May 2003

Letters From Our Readers

Field & Stream Online Editors

Not an Eager Beaver
I enjoyed Lionel Atwill's story ("One Tough Plane," March) on the de Havilland Beaver. My father was a pilot with the Ontario Provincial Air Service and flew over 8,500 hours on Beavers before his retirement. The second Beaver ever built, and the very first off the production line, is still flying and can be seen at the Ontario Bushplane Heritage Museum in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

There was one slipup in your article, though. The aircraft in the photo on page 90 is a Noorduyn Norseman, not a Beaver. The tail is the wrong shape, and you'll notice the Norseman has fabric wings and fuselage, whereas the Beaver, as the author stated in the story, is all metal.

Peter Denley
Echo Bay, Ontario, Canada

You're right. The Norseman V was designed by Dutch-born engineer R.B.C. Noorduyn and was manufactured from 1936 to 1959 by the Canadian Car and Foundry Co. Ltd. Nine hundred and three Norsemen were produced. The plane was flown in 68 countries, and 18 are known to be in use today. Also, as several readers have pointed out, the Beaver was powered by a radial, not a rotary, engine.
-The Editors

The Wrong Way
As one who hunts and travels all over the country and hears repeated criticism (usually justified) of what outdoor magazines publish, I often feel the same as when I read Geoffrey Norman's The Right Way column, "One Man's Meat," in the February issue-depressed, embarrassed, and pissed off.

It's astounding that Norman seems to think the most important reason not to "leave the [BRACKET "turkey"] carcasses to rot" is so we'll have enough game to shoot tomorrow. Obviously I didn't misunderstand him since he later writes that "leaving those partially butchered carcasses is not going to affect the health of the flock." Maybe not, but statements like those certainly don't help the hunter's image.

I'm about as politically incorrect as they come, but when you publish offensive and damaging crap like "One Man's Meat," you do a huge disservice to the magazine and every loyal subscriber.

Bill Buckley
Bozeman, Mont.

Geoffrey Norman replies: I'm not sure why Mr. Buckley has responded with such feverish indignation to my column. Does he think the health of the flock is not an important consideration? If so, then he is a fetishist, and not a conservationist. The hunter's first responsibility is to obey the law and his second is to be a good conservationist. I shoot woodcock, and I like to eat the entrails. But I would be reluctant to say that any upland hunter who doesn't eat intestines should be drummed out of the sporting fraternity.

Most hunters are not from the shoot-and-shovel fringe. But a few, unfortunately, are. And I believe if Buckley gets around as much as he says, then he knows this.

McIntyre in the Middle?
Speaking out of both sides of your mouth is not all that unusual; all our politicians do it, and some preachers. That's all right because no one listens to them anyway. But for a sportswriter like Tom McIntyre to do it ("Trophy Hunting, Pro/Con," March) is intolerable. Surely McIntyre must favor either one side or the other. Maybe we'll get the answer in a future column.

Joe Ware
via e-mail
The fact that the same person can write both the pro and con views to the trophy hunting debate is indicative of the stand that most hunters take, closer to the middle of the issue.

Big-game hunters, for the most part, take pride in utilizing as much of an animal as we can, therefore supporting the meat side of the debate. However, we see nothing wrong with having that monster buck put on the wall if we're lucky enough and good enough to get a shot at him.

I personally have two mounts on the wall. One is a nice 7-pointer, which I shot at 194 paces on the run (mounted as mu to commemorate the shot as for the rack), and the other is a forkhorn that was the first buck I ever took. I ate both of them, as I have every deer I've taken.

The only question really left is: Where does Mr. McIntyre actually stand? I would bet it's right with the rest of us-somewhere in the middle.

J.D. West
via e-mail
Thomas McIntyre replies: On behalf of Mr. McIntyre, we thank you both for your unkind/kind words, and we hope this answers your question.

In regards to Tom McIntyre's article, I feel that there is more to a hunt than just having something to hang on your wall: the pure enjoyment, the adrenaline rush of just seeing game, and most of all, the table fare from the game you get.

Trophy hunting is a rich man's sport. Unless I have the big bucks to pay an outfitter to hunt elk on private land, I will not see one of those TV show wall-hangers. I cannot even afford to hunt deer from those deluxe tree houses that overlook food plots in Texas. Remember, antlers look great, but no matter how you marinate them, they don't taste good.

