YOU CAN'T STOCKPILE DEER
My congratulations on your progressive deer management article To Save the Herd: Shoot More Deer (SI, Nov. 21). If game and fish departments are ever relieved from political influences and uninformed "pressures," then they may be able to start fulfilling their true purpose. That goal should be to provide as much hunting and fishing as is humanly possible without hurting the basic breeding stocks.
Theodore Roosevelt's definition of the word "conservation" included the idea of "wise use." He looked on game and fish as renewable resources to be harvested scientifically.
We'll have to realize that wildlife must be used as it is produced—it can't be stockpiled like butter!
JACK D. REMINGTON
Colorado Game & Fish Commission Denver
TO BE INFORMED
Be you an experienced trophy hunter of deer or just a weekend shot for the sport of it, this article is truly one of the most informative stories I've read in SI. Hats off to you.
EUGENE A. PETERSEN
Sioux City, Iowa
CAN IT HAPPEN AGAIN?
The deer article by Ed Zern and Reginald Wells will do more damage to our dwindling deer herds, especially here in the eastern states, than anything I have read for a long time....
"Experts" seem to think that they have discovered some magic formula that will allow indiscriminate killing of doe and fawn deer and still keep enough breeding stock to insure decent hunting conditions in the coming years. Brother, it just isn't so. If the sportsmen of the United States don't wake up and stop these experimenters soon, we will be right back where we were 40 or 50 years ago. It is an undisputed fact that unlimited killing of deer back in the old days led to the virtual extinction of this great animal in most of the U.S.—and it can happen again....
Rivesville, W. Va.
WE MAKE GREAT JUMPS
...We are a buck law state—and proud of it. When the time comes that we need herd reduction we'll know it. We won't need slanted opinions and confused mathematics to provide the answers either. When "experts" try to sell us rabbit browsing as an example of deer damage we know that biology has reached a new low. We have been threatened by these "starvation" fables for years—and you should see the punctured windpipes of some of those supposedly starved deer. We have the greatest herd in the New England area, excluding Maine, and our deer are fat, healthy and agile. We still get an abundance of twin fawns from healthy does. Year after year we make great jumps in our total kill of bucks—and we are still far from the saturation point in deer population, and we still have plenty of feed for them in spite of unrealistic surveys....
You say the management idea is a "brutally practical" thing. You are half right. It is brutal. It is as practical as a fur coat in a jungle swamp....
IT'S A PLEASURE
It is a pleasure for this hunter to see that at long last someone has taken the initiative in trying to educate the people in this country to the fact that we have too many deer. If we are going to solve this problem we will have to have a doe and buck season in these overpopulated areas. I also hope that people will get over the idea that it is "unsportsmanlike" to shoot female deer.
Such an article as this does the entire country a very valuable service. As a hunter and sportsman I can't thank you enough.
W. H. ESHBAUGH III