Need a duck stamp? Just dial 1-800-TRAMP24

Did you hear about the controversial snafu that occurred with the duck stamps issued by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service? It seems our federal government, in its infinite wisdom, published the wrong phone number on a card attached to this years duck stamp. People calling the number to order duck stamps are greeted not by a friendly Fish and Wildlife representative but instead by a seductive female voice on a phone sex-line. The number was supposed to be published as 1-800-STAMP24, or 1-800-782-6724. Instead, it went out as 1-800-TRAMP24, or 1-800-872-6724. Call that second number and youll be welcomed by Intimate Connections and enticed by a husky female voice to talk only to the girls that turn you on, for $1.99 a minute. Too funny. A duck stamp is a requirement for hunting migratory waterfowl - more than 1.5 million are sold each year for $15 apiece. The revenue raised is used to purchase waterfowl habitat for the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Fish and Wildlife Service printed about 3.5 million duck stamps attached to cards with the 1-800-TRAMP24 number. An agency spokeswoman, Rachel Levin, said it would cost $300,000 to reprint them. I don't know that it would be worth it to do a reprint, Levin told an Associated Press reporter. That's a lot of money we could be using for wildlife conservation. With all of the needs for conservation, it doesn't make sense to divert money away from an important cause. Maybe so, but what a windfall for the owner of 1-800-TRAMP24. You just cant buy that kind of advertising. Makes you wonder if they have a family member employed by the Fish and Wildlife Services printing shop. Sharp stick season right around the corner Bow season opens next weekend, Sept. 27 and early bear opened Sept. 13. Ive been busy scouting and hanging stands and have encountered plenty of deer sign and a ton of feed. I cant remember a year with more apples and acorns - many of which already litter the forest floor. There are even some beechnuts. All this feed in the forest is probably why we are seeing less deer around our roadways than in years past, because the need for finding food hasnt driven them out. Its going to be a little difficult to corner them with a bow because they have so much feed, but Im looking forward to giving it a whirl. Keep in mind that those who did not fill their regular season buck tag last season can use it during the first four days of the Northern Zone bow season on either a buck of doe. You can also fill your unused bow/muzzleloader tags on either a buck or doe during the first four days of the Northern Zone bow season Saturday, Sept. 27 to Tuesday, Sept. 30. Consult page 24 of this years hunting & trapping guide for further information on these regulations. John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com.

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