Politics as Usual

Stinky comments, bitty bucks, and a senior moment.

Field & Stream Online Editors

_Field & Stream received numerous heated responses to David E. Petzal's "Why Politics Stinks" in the December¿¿¿January issue. Although a few delusional readers accused us of adopting a liberal stance, it is important to note that Field & Stream has always and continues to support the right to bear arms, the protection of wildlife habitat, and the conservation of natural resources, regardless of party affiliations. _

Until I read David E. Petzal's "Why Politics Stinks," I thought I was alone in seeing how thoroughly despicably both political parties and our politicians behave. F&S; will get whacked by both political sides, I'm sorry to say, but amen to Petzal! Those of us who aren't at the political money trough will find our hunting and fishing progressively ravaged by special interests on the left and right.
Carl Peterson
Brookfield, Conn.

Petzal's "Why Politics Stinks" was sheer genius. He pretty much pinned it. It was sad and accurate, but hilarious at the same time.
Will Manly
Lakin, Kan.

I don't know whether your insulting assault on the integrity of the president and vice president merits publication in a sportsman's journal, but I'll tell you that kind of character assassination belongs in the trash. You are up to your ears in the stench that is your essay. That check that you don't receive for subscription renewal will be mine. I will have included it in my campaign contribution to Bush-Cheney '04.
H. Selvitella
Cambridge, Mass.

As a recently retired 22-year member of Congress and a longtime reader of F&S;, I feel Mr. Petzal is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. He would leave the impression that money buys votes, which is hardly true. If a congressman trades his vote for money, he risks a very unpleasant experience with the Ethics Committee. If Mr. Petzal would like to furnish the Ethics Committee with actual facts, I'm sure they would be acted upon. But it is evident that the media would rather hide behind the First Amendment and make inflammatory statements. If I was still the chairman of the Resources Committee, I'd offer Mr. Petzal a fellowship. He needs a large dose of reality.
James V. Hansen
U.S. Representative (Utah), 1981¿¿¿2003

This article makes it sound like the liberal Democrats are the friends of hunters and fishermen. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I'm sure Petzal is aware of this. Sportsmen have been fighting these liberal Democrats and environmentalists to ensure the future of American hunting and fishing for decades. I can't believe a magazine that is supposed to voice the opinions of hunters and fishermen will allow such an ultraliberal writer to contribute.
Benny Garner
Via e-mail

David E. Petzal replies:_ Reader Garner nearly caused me to gag on my pabulum. I, ultraliberal? I, who was expelled from the Boy Scouts for "fascist tendencies" and am usually accused of being to the right of Vlad the Impaler? It doth make me mad!_

WALLHANGERS OVERRATED?
I like your magazine, but I think it should be more realistic. You only talk about big bucks. Most people don't have the opportunity to hunt huge deer. Most hunters shoot small bucks. There should be tips on how to get those.
David Erdman
Cadillac, Mich.

_You have a point, but no one wants to shoot small bucks, and if we start publishing stories that depress people, we'll lose our jobs. Just imagine the headlines: "Tired of Hauling Out All That Venison? Hunt the Runts" or "Is That a Nutria in Your Pack or Did You Just Fill Your Buck Tag?" _-The Editors THE DOCTOR IS IN
Jim Thornton's "Dying With Your Boots On" addresses a timely subject to which more sportsmen should pay attention. We lost a hunter to a heart attack in my area recently and we'd been wondering how much of a role thee excitement of whitetail hunting could have played in this death. Thornton's Health & Fitness column answered our questions. I hope it becomes a regular F&S; department. Sportsmen need a place where they can get information on staying in shape without having to wade through the ads for cologne and clothes that characterize most magazines that address men's health. I'd rather get this info from F&S.;
Matt Coughlin
Ashburn, Va.

"Dying With Your Boots On" was right on the mark. "Getting a medical checkup" is an extremely important recommendation. My husband is alive today because our family doctor ordered a stress test just days before his annual trip to Michigan for deer season. His bags were packed and the truck was ready to roll when the cardiologist found three major blockages. Your article is a must-read for all hunters and their families. Thank you.
Joan Young
Via e-mail

REMEMBER THE RIMFIRE
You folks missed something in "The Rifle That Won the West." I own a 73 that you forgot to count. As a matter of fact, you missed 19,552 of them. I'm referring to those made in .22 caliber, one of which I have owned for nearly 50 years.
John Liebeskind
Via e-mail

_Reader Liebeskind is correct; Winchester did make a .22 rimfire version of the Model 73, and it was possibly the first .22 repeater ever produced. However, there is much disagreement on the numbers. One source says 19,552, one says "a few" were made, and another gives no figure. _ -The Editors

** EXCELLENT JUDGMENT**
I have been a Field & Stream subscriber for decades. I recently sent a notice that due to my advancing age, I'd be letting my subscription expire. However, when the December¿¿¿January issue arrived, it was outstanding from cover to cover. I renewed for another three years. Guess I'll be reading America's best outdoor magazine until I'm 100.
Andrew Lustyik
New Hampton, N.Y.

CORRECTION: In "The Tragedy of Tillamook Bay," the description of Ed Loll, one of the 11 people who died, was incorrect. Loll was in good health before the accident. He suffered from neither hip nor heart problems. We regret the error. -The Editors