Fuel for Thought

A drilling debate, poaching pains, and an antler attack.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Reader reaction to Ted Kerasote's "Drilling the Wild" (F&S; Report) in our October issue was extremely heavy and highly varied. While a handful of readers threatened to cancel their subscriptions over the piece, the other extreme asked permission to make copies so they could edify friends and colleagues.
-THE EDITORS

I'm writing regarding "Drilling the Wild" by Ted Kerasote. Horrible. Disgustingly slanted. This article is heavy on the rhetoric and light on the facts. If Kerasote has his way, most of the "offroad" initiatives passed by an earlier administration would lock us out of the public lands. His liberal, Earth-first politics are not what your readers are about. We are about public use and public stewardship. Do not turn this magazine into the Sierra Club Monthly.
KEN JOHNSON
Boise, Idaho

Every American who values outdoor heritage should read Ted Kerasote's "Drilling the Wild." The Bush administration has pursued an agenda of aggressive oil and gas drilling on public lands. President Bush should seek a balanced energy policy that respects the investment sportsmen have made in America's natural heritage, and that does not sacrifice the hunting and fishing opportunities we cherish.
CARL POPE
Sierra Club Executive Director

As a blue-collar Wyoming resident, I feel compelled to respond to Kerasote's attack. In Wyoming, it's the oil and gas extraction industries that foot the bill for our schools, highways, and other state-funded projects. Other people are up in arms over the current cost of heating oil, gasoline, and diesel fuel. It's easy to complain about it. Here in Wyoming, we're doing something about it-we're making more. When you all quit using it, we'll quit making it.
DAN WILLIAMS
Casper, Wyo.

If the Bush administration moves forward with their horrible energy policy, we can look forward to using our guns as wall decorations. There are other ways to create energy that do not make a profit for wealthy campaign contributors. The rape of the environment continues until we get rid of the best government that money can buy.
KEVIN SIME
Via e-mail

Recent letters and articles suggest we vote Bush out. As a Ducks Unlimited and NRA member, I think this is a sterling idea. With the other party in power, we won't have guns or hunting seasons or be able to afford the gas prices for recreation. Good thinking, guys!
RON RUSSELL
Salt Lake City, Utah

Thank you so much for printing the harm this administration is doing to the habitat that supports our hunting and fishing. The desecration of our land will be the legacy left for our children. What has happened to the party of Teddy?
JEROME LIPETZKYT
Alpine, Calif.

Thanks for having the courage to eat crow and print something critical of George Bush. Editors of outdoor magazines got bruises patting themselves on the back for helping to elect pro-gun George Bush. Now, they're stunned that oilman Bush didn't mean to work for wildlife or outdoor recreation. If you single-issue vote [BRACKET "for"] gun rights, you get what you deserve.
LANNY SCHWARTZ
Via e-mail

Interesting. After reading Kerasote's article, I counted three ads for trucks and numerous pitches for ATVs in your magazine. What do we run them on? Salad oil? When the Alaska pipeline went in, environmental Armageddon was predicted. I've yet to see it happen. But we all witnessed what the geopolitical reality of foreign energy dependence got us on 9/11. Of course, we could ditch our ATVs and opt for mules. Life is a vale of tears.
J.M. JOHNSON
_Brookings, Ore. _

BREAKDOWN ON TAKEDOWN
The sentences received by the three main poachers in "Takedown" by Hal Herring do not even qualify as a slap on the wrist. Two to ffour months in jail is an insult to hunters, taxpayers, and the law enforcement officers that spent two years investigating these criminals. Their sentences make me wonder if the judge was one of Lodis Williams' hunting buddies.
DAVID BOYLES
Bainbridge, Ga.

"Takedown" is an excellent example of how a few bad apples can ruin the reputations of all sportsmen. Thank you to the California game wardens for putting ruthless poachers and their disgusting practices behind bars.
BRYAN BUHR
Frazee, Minn.

In an otherwise informative article, Hal Herring states in the second paragraph of "Takedown" that poachers "spooked a small herd of whitetails." This is a mistake because there are no whitetail deer in the state of California (excluding zoos and ranches).
PHILIP LATTEIER
_Rowland Heights, Calif. _

_Reader Latteier is correct. California has only blacktails and mule deer. _
-THE EDITORS

COVER LETTER
I found your October cover particularly offensive. Your depiction of a man returning from a hunt with nothing but antlers, presumably leaving the remainder of the caribou as waste, glorifies the most irresponsible and reprehensible of practices. This illustrates beautifully why sport hunting is a cruel waste of our wildlife and needs to be outlawed.
KIM HANKS
Sacramento, Calif.

_How about outlawing ignorant letters? Under Alaska regulations, you are required to bring out the meat from all big-game animals, and you may not pack out antlers until all the meat has been brought to your point of departure. This means that the antlers usually come out alone on the last trip. Any other issues you'd like to address? _
-THE EDITORS

LIFE OF THE PARTY
For "Party Animal" by Bill Heavey, I say, "thank you." Early on I learned that hunting is as much about discovering who I am as it is about putting meat on the table. And I'd bet that I'm not alone in that belief. It's too bad your article couldn't be presented to all the antis out there. It might open their minds a bit.
NATE GROVE
Durham, N.H.