Lauren Cormier blogs over at Oh, Honestly! She’s guest blogging with me today after purchasing lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for her sons (Her daughter isn’t quite two yet but will have hers in plenty of time.).
Thanks, Lauren! I love to hear about kids who love the outdoors.
By Lauren Cormier
I grew up on Mount Desert Island, where millions of people flock every year to take in the natural beauty of coastal Maine. There are countless outdoor activities to participate in, from hiking to biking, canoeing to swimming, rock climbing to trail running. One thing, however, that you will not find on the Island is hunting. So when I met my husband, a County boy and avid hunter, a whole new world opened up to me.
A tree stand became something other than the thing you place your Christmas tree in each December. I was informed that an October wedding was out of the question because our anniversary would interfere with bird hunting season every year (no big deal; we got engaged at the end of September, so I couldn’t have planned a wedding that quickly anyway). Hunting clothes required their own wash cycle, a special detergent, and being line dried outside, away from anything that might attach a scent to them. I had a lot to learn (still do!), but I soon came to enjoy the fact that my husband had a hobby that allowed him to enjoy nature while also stocking our freezer.
After being married a little over a year, we discovered we were expecting our first baby. Amidst the excitement of baby registries and tiny onesies, we decided that if family members asked what our new bundle of joy could use, we would suggest money towards a Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License. It had to be bought before his sixth birthday to ensure the best price, but we knew we would purchase it well before that since we were already thinking of it before he was born.
Well, this May our oldest son will turn six and we just got his license. I’m one of those people who works best under pressure, I suppose. There was really no reason for it to take us this long because the process is very easy and straightforward. A one page application, a couple of proofs of residency, and a birth certificate are all you need. I actually forgot to include the proofs of residency in the envelope, but after a quick phone call, I was able to fax them to the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife office and all was well.
So why bother? What if they decide they don’t want to hunt or fish when they’re the legal age? There is certainly that possibility. However, our kids love doing things with their daddy. I have a feeling that even if hunting never becomes a lifelong passion for them, they will still want to occasionally spend a day in the woods with their dad. Having the license already in hand will be one less obstacle in the way.
On the other hand, if they do end up loving hunting as much as their dad, they will be forever grateful to us for saving them a bunch of money (and what parent doesn’t want a kid who owes them a debt of gratitude?). This year my husband has already spent over $100 on licenses and fees for himself. The lifetime hunting and fishing license, if purchased before a child’s sixth birthday, is only $250 (there are other options as well). Clearly, it will quickly pay for itself. Another great thing about the license is that even if the child moves out of state in the future, their resident license will still be valid.
If you know a child who you think might enjoy hunting or fishing in the future, I encourage you to look into buying them a lifetime license. As cliché as it sounds, it truly is a gift that keeps on giving.
More information and the application form can be found at https://www.maine.gov/ifw/licenses_permits/lifetime.htm