The Golf Widens

That clanking sound, trophy state debate, Baghdad bass.

Field & Stream Online Editors

I hope you get inundated by hunters who golf ("The Golf Between Us," Fair Game). Whereas Rick Reilly doesn't "get" hunting, Thomas McIntyre exercises the same misinformed, prejudged reasoning that he does. I'm a golfer and a hunter. I have never worn plus fours or a cardigan. Frankly, I get in hunting shape by walking the courses. Mr. McIntyre, I invite you to come golf with me in Montana. I can show you why golfers brag about their handicaps. And if you're really nice, I may show you some of my secret hunting spots.

Brad Rauch
Kalispell, Mont.

Where to begin? How did so much mean-spirited wrongheadedness get by an editorial review? I've seen a lot more fat guts in the NRA than the PGA. And as for trying to parallel great presidents to hunters or golfers, consider that there haven't been that many "great" presidents and most of them predated the late 19th century when golf first became established in the United States. F&S; might consider that most of their readers will never be able to afford a moose hunt, but a helluva lot of us enjoy golf.

Gary Hitchcock
Pulaski, N.Y.

You insinuate that golf courses destroy wildlife habitat. Why don't you and the environmentalists start picking on housing developments and shopping centers as the real destroyers of the natural environment? Tell the truth, you probably just stink at golf.

Scott Haupt
Eagle Point, Ore.

The game, certainly not a "sport," of golf (Game of Living Fossils) is practiced by a group of individuals that are envious of those of us that have the ability to use firearms. I don't know if it's the noise that scares them or the notion that hitting that little ball is better preparation for the uncertainties of our time. C'mon guys, melt down those little poles you use and cast them into things that go bang.

Harry Gold
Suffern, N.Y.

Thomas McIntyre replies: _All I can say is that I find it hard to take seriously any game that considers water a hazard and the deep woods an unplayable lie. _

From The Desk of¿¿¿
Thanks for David DiBenedetto's "Striper Crazy." It's great to read about the innovative, wonderfully crazy cusses out there who love living more than life itself.

Individuals like Paul Melnyk are true adventurers and keep the office-bound masses daydreaming about exciting days spent afield (and afloat).

John Strocchio
Glendale, Ariz.

I believe that clanking sound is Paul Melnyk's brass you-know-whats hitting dry land after surviving another skishing trip. It's thrilling to read stories like these, and that's why I am a loyal subscriber to your fine publication.

Susan Speranza
Gloucester, Mass.

_"Brass you-know-whats"? Whatever can you be talking about? But we appreciate your loyalty if not your explicitness. _ -THE EDITORS

**The Bourjaily Bandwagon **
I was glad to see Philip Bourjaily's "Young Guns." It's time that we, as outdoorsmen, do something about our younger generation and their ethics. All outdoor magazines should have these types of articles.

Billy Ennis
Plainview, Texas

M.I.A.-Missing in Article
I just read "Wall Hangers" by Gerald Almy. You missed West Virginia. At the Chief Logan State Park, closed many years ago to gun hunting, one of the biggest activities is deer watching. I see a big rack or two about every day.

Gregory Raines
Chapmanville, W.Va.

No, no. The piece was about hunting, not watching. You know, you shoot him and hang his head on the wall and eat the rest of him. Hunting. -THE EDITORS

Has Almy ever heard of a state called Michigan? Ninth in Pope and Young entries, 11th in Boone and Crockett! Not too shabby. I think any list of top 20 states to bag "trophy" whitetails that does nnot include Michigan appears to have been slapped together to meet a deadline.

Lloyd Miller Jr.
Livingston, Mont.

This article doesn't mention Arkansas, Louisiana, or Mississippi.

Dan Doughty
via e-mail

You forgot Massachusetts.

James Leclerc
East Longmeadow, Mass.

Gerald Almy replies: _And to think¿¿¿I figured I'd get people mad by including their favorite spots, not by overlooking them. Please, send in more revelations of your best trophy deer spots, and I'll "slap together" another story, cash my check, and retire with a margarita beside a pool in Mexico. _

Heavey Wrecks an Issue
I was very impressed by your latest issue until I found Bill Heavey's "I Want My Bass TV." Some folks who watch those programs might be offended. I don't think alienating your fishing subscribers is a very wise move.

Darrin Warren
Lebanon, Tenn.

Fishing in Iraq
My name is Jeff Thomas, Captain and Company Commander in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army. Last April, I fished at Saddam's palace, which has ponds containing large carp and largemouth bass. We improvised fishing hooks (sharpened paper clips), line (the white inner string from 550 cord), a float (foam earplugs), and a pole (radio antenna). We used cheese from the Meals Ready to Eat to catch a small carp, which we then cut up to catch the bass. We fished for several days, cooking our bass on palace open-pit barbecues. I had carried Mrs. Dash to spice up my MREs, and I used some butter and aluminum foil from a palace kitchen. Now, I'm back at Fort Stewart, Georgia, but those few days my soldiers and I enjoyed are some of the greatest fishing moments of my life.