photo of mourning doves

Last spring, F&S field editor Keith McCafferty ventured to India to follow the trails of the legendary hunter Jim Corbett, see tigers, and fish for mahseer (right). To read about his adventure and see photos from his trip, visit

David E. Petzal hit a grand-slam home run with his story “The Accuracy Revolution” (July 2008), which is just that–a revolution. I have four large safes filled with rifles, and I now own several that can shoot within an inch. But those guns that I’ve kept since high school rarely print inside a couple of inches.

John Calvin, Watertown, S.D.

“The Accuracy Revolution” was very well done and outlines many of the steps I have taken to improve my hunting rifles. But it also promotes a problem by stressing the importance of the gun over the ability of the shooter. If you have the money, go ahead and buy the Weatherby Vanguard Sub-MOA. But you should first ask yourself this question: “Can I shoot it?”

Mark Volkomener, Great Falls, Mont.

Deer, There, and Everywhere

Bill Heavey spoke the truth in “The Big Game Is About to Change.” By knowing a deer’s behavior and environment, you can manipulate that knowledge to your benefit. I feel, however, that deer become more sensitive depending on location and predators. Hunting whitetails that are concerned with traffic in upstate New York is not the same as going after bucks here in Florida where there are more coyotes. Deer may not be smarter where I hunt, but they are more wary.

Mark B. Richards, Jacksonville, Fla.

“David E. Petzal seems to have a love affair going with the T/C Icon. Kidding aside, ‘The Accuracy Revolution’ was great. In layman’s terms, Petzal explained what it takes to have an accurate rifle.”

John E. Hawkins, Merrillville, Ind.

Prone to Contradictions?

In the tip “Avoid the Low Blow” (Rifles), David E. Petzal states that “the lower you go, the more you get pounded.” But in “5 Ways to Better Accuracy” (“The Accuracy Revolution”), he seems to contradict himself by telling readers, “don’t shoot sitting if you can shoot prone.” As a hunter for almost 60 years and an Army vet, I can say from experience that both pieces of advice are correct. While the prone position allows you to shoot more accurately, many hunters cannot afford the risk of hurting their shoulders, especially as they get older or develop disabilities such as osteoporosis. Hunters do need to learn to adapt to other positions.

Milton Fields, Joelton, Tenn.

Stick With the Actors

I loved the illustrations of the comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in “Does Your Shotgun Have Cast?” (Shotguns). Onscreen they were usually on the receiving end of a barrel, but offscreen they were true sportsmen, which makes their inclusion entirely appropriate. Too bad the article also lumped in Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama–a modern-day comedy team that is nowhere near as amusing.

John Fisher, Cook, Minn.


When David E. Petzal asked readers to name their favorite Western film on his blog, The Gun Nut (, almost 200 visitors nominated more than 30 cowboy classics. Here are the results:

Unforgiven 14%

Tombstone 9%

Lonesome Dove 7%

The Wild Bunch 7%

The Outlaw Josey Wales 6%

The Searchers 5%

Once Upon a Time in the West 5%

Blazing Saddles 2%**

Quantifying David E. Petzal

I believe you inadvertently attributed David E. Petzal’s IQ score (144) to the number of cats he has (19) in “Contributor of the Month” (Campfire).

Ron Hill, via e-mail

Petzal just moved up a couple of points in my book. Anyone who’s benched more than 300 pounds has accomplished a significant athletic feat and deserves a tip of my Jagermeister-filled shot glass.

Ronald Le Beaumont, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Pump’n Save?

In “Last Stand of the Sage Grouse” (Conservation), Hal Herring lamented oil development and leases on federal lands in the West. But not many sober Americans believe that oil in the ground should be left alone for long when we need it as badly as we do. If we start pumping now, while still making provisions for habitat, the sage grouse will have a chance at recovery and survival. But when people in cities can’t get food delivered to their grocery stores and farmers can’t get enough diesel to run their machinery, very few will be worried about the sage grouse.

David Adamson, American Fork, Utah


F&S had something for everyone in the September 1949 issue. Burton L. Spiller took a Zen approach to explain how to be a better wingshot. Ted Trueblood went fishing with his sister-in-law and proved that salmon do in fact jump. Georg Mann advocated the taste and nutritional benefits of eating worms and grasshoppers. And Seth Briggs rejected the herpetological myth that a snake can place its tail in its mouth and roll down a hill like a Hula Hoop.

Notice That No One Said “Creepy”

David E. Petzal upset a lot of readers when he defended his remark that Dick Cheney is creepy (Cheers & Jeers). For the sake of saving space, we’ve compiled a sampler of the comments below:

Worthless. Untrue. Weak.

Disrespectful. Tacky.

Unnecessary. Pathetic.

Immature. Inappropriate.

Subliminal. Uninformed.

Feeble. Stupid. Ridiculing.

Childish. Ignominious.