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Hats Off to CA DFW

s a disabled veteran living in California, I recently discovered that the state of California, often maligned and ridiculed by much of the nation at large, has something to be very proud of. All disabled veterans, regardless of their state of residence, need to pay very close attention to the following: unless you are a “resident” of a particular state, don’t expect any respect or recognition in the area of reduced hunting and fishing license fees, and even if you are a resident, in most cases, don’t expect very much consideration, period.

News Flash: The state of California may be the only state in the nation that offers equal consideration to resident and non-resident sportsmen and sportswomen who are disabled veterans with regard to reduced license fees. Some states offer little or nothing at all to their own residents and nothing to non-residents. Most states offer some type of reduced license fee to residents, and nothing at all to non-residents. A few states, such as Idaho, offer a reduced fee to non-residents, but only after the non-resident shows evidence of association with a recognized veterans association and jumps through additional “hoops” to prove their worthiness. These additional “hoops” are not required of Idaho residents who are disabled veterans.

I bring this simple bit of logic to the equation: all military veterans who engaged in foreign wars risked life and limb in service to their country, the United States of America. A soldier residing in California didn’t merely serve in time of war for the state of California. That soldier fought for his country—the entire nation. This leaves me wondering why a particular state’s fish and wildlife department would choose to make a distinction between a resident and a non-resident when it comes to disabled veterans’ license fee reductions.

Obviously, the state of California does not make any distinction. It offers equal parity to resident and non-resident alike in consideration of the disabled veteran’s service to their country.

I salute the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in this regard. I am proud to be a resident of California, and no matter what anyone says, we got it right on this one.

Don E. Webster has been engaged in a wide variety of outdoor pursuits for over 60 years. His recently published book, Bury Me In My Waders-An Old Duck Hunter Recalls His Fowl Past, currently ranks among the most popular, best-selling duck hunting books on Amazon Books and Amazon Kindle. His next book, a selection of his columns from MyOutdoorBuddy.Com, entitled Bears, Beer, Trout Tacos, Etc" will be published in mid-summer. Don's website is


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