Gregory Tereshko
via e-mail

I am a trophy hunter and a meat hunter, and Thomas McIntyre's article chapped me as both. He presented two extremes of each point of view which represent only a minuscule percentage of the general hunting population. The bottom line is this: We don't want people telling us we can't hunt, so let's not tell each other what to hunt.

Mark Long
Birmingham, Ala.

** Multiple Choice**
First let me compliment you on an excellent section regarding your choice of guns for various hunting purposes ("Perfect Guns," March). I hope you are aware of how many readers count on independent recommendations like yours. However, you left out my favorite hunting opportunity. I, like many, can only use a shotgun when looking for deer here in Indiana. I do not believe I should use a turkey gun for this purpose.

Please complete the subject by doing another great job of displaying multiple choices, given your readers' multiple budgets.

Thanks again. I love your magazine.
Steve Cavanaugh
via e-mail

I have just read David E. Petzal's "Perfect Guns," and within this literary masterpiece I find very little that is of any real value to the hunter, since Mr. Petzal is either suffering from a very narrow experience with hunting and shooting sports as a whole or is receiving a good deal of reward from certain manufacturers for a few good words about their products.

Richard Edgington
via e-mail

David E. Petzal replies: I'm not getting a cent, and I think it would be nice if someone did cough up some money. My Rolex is wearing out, the payments on the Porsche are huge, and my dog's teeth need capping.

Mr. Adventure
After reading Bill Heavey's "Death (Nearly) by Bass Fishing" (A Sportsman's Life, March) about what sounds like a pretty horrific trip to Brazil, I'm still not quite sure I understand the point of his column. If he is trying to encourage people to experience this type of once-in-a-lifetime adventure, then he should devote his next 10 columns to stories like mine.

I too experienced a bout of "acute midlife irresponsibility" a few months ago and bought a trip that I could scarcely afford to fish for the mighty peacock bass on the Rio Negro. I returned two days ago with a great appreciation for a part of the world that most Americans will never see, a handful of new friends that shared the adventure with me, and some great pictures of peacocks of 20, 24, and 25 pounds.

I would encourage anyone who can handle a little adventure and a brief departure from their daily grind to experience a trip of this type at least once. Had I read an article such as Heavey's prior to my departure, I might have decided against it and missed out on a fantastic trip.

C. Graham Sones
via e-mail

And That's Just for Harassment
In March's The Woodsman, by Tom Fegely, the author referred to his netting fairy shrimp from ponds for viewing by schoolchildren. You should be aware that the fairy shrimp is now protected by the Endangered Species Act, and any harassment or capture of a fairy shrimp is a criminal offense subject to a $50,000 fine and one-year imprisonment. I know this sounds ridiculous, but that's what happens when a well-intentioned statute is hijacked by environmental extremists. Keep up the good work!

Harry M. Hughes, Lt. Col., USAF
Regional Environmental Counsel
Dallas, Texas

It occurs to us: What would happen to a person who actually killed a fairy shrimp? Deportation? Lethal injection? Income tax audit? -The Editors

Kudos to Keith
In "The Climb" (March), Keith McCafferty put into words what I have witnessed, smelled, heard, and felt in many years of elk hunting. My brother and I have both climbed until we could climb no more, but neither of us would stop until the other did. Keep them coming, Keith.

Bill Heitzman
Hills, Iowa it and missed out on a fantastic trip.

C. Graham Sones
via e-mail

And That's Just for Harassment
In March's The Woodsman, by Tom Fegely, the author referred to his netting fairy shrimp from ponds for viewing by schoolchildren. You should be aware that the fairy shrimp is now protected by the Endangered Species Act, and any harassment or capture of a fairy shrimp is a criminal offense subject to a $50,000 fine and one-year imprisonment. I know this sounds ridiculous, but that's what happens when a well-intentioned statute is hijacked by environmental extremists. Keep up the good work!

Harry M. Hughes, Lt. Col., USAF
Regional Environmental Counsel
Dallas, Texas

It occurs to us: What would happen to a person who actually killed a fairy shrimp? Deportation? Lethal injection? Income tax audit? -The Editors

Kudos to Keith
In "The Climb" (March), Keith McCafferty put into words what I have witnessed, smelled, heard, and felt in many years of elk hunting. My brother and I have both climbed until we could climb no more, but neither of us would stop until the other did. Keep them coming, Keith.

Bill Heitzman
Hills, Iowa