E-Mails to the Editor
Pigs Can't Fly Article

I do not have a problem with the increase for pig tags. As you mentioned, rarely have I used the whole book. The other increases are reasonable, however like everyone else, I hate increases. If the increases all went to the DFG, I would not have a problem, but California has a big pot that other causes take money out of. Sometimes the group that is making the increase does not get the benefit. Missouri has a dedicated budget where all license fees go to and they have an excellent program for game and fish management,

John Verrant

Well, Jerry, I read your rationalization about how the cost of pig tags wasn't really as bad as it seemed and I am sorry, but I don't think that flies. I believe management at DFG is guided by the overall principle of keeping as many people out of the forest as possible. I believe there is an elitist group at the head of our various agencies charged with the protection of our natural resources that see the ultimate solution to resource management is denying access to large groups of people, resulting in our natural areas being open only to the wealthy. While I understand that utilization of the resource results in wear and tear on the resource, what the hell good is it if only one or two percent of the population can afford to use it? Hunting and gun ownership are dying the death of a thousand cuts and this increase in pig tags is just one more cut in the thousand. I could list a great many examples of action by various agencies that I feel support my thesis, but for the sake of brevity, I won't. Just let me say that raising the price of pig tags will result in less money for the DFG, not more. If that is really their goal, it will fail.

Chuck Voigtsberger
Ventura, California

Nonsense Magnums

I don't know about the rest of the folks who have read the marketing hype regarding the new batch of bonded bullets, but I find it insulting with all their references to "This new class of bullet is just what was needed for the popular new magnum cartridges" nonsense! Not sure exactly what "new magnum cartridges" the author is referring to, but I'd expect it to be the new short magnums, and possibly the ultra mags (Winchester & Remington, respectively). The best I can tell with the possible exception of the .223 WSSM, the rest of the crop ballistically duplicates existing cartridges or comes so close as to be statistically the same. With regards to the "new" bonded bullets, I don't know how well they'll perform in the field, but I do know that the "OLD" bonded bullets known as the Nosler Partition and Speer's Grand Slam & Mag Tip work well, and are reasonably accurate. Then the author added to the "new" bonded list, Swift's Sirocco, which has been on the market for several years and has already established itself as a highly accurate bullet which holds together at magnum velocities — regardless of whether those velocities are the barn burners from 35 years ago (300 Weatherby, 30-378, et al), or the redesigned cartridge case magnums of today with "comparable" velocites! Any way you look at it, those who shoot magnum cartridges have had a problem finding a bullet that will hold together and perform throughout the range of velocities these cartridges provide. Some "hunting" bullets have a problem staying together with standard cartridge/velocities, but that's another story.

Frankly, I learned a long time ago that if you want different results, you need to do something different. So I switched my hunting bullet from brand .... x, to Barnes X-bullet and have never experienced another bullet coming apart on impact, or fail in any manner. Accuracy isn't bad either, 5/8" at 100 yards. All this performance and at less expense than most of the competition. Not too shabby. And my .300 mags are good for a long time. Oh, and that's a 180-grain bullet from a 300 Win Mag at 3100+ fps. Of course, the .300 Weatherby or 30-378 are even faster! (Disclaimer: I have no problem with the new short mags or the Rem Ultra mags, but the facts of the matter appear that all of these "new" magnum cartridges are "comparable" to EXISTING older cartridges, and offer nothing new ballistically! What they do offer is high performance in a short action and/or a case without a belt. Removing a "belt" or making a case shorter and fatter have not, so far anyway, produced higher velocities. When you have companies which deliberately provide inaccurate information about their products, makes you wonder how their product will perform! Or were they just saying that some 35 years after their introduction and hunting with magnum cartridges, they think they can produce a bullet that will consistently hold together and perform with good accuracy, penetration, and weight retention, within the velocity range that "most" magnum cartridges provide? And they are bragging about this?

Dennis Stroud

More on Pig Tags

The increase in the pig tags (not to mention the lifetime licenses, guide fees, etc.) brings on a feeling of helplessness rather than anger or “squealing.”

In the picture attached (see Hunting Memories - Deer, this issue) is my daughter who I take hunting with me when I can, or when I get a deer, I even pull her out of bed (notice the nightgown) to be with me while we clean the animal and have a biology lesson. The next day we all go up as a family to Ralph’s Smoke House to drop off the animal, pay our respect to Montana and bring home some babyback ribs. During the year as we consume the animals, my children learn to give thanks and never ask for more than they will eat. They look forward to the day they can go hunting with me and obtain an animal themselves. But I wonder what will be there for them 5 years from now when they can officially big game hunt.

My phone call to Senator Scott on SB1152 yielded a conversation with the consultant working on the bill. Her basic feeling about our conversation was that it was a waste time, we would never see eye to eye and that we needed to end the conversation. There seems to be no room for debate or open thought on any of the issues facing the state or the hunter. My call to Fish and Game yielded the same response. The DFG only understands an increase in fees associated with hunting to gain revenue instead of developing a program designed to increase license sales. There seems to be only this one-sided “NO” present. That brings my feeling of helplessness back.

Bottom line, the government has overextended itself on social programs, pork and employee benefits, and there is nothing I can do to change that. I do vote, I do call my representative for each of your alerts, I do pay my licenses, give to Ducks Unlimited, SCI, etc. But I do not get better access to pig hunting, a greater deer population or access to state lands (where we again pay hired hunters to remove animals, etc.). In fact, I have even had the privilege to obtain an elk in Colorado and upon arrival to the San Jose airport, could not get a cab because I had a gun and boxes of meat.

The way things are continuing, I am not sure I want my children to feel the excitement of getting a deer or jumping a covey of quail and bringing a few home for dinner. It is an addiction which can form a lifelong passion. I am not sure I want them to be in my position where I have to fight for every bit of access or pay a handsome sum for one day’s view over the Monterey Valley. I am not sure I want them to ask questions as to why after a law is passed banning gay marriage (I really do not care about the issue more than I care about the mechanics of the law), a mayor in San Francisco can break the law with no repercussions. But if they were to shoot a mountain lion, breaking a law passed in the exact same process, they would serve time and lose their hunting privileges.

So, with the feeling of helplessness, I will pay my $100 to the Department of Fish and Game for most of my tags and hunting licenses (I will still need some bird stamps), forego the salmon season because it will be more money than I have this year (I have been off shored, laid off and landed in a lower paying high tech job with no medical) and pray that educated minds will prevail.

Very respectfully,
Bradford Oliver
Gilroy, California

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