What a mess

March 31, 2008

Faith Outdoors

I waded through a mess last Friday known as the Wisconsin DNR computer licensing system. At 10 a.m., surplus wild turkey licenses were supposed to go on sale. My two sons and I already had been picked in the regular turkey lottery and had our licenses. But, I was trying to help a young boy get his.

A week ago, a good friend of mine told me about his 13-year-old nephew who likes to hunt. But, his father died when he was 5 and he has had to rely on other adults to take him out. The boy’s grandparents own a nice farm in Wisconsin that I hunted successfully last spring for turkeys, so I called his mother to try to help her buy him a surplus turkey license on-line.

Unfortunately, the computer system crashed and was down most of the day. Finally, in the evening, the system went up again and she called the DNR to buy the license. Sadly, she was told the licenses for the zone in which their farm is located had sold out. She called me with the news and I looked on the DNR website to see if that was true.

To my delight, it showed that there were, indeed, licenses left in that zone and I immediately called her back. We bought the license on-line while I was on the phone with her. Thus, our persistence paid off.

Because of my experience with the DNR computer system, I was able to stay on top of things and get accurate, up-to-date information. I don’t know why the person on the phone said there were no licenses left. I guess all of the glitches confused even some of the people who work with the computer system. I’m just very grateful it all worked out for this young boy to go on his first turkey hunt.

The best part is I have a friend who’s an expert turkey hunter and has agreed to serve as a guide for my friend’s nephew. I’m excited to help make this happen for a boy who surely continues to feel the pain of the loss of his father. I can identify with this because my two oldest boys lost their mother in 1995 when they were 4 and 3. I pray God will bless the hunt and make it memorable for all of us.

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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

View all posts by Dave Hrbacek