Tag Soup- the Undesired Meal

The Undesired Meal

Always smiling! Leigh's positive attitude about an unfilled tag is refreshing. Always smiling! Leigh's positive attitude about an unfilled tag is refreshing.


I cannot think of a hunter who applies for an out-of-state tag, submits his or her credit card information, clicks "send" and sits back thinking, "Wow! I can't wait to get the tag in the mail to see what kind of font the state uses to print hunting license" and " I sure hope it goes with my other unfilled tags from over the years" says no one, ever! For those hunters who do not own hunting land to hunt exclusively, and even if you do, destination hunts are one of the best and most memorable trips one can take with their family, buddies, or even alone. Once you arrive at camp, you are so glad you stepped out of the comfort zone of your home state to see different terrain, meet new and probably now life-long friends, and embarked on the adventure.

Once the precise hunting location of an outfitter, for instance, is determined, the first order of business is where or how you're going to obtain a hunting license and tag, permit or stamp. Every state's process of obtaining these important pieces of paper is different for each animal and can vary unit to unit within the state. Whether tags are granted via lottery, over-the-counter, application, etc. in most cases, 100% of the hunting and fishing license fees go to the state's Parks and Wildlife Department for on-the-ground conservation efforts, as well as law enforcement such as game wardens. Personally, I have to remind myself of this at least a couple of times a year and especially when I open my desk drawer and see the folder full of unfilled tags. Yep, I admitted it. I have my share of unused tags and permits, as well as out of state license with my name in various pretty fonts. In fact, because of our hunting show and the number of trips we take per year attempting to capture entertaining content for the show (but have an absolute blast regardless of the outcome), I probably have just as many unfilled tags as ones I've left on racks and legs of animals. For the "BBD! Ahhhh!! This is why we do it!" trips that ended with a visit to the taxidermist, I can look at those animals hanging on the wall and smile, but I also find myself reminiscing about each and every trip associated with the pieces of paper in the folder simply titled " Tags". For many of you we meet at shows, I appreciate the questions and comments like, "I'd love to have your job!" or "Do you always kill big bucks?" but the real answers are we love our full time careers in the financial industry (shocked, it's not hunters, aren't you? ha!) and we definitely do not take home animals from all trips. After paying the fee of $450 for a permit and license to hunt whitetail, I've sarcastically said things like, "the state of Illinois sure is proud of their permits?!", the lessons, experiences and memories I gained from our trips are really priceless. If I could offer any first-time destination hunter a bit of advice, it'd be enjoy each and every minute of your trip and soak up and be thankful to our Creator for the numerous gifts He offers us in the great outdoors. If you're able to feed your family from a successful hunt, then give thanks over the meals it provides. While "tag soup" is an undesired meal that is not my first choice, the fullness from the adventure is much better than the emptiness for not going for it! Keep Chasin'! 

1 Comment;

  • Mike

    I think most of us have had the experience. It's sometimes what you get when you hold out for the Big Boy! Thanks Leigh!

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