E-Mails to the Editor
Nevada Information

Thanks a million for the articles on Nevada. After months of not a single thing written about the Silver State to three articles, wow, I'm very impressed! Maybe my two e-mails prompted this. Or, maybe I just wasn't patient enough! I won't be moving to Nevada until January 2001, but hopefully will be hunting next fall. I will definitely continue reading your Internet magazine in my new home. Keep up the good work. Good luck to all Californians in this November's elections. I'm voting for any pro-gun politician on the ballot, and hope not to face these right stealers in Nevada!

Thank You
Robert Dahl

Striking A Nerve

The letter by Melvin Chikato really struck a nerve with me. First, as a former employee of "our incompetent Department of Fish and Game" for nine years, I can attest that the DFG is neither incompetent, stupid, lazy, or antihunting as some would have us believe. Although at times I've disagreed with some of their actions, I believe the DFG manages deer and other populations the best they can within the legal constraints placed upon them.

For example, does Mr. Chikato know that the Board of Supervisors of some 34 counties in this state have the authority to regulate hunting? That's right. To have strong deer populations, we need a good buck-to-doe ratio, but the boards of supervisors can veto doe and either-sex hunts within their counties. That's a big reason why you see a bunch of does and only a few bucks in many areas.

You want to improve the quality of hunting in this state? Lobby your Senate and Assembly representatives to put the management of deer herds back into the hands of the DFG and the Fish and Game Commission. That's one place to start.

Another thought? You want to ensure that our kids can hunt in the future, then you need to introduce them to hunting. But when was the last time you did? Or is that something that's taboo in your camp because a kid might get in the way or scare off ol' mossyhorns? I have four nephews, two of which I introduced to hunting, and both are now old enough to vote.

What Mr. Chikato needs to realize is that even though California has over 700,000 deer within its boundaries, our predominant species tends to be the blacktail, and a big blacktail will be a nice 3x3. Nonetheless, we also have Rocky Mountain Mule Deer, California Mule Deer, and southern Mule deer, many of which have big racks. Check out the cover of the 1998 hunting regulations to see a big deer taken right next to Bakersfield!

It sounds to me that what Mr. Chikato needs to do is detach his butt from the seat of his truck and stop looking for a gift buck in a roadside shop. I've seen monster bucks in the Sierra Nevada mountains, big 3x3s along the north coast, and a boatload of forkies that I wouldn't pass up. But most of them required putting some distance between me and the road.

In fact, my first buck was a nothing-special-about-it forkhorn, taken in 1997, deep in the heart of a Montana canyon. He was trying to sneak past me while I was still-hunting. When I turned around to check the trail behind me, as I always do when I'm still-hunting, I noticed him frozen and partially obscured behind a small bush. He thought he was hidden even as I kneeled on very uneven ground, took my time, and pulled the trigger. His buddy, another forky of about the same size, was well hidden and I didn't see him until he stotted over the hillside.

I'm damn proud of that deer because it was my hunting skill (not bad for an incompetent) that enabled me to catch a wise young buck who might have otherwise gotten away. I'm also very disappointed in those hunters who measure the quality of hunting only by the size a deer's rack. It's fine to keep score, and more power to you if you get a big one. But the size of a rack shouldn't be the one thing that makes or breaks your hunt.

So, Mr. Chikato, instead of name-calling and whining about deer hunting, get off your butt and do something to improve hunting. No offense, of course.

Mike Hill

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