Now that I’m done bawling, I can say that Mitch Kezar’s “One Great Dog” (May) is yet another example of great Field & Stream writing and, more importantly, the real reasons we readers love the outdoors. It’s great to come home with ducks and pheasants, but the things that surround our hunting experiences are the best part. I’ve buried a few great dogs, and I hope they’re chasing woodchucks with Mitch’s dog Lia and keeping Will Rogers company.
Kris Peterson, Lafayette, Calif.
I’ve been reading F&S; for 25 years, and I’ve never felt the need to thank one of your writers as much as I do right now. Two days after I read “One Great Dog,” I had to lay my German shorthaired pointer to rest. I don’t remember ever doing something that hurt me as much. But I took comfort in the knowledge that Dee is buried where pheasants will raise their young above her, and my new dog and I can pass her on our walks. Thanks, Mitch.
S.J. O’Brien, Bozeman, Mont.
“One Great Dog” was a tug on my heart. It was five years ago today that I had to put my boy to sleep. Grizz was 14, a duck-retrieving machine, a bodyguard to my kids, and a four-legged garbage disposal. There wasn’t a duck he wouldn’t get or a rock he wouldn’t fall asleep on. I still feel a void every day. Get the duck, Grizz!
Brad Harris, Tacoma, Wash.
David E. Petzal’s sidebar “Deaf Is Deaf” (Rifles) did a great disservice to the many thousands of people who have nerve-trauma hearing loss. Mr. Petzal made the mistake that many make when getting their first hearing aid-he was not persistent. You must wear them for at least 60 days, and if one kind doesn’t work, try another. I tried seven different kinds before I found one that worked for me.
Al Lingg, Moscow, Idaho
I’m afraid that Mr. Petzal’s comments will dissuade individuals with hearing problems from attempting to recover a part of that loss. Don’t help develop a negative attitude. There are miracles out there. All the birds came back the day I started wearing mine. I can hear my grandchildren calling and I can tell time from clock chimes. And I can take them out and pretend I understand everything my wife is saying.
James E. Moulton, Chula Vista, Calif.
David E. Petzal replies:_ When the doctor prescribed them, he said, “Don’t expect much.” When, after wearing them for more than two years, I told him that I’d given up on the things, he said, “I’m not surprised.” I spent a small fortune and had this funny idea that they should have worked. My point is, if you wear earmuffs, you can save yourself this experience altogether._
ABDICATION OF EDITORIAL RESPONSIBILITY
In “Petzal’s Picks” (Gearing Up), the author referred to “horrifying cartridges that will blast the turret off an M-1 tank.” Considering the fact that anti-gun senators like Feinstein and Schumer want to restrict us to bows and arrows, an exaggerated statement will only scare an uninformed public when they quote it and use the name Field & Stream to proclaim its truth. What really gets me is that I have to complain to four editors above Petzal. Where were they when he turned in his copy? At a Teddy Kennedy pep rally? Well, I don’t know how you all feel about this letter, but I feel better.
Jere Scole Jr., Kennebunk, Maine
David E. Petzal replies: _Jere, you have to get a grip, as well as an understanding of the use of sarcasm in journalism. Also, I doubt that Sens. Schumer and Feinstein spend much time reading Field & Stream in order to make war on the Second Amendment. As for the two (not four) editors who supposedly shirked their duty, they were at the bank withdrawing their kids’ college money to give to the NRA when that piece of copy went through. But we’re glad you feel better; that’s what we’re here for. _
CORRECTION: In “Fishing Destiny,” Ken Schultz stated that Mexico’s Lake Huites was the best water in North America to catch a wall-hanger bass. Unfortunately, the outfitter he recommended has temporarily closed their lodge on Huites and moved to another lake because of suddenly poor fishing, allegedly due to netting and fish kills. Three other lodges on Huites are still in operation, but Schultz advises anglers who are considering a trip to contact Wet-a-Line Tours (888-295-4665; www.wetaline.com) before making plans.