Sticking to Our Guns

Big-bore banter, busted jaws, and locking out Labs.

Field & Stream Online Editors

I had to laugh when I read "Elk arsenal" by David E. Petzal. More big-bore nonsense. It seems like Petzal is trying to compensate for something by fielding a much larger bore than necessary. I have taken over 20 bull elk, all but one with my .30/06. Many have been one-shot kills. Shot placement is the key, not bore size. I groan at the thought of hauling one of those excessively heavy, hard-kicking rifles all day long up and down the mountains.
John Cleveland, via e-mail

_David E. Petzal replies: Maybe you laughed so hard you couldn't read what I wrote. I don't like the weight and the kick either. And I never said that power was a substitute for accurate shooting. If you've killed 20 elk, you've done a tremendous amount of hunting. Most people don't get many elk hunts, and they get even fewer shots. And from my experience, when you have those kinds of odds, it's better to have a big rifle. _

** PETZAL RATED PG-13**
As far as I'm concerned, you've displayed your lack of good taste for the last time. Your snide editorial responses are neither funny nor manly (Cheers & Jeers). I wonder, if you responded to someone face-to-face in like manner, would you end up with a busted jaw? Gutless anonymity brings out the worst in some. Before her first elk hunt, I was going to have my daughter read David E. Petzal's "The Good Elk Hunts Will Almost Kill You," until I read his account of how to keep his balls from being smashed in the saddle. Freedom of speech is great. But just because you can say anything you want doesn't mean you should. Jeff Anderson, via e-mail

Field & Stream is edited for an audience that is overwhelmingly male and is not likely to be offended by the occasional expletive. In fact, we are a lot tamer than most magazines, and there is a fairly extensive list of words that you never will read in these pages. We realize that some readers find our Cheers & Jeers answers sophomoric, but the vast majority get a kick out of them. And as for the anatomical noun in Petzal's story, we have received exactly two complaints about it out of a readership of 10 million. -The Editors

DOG BEFORE DENOMINATION
I just finished Jim Harrison's story, "Dog Years," and I have some advice. First, if you have food in your truck, lock the Lab outside, run like hell into the tavern, drink quickly, and pray the Lab hasn't found a way into the cab. Second, if your church doesn't think gun dogs go to heaven, change churches. All kidding aside, the story was great.
Jack Hanley, Barnstead, N.H.

I LOVE CHEAP GLASS
I could run down to our local sporting-goods store and buy a lightly used rifle and a good pistol and still have money left for shells for the cost of a pair of those binoculars (Gearing Up). I understand you showcase the best (and consequently, I enjoy drooling over rifles that cost more than new tires for my truck), but when you title an article "Binoculars on a Budget," whose budget are we talking about? Maybe I'm tighter than ol' Scrooge himself, but I got my binoculars at a garage sale for 10 bucks, and they see just as far, focus just as quickly, and look just as clear as your $600 pair. I love your magazine. That article just got me fired up. I had to vent to somebody, and my wife wasn't interested. If I can't tell you guys, who can I tell? Now, do some bargain shopping, would you?!
C.P. Baker, via e-mail

We're not interested in saving our readers money. We want them to spend every cent on expensive sporting goods so that they'll have to live on cheap, gas-producing vegetables, sell their dogs, and drive pickups with pathetic four-cylinder engines. -THE EDITORS

FIELD & STREAM DAILY?
Just so you know, your magazine is the reason I go to the mailbox every morning.
Andy Hill, Monroe, Ga.