Back to the Future

Kudos for Nuge, not enough crazies, writers under rocks.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Reader reaction to "The Future of Hunting" in our July issue was very heavy and highly favorable. (The exception was the New York Times, which took a long enough respite from running bogus reporting to decide that the article signaled the end of the sport.) In a stunning rejection of good taste, the most favorable response was drawn by "Follow the Nuge," Bill Heavey's interview with the Motor City Madman.-The Editors

Good Nuge
I dare say this is the best issue ever released by this fine magazine. Thanks for all the great info and for letting the Soldier of Our Rights ("Follow the Nuge") have some time with your readers. Wish there were more men and women like the Nuge kicking ass for all of us!

Josh Hall
Bennington, N.H.

There was more bold truth and dynamic vision packed into your brief interview with Ted Nugent than in anything I have seen in over 30 years of reading outdoor publications.

Ward Parker
Elkhorn, Neb.

Ted is irrelevant as a musician, but his lyrical prowess as a sportsman should be heeded by every hunter in America. The fact that fewer hunters are spending more dollars is a short-term windfall for the hunting industry, but also a sign of horrible things to come.

Mike Helsabeck
Lexington, N.C.

The Verdict on "Hunting"
If there is a problem with hunting in America, it's one that you guys created, and I realized it when you featured a "custom" SUV for waterfowling. Give me a break! I let my son read your magazine, and now he is convinced that we have to spend a ton of money to hunt. He forgets his successful hunts as a "pauper."

Paul Murphy
via e-mail

"The Future of Hunting" was timely and informative, but I was disappointed with your July cover, which showed no girls or women. Overlooking female readers will not contribute to the health of the outdoor experience. Please include girls. Together with our men, we will provide a stewardship that will ensure places to hunt and fish for the generations that follow.

Robin Nielson
via e-mail

Bob Marshall did a great job with "The Future of Hunting," but I believe that the walk-in program was the brainchild of Terry Riley, who at that time worked for the South Dakota game department and is now with the Wildlife Management Institute.

Also, I was especially interested in question 34, wherein 79 percent of your respondents rated the Bush administration as good, very good, or excellent on protecting the interests of hunters and sportsmen. This would indicate that the conservation community has a large public education project ahead of it.

Chuck Clayton
Vice President
Izaak Walton League of America

Out here we have plenty of quality habitat, but less access every year. Walking 3 or 4 miles through sagebrush just to reach the hunting (never mind dragging a 300-pound carcass out) is not a "quality experience." The only people who seem to think so are the wildlife managers, who drive when and where they please. And they wonder why we drop out and don't recruit newcomers? There just aren't enough 24-year-old triathletes or other crazies to take our place.

Chic Barnett
Helena, Mont.

I found two things especially interesting in your July issue. One was the fact that only 43 percent of your readers are NRA members. The other was Bill Heavey's article (A Sportsman's Life) on the draconian measures being taken to "protect national security." God forbid someone attacks the Coast Guard in a nuclear-powered, Zebco-equipped, Aegis-class canoe!

The NRA is doing its best to keep our guns from being confiscated by the same government that created the Patriot Act, thereby enabling strip searches of 80-year-old women in the interests of airline safety. I encourage every reader to join the NRAA; $35 a year is a good investment toward saving your guns.

Robert Collins
Pensacola, Fla.

Bill Heavey, Traitor?
In response to Bill Heavey's "Code Orange Fishing" (A Sportsman's Life), in case he's been living under a rock, you might want to inform him that our nation is at war with an enemy more dangerous than ever before. We are locked in a battle that threatens our existence as a nation as dire as when the Founding Fathers fought for our sovereignty. Americans like him want freedom without sacrifice or inconvenience.

Jamie P. Tierney
Jamul, Calif.

Most writers live under rocks since they can't afford anything else, but we digress. Bill Heavey responds: "My shame is more than I can bear, and I have chosen to depart this earth while looking at a photo of Attorney General John Ashcroft. His is the last face I want to see." -The Editors

Bill Heavey, Major Talent?
When he first appeared in Field & Stream, I was not terribly impressed with Bill Heavey, but then he wrote of the death of his infant ("Lilyfish," July 2000) and I was blown away. I've been taking your magazine for 25 years and had begun to think that the Strungs, Truebloods, Hills, and Zerns were too great to be replaced, but nothing I've read in all those years compares to "The Lion Dogs." I was transported to another place and reminded of the sadness of my own losses and how everything we do in the field is about these oldest of issues.

My deep thanks to Mr. Heavey for his talent, his heart, and his ability to share it.

Jeff Behm
New Wilmington, Pa.

A Kind Word for Brian Luke
Thomas McIntyre's "Sex, Hunting, and Rednecks" is a sad commentary on what passes for academic thought these days. And yet there is some truth in the conclusions drawn by Brian Luke. I know a hunter who becomes openly sexual and unapologetically shovey about it when exposed to the thrill of the chase. It took me 41 years to meet this woman, and I advise Assistant Professor Luke to sign up for a hunter-safety course tomorrow.

Jack Reipe
West Chester, Pa.