Cheers & Jeers

February 2002: You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!

Field & Stream Online Editors

Stream & Field?
Your magazine is put together exactly backward. You bind the cards in so I have to tear up my copy to get the cards out and you rubber-cement the cover so it won't stay shut. Don't expect me to renew my subscription.
Randall H. Covington
Winterville, Ga.

_ .possible as soon as it correct will We .error glaring this out point to time the taking your appreciate We-The Editors_

Who Pays?
In George Reiger's article "Supreme Folly" (November), he plays fast and loose with the facts of the case he describes. What the court held was that the government is not automatically shielded from liability when a landowner transfers land that was stolen from him as a result of government regulation that destroys the land's value.

If Mr. Reiger is correct in his evaluation of the importance of wetlands, then the public should be more than willing to spend its money (i.e., taxes) to purchase, maintain, and restore these areas. Why Mr. Reiger expects a small minority of landowners to bear the costs for wetland protections that presumably benefit us all is what is truly disturbing, not a Supreme Court that tries to treat everyone fairly.
David J. Hunnicutt
via Internet

_George Reiger replies: My principal source of facts for this article was the Washington Legal Foundation, a think tank that favored the U.S. Supreme Court's decision as much as Mr. Hunnicutt apparently does. WLF points out that the special nature of this case lies in its conclusion that a landowner "does not lose his constitutional right to compensation merely by acquiring property after a regulation goes into effect."

To insist that the public should pay owners for the potential as well as the actual value of their wetlands in order to preserve them pits the limitations of money against nature, because even Uncle Sam doesn't have enough cash to compensate every wetland owner in the country._

Glad to Be of Service**
**In the October issue, in his Sportsman's Notebook piece, "The Chamber of Horrors," Joe Doggett wrote about the practice of checking a bolt action's chamber with your little finger to make sure it's unloaded. As a hunting-safety instructor, I wish to congratulate Mr. Doggett and Field & Stream for passing along the accepted method of unloading and verifying empty a bolt-action firearm. Bravo!
Tim Lawhern
President
International Hunter Education Association

I want to thank you for publishing an awesome magazine. I am currently in the U.S. Navy stationed aboard the USS Enterprise. We have been away from our home port of Norfolk, Virginia, for many months. My wife forwards my Field & Stream to me whenever a new edition shows up, and I try to make time every day to read from it.

Your articles are written with such spirit and emotion that I actually feel like I'm there. I look forward to the day when I can get back home and spend some time in the great outdoors. Until then, I'm counting on you to keep up the great work. Thank you!
Karl Florentine
Chief Petty Officer
U.S. Navy
via Internet

Change for the Worse?
You seem to have missed the whole point of Bob Brennan's letter in the November edition regarding his decision to cancel his subscription. While your reply characterized his view as simply opposing change, I believe he was saying that your publication hasn't changed for the better. If you were producing copy as good as that of Corey Ford and Gene Hill, then he wouldn't have anything to lament.

The smart-alecky replies to reader letters is one of the worst trends in magazines. It may work with certain publications if they are truly clever and aren't overdone, but it gets old very quickly in your pages. What you may perceive as being hip and cool comes off as grating and obnoxious to manny of your readers.

I'm a relatively recent subscriber to your publication, so I don't have the frame of reference that Bob has. Whether or not I renew will depend on the basics: interesting, informative, and lively copy.
Ed Lopez
via Internet

_When we set about to change Cheers & Jeers we were aware that the new approach would offend some readers, but we believed that the majority would like it, and it appears that we were correct. We are getting far more mail than we used to, and C&J; has become one of our most popular columns. As for writers of the past versus writers of the present, better or worse can't be applied. Corey Ford's Lower Forty column (for example) was tremendously popular in its time, and Ford was a wonderful writer, but today it would seem hopelessly corny. Also, it takes a while to become a "great" writer, and most of the folks working for us now are early on in their careers. We're betting that a fair number of them become "greats" before they're done.-The Editors _

Matters of Taste
I am a fairly new subscriber and have enjoyed your informative and engaging magazine. However, in the November issue, there were two statements that really made me wonder. In "The Ice Deer," Keith McCafferty explains that he was hunting for his wife, his children, and his two house cats. Does McCafferty really feed his cats venison? Wasting hard-earned venison on a cat is ridiculous.

Second, in Lawrence Pyne's "Kicking Up Cottontails," he claims that "no species makes better eating." Hello!!?? What planet does this guy live on? I am a rabbit hunter too, but here are some of the other game meats I've tried that make better eating: moose, pheasant, elk, antelope, oryx, quail, deer, grouse, crane, goose, dove, and duck. And I'm sure there are others I haven't tried yet.
Kent Clayton
Albuquerque, N.M.
Saw Points
John Merwin's November Sportsman's Toolbox on chain-saw maintenance overlooks one very important fact: All handheld power equipment produced since 1996 falls under EPA emission-control regulations, and one of the ways in which these standards are met is through the use of low-emissions carburetors, which have a very different adjustment technique from what was described. While the method outlined in the article is basically correct, it is for pre-1996 saws only, and the "rough adjustment in the woods" would most probably result in severe engine damage due to an excessively lean air-to-fuel ratio.
Brad Bradford
Director of Technical Services
Timberland Machines
Lancaster, N.H.