants to get a pair of tires has to wait for 15 minutes while I check out some lady with groceries.  But store policy dictates I have to do it and now everything comes back here, groceries, jewelry appliances clothes, you name it.  It gets worse and worse every week.”

       I went over to the sporting goods section to get my landowner licenses and there was a lady paying for a cartload of cleaning supplies!  When you see those kinds of people, taking advantage of the situation to try to save themselves ten minutes in line, you realize you are looking at someone who will inconvenience others just for their own benefit.  Someday it could take us men an hour to buy a box of shells, waiting for some old lady to check out her cat food and make-up.

       Well, Walmart could change it with some simple rules, but they won’t, until maybe some big time store official has to buy a quart of oil and has to stand in line at the automotive counter waiting for some lady to check out a hundred dollars worth of groceries!

       It really doesn’t point to so much of a flaw in Walmart as it points out a flaw in people…. Like I said, a minority of people who think only of themselves is still way too many.
       Gloria Jean helps me with some facebook thing, but I don’t understand it.  She says about 300 people said they liked me last week.  She says if any of them knew me like she does, they probably wouldn’t!

       You can write me at Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. or email me at lightninridge@windstream.
            First off, Larry is NOT as bad as his columns suggest, especially toward women. He has lived with three daughters (no sons) and a St.Louis-raised wife, who often give HIM a hard time.  He writes to make people chuckle and often takes liberty, with that in mind, to twist the truth using his outrageous imagination. He gets so outrageous at times, that he is sure everyone knows he is joking, especially when it comes to me or Mrs.Wiggins. 
            However, his writing about Walmart and the MDC in this column is his true feelings.

            Now, for my disclaimer…I DID get my first turkey at a distance that, at the time, he said was almost unheard of… which means... he never got one at that distance because he always missed, so he has learned to wait and call them in closer. 

            I must admit I do get a LITTLE huffy at his so-called constructive (?) criticism, but not to the point of never hunting again. Since that time, I have had listen to him whisper, “Not yet, not yet, not yet…OK shoot!”
            I also have to admit that I have missed turkey more than actually getting one over the years (which have been very few and too much shot in the meat, therefore, much constructive criticism).  I have come to realize that I will never be a master turkey hunter.  So I really did tell him that I didn’t want landowner tags. I would much rather watch them come in to his call than shoot AT them. Since our daughter, Christy, hunts and gets her turkey, we always have enough turkey in our freezer anyway (By the way, if any MDC agents are reading this, they ARE properly marked with her name and tag number). 

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