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Today is not a good day at our house. Not at all. For Himself and The Professor this is usually the hap-hap-happiest time of the year. Hunting season is here. Now I am not a hunter and I don’t really get the appeal, but for my husband and eldest it is a special time. They camp in the rain and hike miles through wet brush and more often than not come home empty-handed . . . Sounds glorious, No? The fact is that it provides some pretty special dad/son bonding time and right now that is extremely important. The Professor is almost 15 and on the cusp of Manhood, time with Dad is pretty darn valuable. They are building memories and talking about manly stuff and yes hoping to get a shot off at Bambi.

Wow! That’s a lot of cammo!

We just got our first bit of rain since July and with that the hunting spirit has taken hold of 1/2 our household. They are planning their hunts. Where they are going to go. What weekend they should do a camp. Excitement is in the air. Until Himself asks “Where are your tags?” The Professor runs to his room and brings back the little plastic wallet emblazoned with the words “GUNS & DRUGS” (I shit you not) Himself and The Professor start pulling out the bajillion slips of paper. Spring turkey tag. Fishing license. Salmon and Steelhead tag. Cougar tag. Bird tag. and about 50 other things. Everything it seems is there except the big game tags. (deer, elk, bear) WTF?

We shop here for all our family’s gun & drug needs!

This is when Himself looks at me and asks “Didn’t you get his tags?” Moi? Um I got whatever you told me to get.

Sometime last spring Himself called me from work and asked me to take the professor down and purchase his Sports Pac and put in for “points” I am not going to even try to explain the point thing, because I don’t get it. Evidently there are magic points that you can build up that increase your chance to get to do special hunts and this was the last day to put in for them.

So I took the professor to our local Gun & Drug store (Totally serious) and got his Sports Pac and put in for his points. Since I am not the hunter and totally not into this kind of thing I didn’t realize that even though we PAID for big game tags we did not actually GET the big game tags. Evidently they have to be picked up at a later date. This was overlooked not just by me but by the actual hunters in the household even though they have been perusing a synopsis the last few weeks which is basically the hunter’s bible and it has, in red lettering,

Deer, elk, and bear tags are not automatically issued at the time
Sports Pac license is issued. Hunters must remember to pick up
deer, elk, and bear tags by the day before the earliest hunt opens
for deer, elk, and controlled bear and by Sept. 28 for general bear.

I don’t know why they don’t give you the tags when you pay for them or mail them to you before the season begins. Nope in all their government wisdom they take your money and then expect you to remember to come back for your tags. Right. Because I don’t have hundreds of more important things to remember, like bills that are due and dr.’s appointments to keep and assignments that are due and the fact that we are out of milk, or toilet paper, or wine. . . actually I seem to remember that last one pretty well. But my point is, if you have my money then you should make sure that I have what I paid for!

Himself did not get tags for our area as he went hunting in a different area with his buds this year and since it looks like we are out of luck as far as getting tags for The Professor it looks like there will be no hunting happening from this household. Now if you have ever had to tell your children that Christmas is canceled, or Summer Vacation will not include that planned trip to Disneyland then you pretty much know what if felt like to tell The Professor that we, his parents, messed up and there would be no hunting this year. For those of you who have not had to totally disappoint your children, IT SUCKS.

And yes, I am sure once this initial disappointment wears off we will move on with a plan B and there will be a father/son camping trip planned, just without the hunting. And we have all learned a valuable lesson, check important documents BEFORE they are needed and don’t assume that paying for something is the same as having something. Thanks for the lesson ODFW and enjoy our money that we got nothing for!

UPDATE: Daddy is a hero!!! Today he went down to ODFW in person and since we had already paid for the tags in the spring they went ahead and issued The Professor his tags. We did have to pay a $15.00 fee, but hunting camp is back on which means The Wineness gets her chick flick and wine drinking time back! Ahhhh! Life is good!