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Another opinion on hunting

Last time out, I printed a rather controversial email that was sent from Bob Boyd. He gave his opinions that hunting was not a sport and that animals aren’t harvested, they are killed.

Boyd proves to be a gentleman in his follow-up missive.

“Thanks for printing my letter unedited. A lot of so-called journalists take liberties with submissions to serve their own agendas. I will be interested in the legitimate comments of your readers, at least the ones that don’t stoop to the level of personal attack when they disagree with someone. I’ll bet you get plenty of those as well. Reasonable people should be able to discuss differences of opinion in a reasonable matter. I’m seeing less and less of that in the “opinions” section of the newspaper nowadays.”

I asked for comments and spit hot coffee all over my computer keyboard when I saw the subject line of a fresh email. It read, “Kinda lazy way to get the columns written for you ...” When I finally stopped laughing and toweled up the java, I saw that the letter was from one of my favorite correspondents, Cary’s Jim Schad.

Schad certainly fit Boyd’s request for legitimate comments without personal attacks. It was the best response to Boyd that I received, so I guess I’ll take the “lazy way,” and print it.

“You did a much better job than my morning coffee in getting me going this morning!  You want some fodder for your columns?  Okay, here ya go. … Unfortunately, I understand and (in one area) agree with what Mr. Boyd had to say. I’m betting that he has never got up in the wee hours of dark to go out and either set up for a hunt or launch for the run to the fishing grounds. He’s probably not sat freezing in the blind or tree stand while waiting for the phrase, “Take em” or held his breath waiting for Bambi to enter the shooting lane. He doesn’t know or understand the thrill of watching the mallards or geese as they cup their wings and rock into your decoys. He doesn’t have the skill necessary to call, set up or clean the game after a successful outing. He’s not had the opportunity or interest to even give any of the above a chance to see what it’s about or really like. So yes, “I don’t understand what they get out of it …” makes perfect sense. “

“On the “Kill vs. Harvest” thing I would agree. Over the last few decades, we have surrendered to the PC crowd and back pedaled far too often when the “anti’s” have come hunting for us. Let’s all wring our hands and try not to offend anyone until you have nothing and no place left to hunt. The question, “What was your kill or how many did you bag?” used to be common parlance. How would talking about his kill or his hunting experience be treated or accepted by little Johnny’s teacher or school mates today? No, today most of the kids will fall into the above paragraph and of the few that do get the exposure most will not be part of the prep or work involved because it is no longer common for it to not be a paid for experience. Most often, the necessary ingredient for today’s hunt or fishing experience can be money, unless of course you might be the sports writer that occasionally gets the opportunities that most don’t. (Sorry I had to slip that one in.)”

“As to the “Lion thing …” even the Masai wouldn’t try that one without their spears. In continuing the above line of thought, I won’t be holding my breath for the concealed carry thing. We still don’t have the ability to carry concealed and it’s going to be a while if ever in my opinion. If Quinn is quoted correctly, “people with a history of mental illness … should not be able to carry weapons …”  I forgot, which states are the ones that allow mental defectives to carry concealed?”

“The same people who are presiding over the murder capital of the nation (approaching one thousand this year) are all allowed to carry concealed as are many other politicians, but not John Q. Public because we can’t be trusted with our rights. So the inmates continue to run the asylum and we the people continue to fund and vote them in because of the wonderful job they do for us. As I get more jaded with every passing day this dinosaur no longer gives a [darn] what they call me when they try to shut me up or back me away from what I believe in.  Politically correct I ain’t!”

“Sorry for the length of this. As Mr. Boyd said, ‘Thanks for supplying the soap box.’”

Cullerton subject of new book: I bet most outdoorsmen remember the legendary Bill Cullerton, Sr., who was the host of WGN AM-720’s “Great Outdoors” weekend radio show from 1979 to 1999. The show was one of the nation’s best and was very influential in the world of the outdoors. Cullerton was also the owner of one of the most successful and powerful outdoor products rep companies in the world.

What most people don’t know is that Cullerton was a World War II Air Force ace with 21 enemy planes destroyed on the ground and seven destroyed in the air. He was a highly-decorated hero. Did you know that when they named Chicago’s big International airport, the choices came down to Bill Cullerton and Butch O’Hare? Cullerton was shot down on a strafing run over Germany and miraculously survived. He then was able to elude capture and make his way back to freedom.

Cullerton’s incredible story has been documented in a new book, “The Last Dragon of Steeple Morden,” by John Kevil Jr., a boyhood friend. It is available online at Amazon and at all fine book dealers. I recommend it highly. It would make a tremendous Christmas gift.

• Northwest Herald outdoors columnist Steve Sarley ’s radio show, “The Outdoors Experience,” airs live at 5 a.m. Sundays on AM-560. Sarley also runs a Web site for outdoors enthusiasts, OExperience.com. He can be reached by e-mail at sarfishing@yahoo.com.

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