E-Mails to the Editor
More on Bourbons

In Douglas County, where the Merriam's turkeys that were planted have crossbred with the successfully growing populations of Rio Grandes, we find many birds of this color pattern and they are referred to as "Golden Boys." I haven't seen this pattern in any area other than where the two birds interbreed. Although I can't comment on the Southeastern "bourbons" as I have no experience with them, Golden Boys certainly give both added excitement and an interesting subject to talk about after the hunt.

Frank Springer,
Eagle Point, Oregon

Californian Go Home!

There is something I've never quite understood. Why do the locals from states I've traveled to (hunting muleys with my dad) seem to have a strong dislike for us "flatlanders"?

We've had trucks full of guys drive by our camp and yell profanities, as they have also done while we're in the field. Never giving anyone reason to dislike us, it's just puzzling to me. For years it's never really been a concern but now that I'm a father of two 4-year-old girls that love their outdoor time and will be taking them again this coming year, it has become a concern now.

I just can't see the logic behind the hatred when in actuality I spend an awful lot of money in the stores the 2-3 times I come to town over the 2-3 week period I'm there. I'm happily married so their women aren't of interest to me. I am a trophy hunter yet I've driven up on trucks with guys out ready to fire at a lone doe on a bare hill right up the road from where two does were shot roadside and left to the animals (and we know they were responsible because of circumstances). Anyhow I'm venting ….


Response to Prior E-mail

In Brad Daniel's e-mail entitled "National Forest," he states that "The Los Padres National Forest has been closed to all vehicles for the last five years — that's 325,000 acres closed to us."

With all due respect to Mr. Daniels, my response to this statement and his e-mail is as follows: Just because an area is closed to vehicles doesn't make it closed to the general public, be it hunter, fishermen, hiker or otherwise. Having been a hunter my entire life, I have no problem and in fact I'm thrilled with the idea of vehicle restrictions on portions of our national forests. I encourage the forest service to set aside portions of our forests as roadless areas. Why do we hunt? Speaking for myself, a portion of the answer to this sometimes unanswerable question is to reconnect with nature and reinvigorate my soul. I've hunted on our National Forests, and I've hunted on adjacent designated wilderness areas where motorized vehicles are not allowed. For me, the hunting experience is far more valuable when I'm able to climb a mountain, high above the timberline, and the only sounds I hear are the occasional plane overhead, the snapping of twigs as the mature buck makes his way toward my stand and the beating of my heart.

Micah Brosnan
Eureka, California

Dirt Bike Company

I'll be deer hunting or turkey hunting in the public forest, all quiet and relaxing, then rrrrrrrrrr!!! A dirt bike coming down some trail close enough to me and the animals that I'm trying to hunt!!!

Heck, I have to wait all year for a hunting season that only lasts a few weeks anyway, so why can't the forest service give hunting season a considerate amount of quiet time so those that are pursuing game can have a decent chance at it? It is super noisy in the San Bernardino mountains close to my home, with mucho amounts of dirtbike activity. I think the dirtbikers can wait four weeks of closure, heck, I wait all year.....

Mark Morlet
San Bernardino, California

Restricting Access

Don't know if you are aware of this or not, I thought I'd pass it along as what happens in one state eventually makes the rounds to the rest.

There is a major effort taking place in Alaska to restrict public hunting land to subsistence hunting only. Regardless, of what one's personal opinion about whether this is a good thing or not, the results are the same: limiting public hunting on public land. Something we in California are not unfamiliar with. To find out more, you may wish to check out: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/seaplus2002/

There is a wealth of organizational skills we all can learn from this site in fighting those who wish to take away public access to public lands.

Dennis Stroud

Hunters Caught in Helmet Law

About two years ago a couple of hunting buddies were cited for riding their quadrunners without helmets. This was in the Tahoe National Forest. Of course, having to drive a couple hundred miles and take time off from work to go to court was a lot of trouble and expense. They just paid the fine.

My recollection of California's helmet law was that it was enacted primarily due to head injuries suffered in high-speed accidents occurring on streets and highways. I don't believe the studies upon which it was based included hunters and recreational riders on backroads and dirt trails. It would seem that someone has decided that this law technically applies to forest service roads.

Given the fact that most folks who are cited probably don't challenge the citation in court, it would appear that this is nothing more than a revenue source for that agency.

In August 2001, I sent an e-mail asking about their policy regarding this matter. I received a response from a Bill Disbrow/R2/USDAFS who told me that he referred my inquiry to a "National Forest officer for their action." I noted that the e-mail was also sent to a "jmoore01@fs.fed.us.

In January 2002, having received no response, I again e-mailed Disbrow.

On April 3, 2002, having received no response, I e-mailed Chief of the Forest Service, Dale Bosworth (wo_fs-contact@fs.fed.us).

It is now April 20th and still no acknowledgement or response.

Do you or any of your readers want to weigh in on this?

Roger Sharrer
Elk Grove, California

Editor's Note:

Roger, I believe the helmet law in the national forests in California was not enacted because of accidents happening there but because of the ones resulting from people running their ATVs on the sand dunes in Southern California. Thus everyone in the state was lumped together.

I personally hate wearing the helmet.

As far as the lack of response to your e-mails, it's unconscionable. Maybe if our readers filled up their e-mail boxes with similar inquiries, they would realize we are their customers and would rethink what good customer service means — or should mean!

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