Leftover turkey licenses now on sale

If you forgot to apply for your spring turkey license, or just want an extra one, today is the day that all remaining licenses go on sale.

Earlier this week, zone-specific licenses went on sale, one zone per day (leftover licenses for Zone 3, which includes most of Shawano County and all of Waupaca County, went on sale Wednesday). Now “tags” in all seven zones are on sale, and you can purchase them at the rate of one per day until they are gone. “Bonus turkey harvest authorizations” are $10 each for residents, $15 for non-residents.

A total of 109,771 are available. You can purchase them at any license vendor or at GoWild.WI.Gov. Go to this site to see what seasons and zones are remaining: dnr.wi.gov/permits/springturkey.html

Seasons A (April 17-23), B (April 24-30) and C (May 1-7) are full for all seven zones already.

With snow still remaining in many areas (but melting fast), it seems like spring may be a bit late this year. I’ve turkey hunted in snow before and those of you who picked the season aligning with last year’s record-breaking snowstorm in mid-April are probably already locked in with a May tag. These extra licenses may go fast, so don’t wait.

When preparing to buy one of my extra turkey tags, I realized that I needed to first buy my Conservation Patron license so that I would get my first spring turkey license included. I also didn’t remember from last year that the DNR’s Go Wild online licensing system charges a 1.75 percent “convenience fee” for using a credit card (don’t most people use a credit card online?). It does allow you to use a checking account (assumably a debit card) without additional fees. So my $165 patron license, $6 bobcat application and $3 upriver lakes sturgeon spearing permit application cost me an additional $3.05 in fees, bringing my grand total to $177.05.

If you’ve never bought a Conservation Patron license, it’s really a convenient way to get almost all the hunting, fishing and trapping licenses you will need for the year ahead at one time. You do need to wait until your county’s Deer Advisory Council announces the number of free antlerless permits they will issue before printing them, and you still need to buy a federal duck stamp to hunt waterfowl, but almost everything is included. It also includes the fees associated with most applications, such as spring turkey licenses!

If you are forgetful (old age will do that, you know), it’s also an easy way to forget about missing upcoming application deadlines, because you can immediately apply for the next year’s permits. I strongly recommend you investigate the patron license if you haven’t before.

Soda and injured fish

Some of the urban legends or folk remedies generated by sportsmen are amazingly far-fetched. I remember in Virgil Ward’s day (remember his TV show?), some anglers used Bactine on their lures to supposedly catch more fish. Is Bactine even around anymore? I still have an old bottle in the medicine cabinet. It was a quick antiseptic for moms to squirt on her kids’ cuts.

In Steve Rinella’s latest “Meat Eater” email, there’s a new one I had not heard of. It seems someone started the story that Coke, Mountain Dew and other sodas have the ability to help a fish recover from a hook cut.

According to author Spencer Neuharth, posting on the MeatEater blog, a video entitled “Saving a Giant Musky with Diet Coke” and making the rounds on Facebook has been viewed more than 1.6 million times. A fishing guide pours soda on the bleeding musky, claiming the carbonated bubbles swell the blood vessels and stop the bleeding. He then releases the fish. An aquatic biologist quoted in the blog said the quack remedy is only going to make things worse. Sensitive gills need the water the wounded fish lives in ASAP, not a rinse of acid.

The crazy fix for wounded fish has been repeated so often in social media and by word of mouth that Dr. Steven J. Cooke, a fish ecologist at Carleton University, is going to conduct research on the effects of soda on a fish’s gills and report his findings this fall.

If you’d like to read the blog, go to www.themeateater.com/fish/bass/stop-pouring-soda-on-fish-gills.

I tend to be a bit skeptical of everything I read on the internet, especially this one. One of my high school teachers taught me what soda does to a chicken wishbone. Just soak it overnight in soda and you’ll be able to tie it in a knot the next day. We know what soda does to teeth and bones, so I don’t think it’s going to benefit a fish.