E-Mails to the Editor
Tell Us The Names

Over the last couple of years I have seen numerous articles from Western Hunter with regard to the illegal acts that guides and outfitters have been convicted of, yet I have been very disappointed to see that Western Hunter continues to fail to give the actual names of these persons/businesses. Once a person is over 18 years of age or a business has been convicted of a crime, their names associated to that crime are a matter of public record. I, and I'm sure all your other readers, would like to see you refer to these unscrupulous guides/outfitters by name so that, if we choose, we can avoid using their services in the future. I believe you owe it to our Sport to do your part to help put these type of people out of business.

Mike Truitt

Editor's Note:
We understand your desire and request. It has been our policy at Western Hunter and also for four years when we published California Hunter Magazine not to run the names. While we realize we can legally use the names of the individuals and businesses, we also realize that being right does not stop you from being sued. We are not a big corporation so we prefer spending our time and money providing you with hunting information instead of appearing in court. The intent of the Game Law Violations column is to inform hunters of the consequences of breaking the law and will remember them if they ever feel tempted to do something illegal while in the field.

Guided Hunts Not Hunting

I am very disappointed with the increase of pictures and articles about "hunters" that have bought their game. Maybe I am too conservative or have been hunting for too many years, but I see no pride in paying someone to guide me to game. The paid guide is far more of a hunter than the shooter.

I am sick of watching the filmed episodes of, as an example, a "hunter" that flies down to Texas, is picked up at the airport, driven to the lodge, sights in his gun, is driven to the formed-and-welded stand in the middle of a planted field and shoots an alfalfa-fed deer. Then they slap each other on the back and talk about what a great hunt it was. That’s only target practice... there was no hunting involved! What’s next, how to get excited about buying a mount at a garage sale? No wonder the anti-hunters don’t like it. I don’t either!

I am pretty sure when I die my "trophies" will end up at a garage sale too, since each represents a unique, wonderful time and experience in only my life, and have little to no value to anyone else. But I, like so many others, take pride in being my own scout and guide, doing my own hunting, and knowing that it was by my skill and God’s blessings that made me successful, not the skills of a paid guide service.

Your magazine is really something I look forward to, but I have noticed more and more of the "wildlife adventures" type articles creeping in. This is why I no longer subscribe to the other major magazine publications... they are catering to the non-hunters, the target shooters, the people that perhaps don’t have the time to do their own scouting. I have a terrible feeling that the hunters of this world are becoming the dying breed, and what is left is a bunch of executives with lots of money and no hunting skills at all.

I wish you the best and good hunting to you.

Steve Baker

Editor's Note:
I agree with you that hunting on my own gives me the most satisfaction but there are all kinds of reasons to use a guide — if you can afford one — which I don't think makes you less of a hunter. These include getting access to land (i.e. for hogs and turkeys in California), hunting in a state you have never been to and can't afford the time needed to make scouting trips, you are at an age or physical condition that you can no longer pack out that animal on your own, plus I'm sure our readers could list others.

I also agree with you that some hunts seem less of a hunting challenge but I could say this about ones that don't even involve a guide.

Finally, regarding your comment on our running of pictures and articles from guides. We run these because we think they might be of interest to some of our readers. Plus the guides are more willing to share photos and articles than non-guided hunters. (We have certainly appreciated and enjoyed the photographs and information you and your brother have contributed to WesternHunter.com and earlier to California Hunter Magazine. We know the effort and energy you put into hunting!)

Thanks for sharing your feelings.

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