The License

The photo above is a hunting license issued to E. Sterling more than 70 years ago by the Texas Game, Fish, & Oyster Commission (now known as the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department). (Photo by Russell Graves)

By Russell Graves

Seventy-eight years ago, E. Sterling stepped into an office somewhere in Dallas and smacked down $2 to purchase a Texas hunting license from agent John R. Mitchell.

The license was issued by the Texas Game, Fish, & Oyster Commission (now known as the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department). Now, I don’t know Mr. Sterling but I do know that he was 5′ 10″ tall, 180 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, and was 40 when he purchased the license (that means he was born in 1898).

Around the turn of the new century, a twist of fate put his license in my hands. I found the small leather pouch a few years ago when I was digging through a box of stuff that my mom set aside for me.

As I sifted through pictures and trophies – all of which were recognizable – this little leather pouch, however, was foreign. I asked my mother about it and she told me that she put it in my box because I might like to have it. When I opened the pouch, I unfolded this old, yellowed license.

To read more pick up a copy of the October 2016 NTFR issue.