Cheers & Jeers

Letters to Field & Stream from our readers with comments from the editors.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Turning the Solunar Tables

I am writing to complain about your dropping the Solunar Tables. I've been getting your magazine for over 20 years and have used them for just that long. They have always helped my hunting and fishing.

Frank Giacomazzi
Napa, Calif.

One of the main reasons I subscribe to Field & Stream is the Solunar Tables, which I refer to frequently, and I'm disappointed that they did not appear in the January issue when they were scheduled to. What happened to them?

Ron Winstead
Lake Placid, Fla.

  • We miscalculated the popularity of the tables and dropped them. The howls of rage that followed were so loud and sustained that we have picked them up again. The Solunar Tables started again in the April issue and will run every other month as before, two months' worth at a time.
    -The Much Wiser Editors

The Price of Corn?

Corey Ford's Lower Forty "hopelessly corny" (Cheers & Jeers, February)? At least you didn't say something equally stupid about Gene Hill. Ah, for some good old-fashioned corn!
Howard Reeves
via Internet

When I read your comment that The Lower Forty would be considered hopelessly corny, I dug around and found some of Corey's "corn" and spent an evening being delighted. If that's what you call corny, it makes me wonder if you've spent too much time on Park Avenue and not enough rubbing elbows with the likes of us. And God forbid what you may think of Gene Hill. I think you would do well to have a Corey Ford or two on your staff.
James E. Lowe
Beckley, W.Va.

  • _Some of Corey Ford's works like "The Road to Tinkhamtown" and "Just a Dog" are immortal, but the fact is that what one generation considers funny bores the next one stiff.

Look at some of the TV comedians who shared the era of The Lower Forty: Red Skelton, Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, and Jack Benny, for example. They were all great in their time, but can you see them getting a show today?

As for Gene Hill, we miss him beyond words, as both a writer and a friend._-The Editors

Low Marx for Reiger
After having read several of George Reiger's columns and his reply to a letter writer in the February Cheers & Jeers, it occurred to me that Karl Marx would really have liked this guy.
Michael Gordon
Jacksonville, Fla.

I recently read George Reiger's articles "The Myth of Wildlife Management" and "What Good Is Hunting?" on your Web site's Conservation page. As an agency biologist and lifelong California outdoorsman, I found his pieces quite negative and more destructive than constructive. Many accusations were made against the USFWS, but no evidence was given. I know other biologists in several western states that have devoted their lives to wildlife management through government service. We should support those individuals and encourage others to join them instead of attacking the system as a whole.
Nathaniel Graveline
California Department of Fish and Game
Fresno, Calif.

Nausea & Disgust
I've been married 18 years, and after reading Bill Heavey's "Rut Strategies for the Married Hunter" (February), I wanted to vomit. My wife would never tell me that my hunting season was over-never. If I was in the shower and she handed me the baby with a dirty diaper and said that my season was over I would hand her back the baby, load my truck, and hunt. Bill Heavey states that he has a sportsman's life. I think not.
S. Caccamo
via Internet

I just read John Merwin's "Real Rods, Unreal Prices" (January) and am absolutely disgusted. How many $600 rods did you get for running that story? I've been fishing for many years, and used those high-dollar rods, and there is no difference between them and a $100 rod. The talent of fllyfishing lies with the fisherman, not the rod.
Jon Miller
Denver, Colo.

  • We didn't get a single one. And we're absolutely disgusted.
    -The Editors

More Kudos for the Kids...

I was moved to tears by the wisdom of 16-year-old Seth Bichler, the winner of your Young Writers Contest (February). He gave me something I had missed for 62 years-a greater understanding of all things living on this earth. This is one of the best things that has ever happened to Field & Stream.

The piece was so honest and heartfelt that I hope he continues to write. Whoever said "And a child shall lead them" knew what they were talking about.
Chuck Harris
Clifton, Texas

Three cheers times 10 for the young writers in your contest and to you for sponsoring it. As a teacher and a parent, I see the good and the bad of the younger generation every day. Amid the cries of apathy, delinquency, and irresponsibility, what's often lost is recognition of ambition, commitment, and accomplishment. There are a lot of great kids out there, and these writers are terrific role models for young people and adults alike. When you give kids opportunity and a little guidance, you might be surprised at what they can accomplish.
Scott Taylor
Noble, Texas

...and a Different Take
When I was a kid, my best hunting and fishing buddy was my Uncle Joe, a tough ex-Marine corporal who had fought on Guadalcanal. As Joe grew older, his enthusiasm for hunting declined. I didn't understand. When I was a kid with my first .22, I shot everything that moved and never thought twice about it. If I caught bluegills that were too small to eat, I just threw them on the bank.

Now, at 76, I'm becoming like Joe. I like venison, but deer graze in my backyard and I have to go off somewhere to hunt. The last doe I shot was full of milk. The hell with it; I'll buy Australian venison at the butcher shop. For the last 15 years I've practiced only catch-and-release fishing. What's happening?

I guess that as I approach the end of my life each day is valued as precious, and I don't want to steal life from other creatures for no reason. I don't think I'll teach my 2-year-old grandson to hunt. I look forward to taking him fishing, though.
Paul D. Ellner
New Milford, Conn.