It’s no fun getting older.
Gray hair, senior moments, aching joints, declining eyesight – that’s all part of the aging process.
But today, I’m celebrating being a senior citizen. I was going through my checklist and I thought to myself, “Time to buy my 2017 Missouri fishing and hunting license.” Then it came to me.
For the first time, I won’t need to buy one. I’m 65, and that means I won’t have to pay for my fishing or small-game hunting. I’ll still have to pay for waterfowl stamps, deer and turkey permits, etc., but that’s OK. After 37 years of paying for the main fishing and hunting licenses as a resident in Missouri, I have reached that landmark year where I get my free pass.
See? There are advantages to growing older.
I also now can buy (and could have bought when I turned 62) a lifetime pass for $10 to get on federal recreation sites — national parks, in particular. That’s a big savings from the normal adult fee of $80 per year.
That means I could get my senior coffee or senior drink at a fast-food restaurant, go fishing or hunting in Missouri without a license, and use my senior pass for a movie with my wife, all in the same day.
But wait, there’s more.
- In Kansas, fishing or hunting is no longer free for seniors. But the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism offers a great deal where resident seniors can buy a lifetime combination license for $42.50.
- In Johnson County, county senior residents can fish for free, provided they aren’t going after trout. If they are casting for rainbow at lakes such as Shawnee Mission and Kill Creek that are managed by the Park and Recreation District, they must purchase a $15 trout permit the same as everyone else.
- In Clay County, seniors get a discount on combination boat and vehicle stickers that are used at Smithville Lake. They pay $100 annually, $30 less than other adults.
- Seniors also get a break at some stores selling outdoors equipment during special promotions.
- And the biggest advantage of all? Old guys get a free pass to be grumpy. Remember the movie “Grumpy Old Men,” starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon? They set the standard for being cranky retirees whose lives revolves around fishing.
So until someone has to wheel me down to my boat or I have to wear Depends when I’m out there fishing, I’m going to love this senior-citizen gig.
Yeah, I’m getting older. But I’m still able to celebrate the advantages of my wrinkles, gray hair and aches and pains.
And besides, every time I pull a big fish into the boat, I don’t feel so old anyway.