Reflections on a hunting season without a back tag

Mark NaleLast fall was the first Pennsylvania hunting season of my life during which I wasn’t required to display my hunting license on my back.

Having the back-tag law changed seemed to be a big deal to some hunters, but I kind of liked wearing my license and seeing others display theirs. I know that almost all of the other states have eliminated this requirement, but so what? I guess that I am just “old school.”

People had touted — how convenient it would be to keep your license in your wallet and you wouldn’t always have to worry about the license holder getting ripped off your back when hunting through thick stuff.

I actually lost my hunting license once while crawling under a fence — I went back the next day and found it. On another occasion it came un-pinned from my hunting coat during the late small-game season — that one stayed lost. I’ve lost two fishing licenses during my lifetime of casting a line.  

What’s in your wallet? I don’t know about yours, but with a driver’s license, two vehicle registrations, insurance cards, business cards, a loyalty card or two, assorted credit cards and (if I’m lucky) a little cash, my wallet is full.

I met the new season and new regulation with mixed emotions — I carried my license in the pocket of my camo jacket while archery hunting. Without even thinking, I slipped it into the vinyl license holder the first day that I hunted small game. It just seemed natural.

Rifle deer season came and went — I stuffed  my license in an orange coat pocket, or so I thought. To be honest, I’m not sure where it is right now. And this is progress?
I hope that everyone else is enjoying the freedom to carry their hunting licenses in their wallets, but for me, I think that next year’s hunting license will stay safely in its holder and be displayed on my back.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Pennsylvania – Mark Nale

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