Southern Grouse Fans
My compliments to Tred Slough (aka Robert Holthouser). His article "Confederate Grouse" (Jan/Feb '07) is superbly written. His imagery and writing speak eloquently to his experience and talent. I recently moved to the South from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and the mural Tred painted took me right back to the coverts I worked for so many years with my beloved wirehair, Rocky.
Tred has set a high bar.
As a transplant to Stokes County, North Carolina, from Ohio, I was glad to see an article about grouse hunting in the South. I hunted a number of times this season with no flushes! Being from Ohio, I am used to little activity in the grouse woods, but this started to get depressing. After reading this article, I am building myself up for the last few chances of the year!
More On Restraint
I just received March/April and was pleased to read the positive responses to my letter "A Rant for Restraint," Jan/Feb). Surprisingly, I've gotten quite a few calls from readers across the country who share the same views, and, to a man, they have agreed that that type of TV/video has become a topic of conversation among hunting companions. Most have found humor at the antics portrayed by hip-thrusting waterfowlers and whack 'em and stack 'em morons, but they agree that this portrays quite a negative image of the sport we love.
I believe phone calls to the sponsors can do us all a world of good, and if it takes no more than a call or letter to bring these culls to bay and responsible hunters back into the public light, we can all benefit.
Incidentally, nice article by Michael McIntosh on ethics and morality (Shooting, Jan/Feb). High scores in both equal a true sportsman!
In January/February I read "A Rant for Restraint" by Bob Hafey, and then in March/ April I again was assaulted by a letter from John Cadwalader, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," and, unfortunately, another support for Hafey's rant by Bob Hutt. With hunting friends like these three, who needs enemies!
Bob in his rant worries that animal-rights activists will be given ammunition by what they see on television and the Internet. Let me clue you in on the animal-rights activists. They are left-wing extremists who will work night and day to take away your right to hunt, even if you lovingly caressed every gamebird you shot, cleaned it with handy wipes and kissed it before you put it in your game vest. They hate hunters for the fact that we are hunters, and no matter how you frame the issue you will not change their minds. How-ever, when you criticize those of us who enjoy hunting and killing-yes, I said killing-even if we don't do it exactly the way you think we should, you help destroy all of our rights.
Personally, I do not care what the animal-rights people think, because they don't care what I think. We must defeat them, and we can because we are a much larger group. However, if we eat our own, as Bob, John and Bob want to do, we will be defeated. Hunting is not a walk in the woods looking at trees and mushrooms. These things can make the hunt more enjoyable, but the hunt is about being a predator; it is about killing and eating what we kill. If it were not, then we could just walk through the woods on our way to the grocery store.
No, Bob, John and Bob, it is not pictures in magazines and hunting shows on television that threaten our hunting future. It is holier-than-thou hunters such as yourselves who believe that your way is the only way and criticize any of us who do it differently.
I have a great time shooting birds, and I am not afraid to show my happiness. Hell, man, I am ecstatic at shooting my limit of pheasants or ducks or perhaps a limit of both on the same day! I love to take pictures and clean and eat them also. That's what makes this great sport what it is.
If you don't like the memories that pictures and videos of limits of birds or other game can give, and if you don't like watching this on television, don't do it! But stop criticizing those of us who do.
A letter in March/April (by Bob Hutt) takes on driven bird shooting and suggests that SSM needs more from writers such as Jack O'Connor and Ted Trueblood. I'm not sure about Trueblood, but a quick perusal of O'Connor's Shotgun Book confirms that, in addition to wild-bird hunts in this country, O'Connor also shot driven birds in Scotland. So did the late Gene Hill and most of the other well-traveled writers of past generations.
In many ways you produce a pretty magazine. That's nice.
Rather often you seem to print a letter from a reader that criticizes the content or treatment of some matter in the magazine. That is good. But I find it interesting that-again, rather often-after the letter comes an editorial comment that trivializes or distorts what the letter-writer says... sometimes, it would appear, by changing the subject, to which, of course, the letter-writer cannot respond in any meaningful way; e.g., Mr. Hutt's letter in March/April. Because you all appear never to make mistakes, I suspect you will not be at all distressed to find out that I'm not planning to renew.
John Pazereskis, Ph.D.
Guns on the Road
Silvio Calabi's Gazette article "Have Guns, Want to Travel" (March/April) urges readers to research the laws of any state or city through which they travel by vehicle with guns. This is unnecessary, as federal law pre-empts any state or local law in this regard. In particular, 18 USC 926A provides:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof, any person who is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm to any other place where he may lawfully possess and carry such firearm if, during such transportation the firearm is unloaded, and neither the firearm nor any ammunition being transported is readily accessible or is directly accessible from the passenger compartment of such transporting vehicle: Provided, that in the case of a vehicle without a compartment separate from the driver's compartment the firearm or ammunition shall be contained in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console."
Silvio Calabi responds:
Perhaps I overstated my broad point, which was that you can hardly be too careful when traveling with guns. A cased AyA in the back of a Tahoe (the example I used) isn't likely to cause problems in any state, whereas a loaded Les Baer Thunder Ranch .45 in the glove compartment is-even under 18 USC 926A. And arguing federal law with a local cop on a nasty night in the middle of nowhere can be dicey. B movies have been made around this scenario, and feuding over states' rights has led to such brouhahas as the Civil War.