It’s fat wallet season

It’s that time of year when many of us in Wyoming find ourselves sitting crooked. It’s not a sore back or a bum leg. It’s a wad of paper in our hip pocket.

Around the first of September, a good number of Wyomingites start tilting a little bit when we sit. Some of us develop a bit of a limp.

It’s not a permanent malady, and it’s not even really a bad thing. It’s just a bunch more paper than we usually carry in one of our back pockets.

You have your fishing license all year, but then you start adding to it. There’s the bird and small game license, and that might get stuck into the billfold before the first of the year. If you stick your duck stamp to the back of it, you’ll have to carry last year’s license, too, because that’s the one with the current stamp on it. You don’t get to take last year’s bird license out of your pocket until June, when the new duck stamp comes out.

Then there are all the big game tags. Antelope, deer, and elk, and sometimes you’ll have three deer and goat licenses and two for elk.

If you were really lucky, you might have a bighorn sheep, moose or mountain goat license. Maybe even a bison tag. Some folks have been known to draw a sheep and a moose in the same year. Now you’re really starting to get a fat billfold. Don’t forget the black bear and turkey licenses. And maybe a furbearer or a mountain lion tag. And if you’re an archer, you’ll have an archery permit to add to the stack. The new licenses they print right at the store cut down a little on the size of the pile, but it still adds up.

But by October, some people start thinning that pile out. As the big game meat starts filling up the freezer, the wallet starts slimming down. You can tell the successful hunters from those like me, because the ones who get their critters are sitting straighter, while I’m still canted off to the right.

Here’s to fat wallets in September and thin ones by Halloween.