letters

Wolf Warriors

Your article “Solution to the Wolf War” (January) was right on track. I have been hunting elk in the Spread Creek area of northwest Wyoming for the past 20 years. The elk herd in that area has been devastated. We ride horses while hunting, so we cover a lot of country. We saw no elk this past year. We saw few fresh elk tracks or droppings. We did see wolf tracks. Perhaps Wyoming had an artificially high elk population in the past. That is certainly not the case now. The equation is simple: more wolves equal fewer elk, moose, deer; fewer wolves equal more elk, moose, deer. The most troubling question is, Who will choose the equation?

-Dave Richardson, Douglas, Wyo.

Never was an article more on the mark. I lived in Idaho in the mid-1950s, then moved to Pennsylvania and back to Idaho in 1971, where I have resided ever since.The wolves are simply decimating our deer and elk herds.They talk about “reintroduction” of wolves-what a lie! It’s an introduction of a non-native subspecies that is far larger and more aggressive than the native Idaho wolf. We don’t have 10 percent of the deer and elk we once had. I was told by a game and fish officer to not even bother hunting deer in Unit 33.1 met another fish and game officer last fall who was looking for a place where his wife could bowhunt elk. He mentioned that he had been in Bear Valley, but when I asked him why he didn’t want his wife to hunt there, he said, “The elk are having a hard time in Bear Valley.” I looked at him for a long moment and asked, “You mean the wolves are killing them off?” He hesitated, then said, “Yes.” Recently I talked to a man who’s hunted the Selway-Bitteroot area for 34 years. He used to see 200-400 elk in a season. In 2004 he saw exactly four. I would look elsewhere before I thought about scheduling a biggame hunt in Idaho.

-Richard Dugan, Garden Valley, Idaho

ONE MAN’S GRIST…

To the editor who put together “When Things Go Wrong”: I enjoyed reading the small, sharp stories.

-John G.Whinery, Amarillo, Texas

… ANOTHER’S GRISTLE

Is the article by Bryce Towsley (“When Things Go Wrong”… “The Other Side or Bust”) going to be finished anytime soon? The part that is published sure is exciting. I would like to know how it ends.

-Dan Pasco, Sheridan, Wyo.

In “When Things Go Wrong” there j appear to be several stories with no ending. What gives?

-Ken Morrison, via email

* I’m glad you enjoyed the stories, Mr. Whinery. To others, I apologize for any confusion. We never set out to convey complete accounts, but rather a hodge-podge of individual events related only by the adventure they portrayed. As for Mr.Towsley, he obviously lived to tell his tale.

-J. Scott Olmsted, Editor in Chief

ON AFRICA

The blurb on the last page of “Gone to Africa” (February) caught my eye. It is my understanding that the continent of Africa was dubbed the “Dark Continent” many years ago because there was no presence of the Almighty God there.The Word of God is known to Christians as the “Light,” and, technically, where there is an absence of light there exists “darkness.” Great story and photography!

-The Rev. B. Lee Pemberton, Sarasota, Fla.

I am a skeet shooter and many of my friends are bird hunters. I understand my friends hunting birds and eating the meat. I understand hunting boar, deer, etc., because the hunter eats the meat. After reading “Gone to Africa” I have to ask: Why kill an impala, reedbuck or zebra? Is killing a defenseless animal something to be proud of?

-Kirby Yale, Somis, Calif.

Zebra shooting? What a stupid thing to do when we are trying to support hunting and guns. What were you thinking?

-Bob Gorton, Cobleskill, N.Y.

* Honestly, I was thinking about shooting a zebra. It was no easy feat. A zebra is a game animal. Too many people associate them with horses, and consequently disdain hunting them. But no one I know thinks of a cow when he sees a Cape buffalo, or thinks of Rover, the family dog, when he sees a coyote or a wolf. Every animal I shot on safari was eaten by me or others; even the zebra, I know, because I watched it get hauled away, cut up and doled out. I would have brought some game meat home, but U.S. Agriculture Department regulations prohibit it. All animals are defenseless against humans. Which is why we rest, uncomfortably at times, atop the food chain. Why is it all right to shoot a bird but not a mammal? Are birds somehow less deserving of our compassion? I give thanks for every animal I take.

-J. Scott Olmsted, Editor in Chief

The editors welcome your letters. Mail them to: Letters, American Hunter, 11250 Waples Mill Rd., Fairfax, VA 22030-9400. Letters may be edited for the sake of brevity.

NRA Hunter’s Code of Ethics

1. I will consider myself an invited guest of the landowner, seeking his permission, and so conducting myself that I may be welcome in the future. 2. I wilt obey the rules of safe gun handling, and will courteously but firmly insist that others who hunt with me do the same. 3. I will obey all game laws and regulations and wilt insist that my companions do likewise. 4. I will do my best to acquire those marksmanship skills which ensure clean, sportsmanlike kills. 5. I will support conservation efforts which can ensure good hunting for future generations of Americans. 6. I will pass along to younger hunters the attitudes and skills essential to a true outdoor sportsman.

Copyright National Rifle Association of America Apr 2005

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