Sharing the good news

April 17, 2008

Faith Outdoors

I made an important phone call today. After a successful turkey hunt with my son, Andy, over the weekend, I decided to let the Wisconsin DNR know how happy I was with the hunt and with the way the department is managing the state’s wild turkey population and its hunting seasons.

When I was transfered to the feedback line, I got on the phone with a woman who said she would make sure someone called back to hear my complaint. I replied that I wasn’t calling to complain, but to compliment the department for managing the birds well and doing things like offering the youth hunt.

She seemed genuinely surprised that someone would call to say something positive. When I asked how often that happens, she responded, “hardly ever.”

How sad. I think it’s important in life to let people know when they’ve done a good job. I believe it’s part of our calling as Christians. The longer I talked to this woman, the more cheerful her demeanor became. That alone was worth the time it took to make the call.

I know people like her have taken a beating for problems that occurred last month when their computer system crashed the day they were supposed to start selling surplus wild turkey hunting permits for this spring. I know it cost people an opportunity for a permit when they weren’t able to get through on the computer and eventually gave up, only to try again later and find that the permits had been sold out for the zone they wanted to hunt.

This happened to Andy’s friend from school, who had planned to hunt with us. He ended up getting a permit for a different zone and wasn’t able to hunt with us. Had he gotten a permit for the zone he wanted, he would have been able to hunt on his own property. I hope he’ll get that chance next year.

I told the woman I did not wish to complain about the computer problem. I said I was sure she had gotten plenty of complaints already and didn’t need any more. True, she replied.

I felt it was time to give a beleaguered DNR employee like her a little boost. I hope it made her day a little better. As for me, I’ll continue smiling about my son’s hunt and look forward to my Minnesota hunt next week and Wisconsin hunt in mid May.

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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