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Mailbag: ESPNOutdoors.com News Hound

10/26/2006

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Re: Colorado caribou? (Oct. 18 blog)

Mike Kiper (Milford, Ohio): Your article on the dear killed on the highway was very good. Just a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to speak out against the Ohio Department of Natural Resources not controlling the deer population. I was in the Cincinnati Enquirer on this topic. I for one thinks it's terrible this happens and puts our families in harms way. I made a plea to the ODNR to up the gun season and allow us to harvest more dear. As being too proud, the DNR thinks it is doing the right thing. On the other hand, we permit overpopulated dear herds, and I mean herds, to continue to grow in population and do nothing about it. Harvesting more dear would and will help control somewhat the growth in population. Where I am from in Alabama the dear limit is one buck per day; does are the limit factor on how many you can take in a season. But Ohio seems to not understand that, because they are smarter than anyone else. My opinion they are STUPID! Don't mean to be rude to them, but they need to get on board, like other states have.

Re: The mysterious long-toed deer of Alma, Wis. (Sept. 15 blog)

Jason Eastman (Wenatchee, Wash.): I went to college at Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. Hunting out in the palouse region of the state generated the same elongated hoof. Out there, miles and miles of soft farm/crop land made it very easy for a monster buck to never step foot on a paved road. For that reason, every farm-fed buck I shot had these same "elf shoes" on him.

Mukwonago, Wis.: As others have stated, this is nothing new to the animal world. Anyone who has spent any time around farm animals has seen this before. It is very common in beef and dairy cattle, as they are both fed very high protein diets. For this reason, many cattlemen have a ferrier come to the farm on a regular basis to control this. So even though it makes a good story and headline, it is definetely nothing new or strange in the animal world; just not as common in wild animals.

Eric Stewart (Marysville, Wash.): I've seen a segment on one of the animal shows of wild horses in South America that had this same issue. It was due to a lack of rocks/stone in the home range of the horses. There was nothing to wear down the hoves, so local ranchers anually rounded up the horses and trimed them back down.

Dean Miller (Colonial Heights, Va.): Long hooves? I sent a copy of the picture to a friend in the Game Department (deer management chief) and got back this reply: "Seems like Mr. Miller in Pa. is on the right track. Have seen this condition numerous times before. I call if "elves feet," because it looks like the funny little boots all the artists always draw on wood elves and fairies. I have no idea what actually causes it. Deer hooves grow quickly and, of course, typically are worn down/off at the same rate. If you put a notch at the top of a deer hoof, I expect it would be worn off in a couple to six months. Somehow these deer hooves do not wear normally and once the hoof gets past a certain point, it cannot wear normally so it grows in a big twisted arc. Just like those super-long human finger nails you see pictures of in the paper from time to time."

Casey Stoddard (Osburn, Idaho): I saw a deer with the same type of deformed hoof here in northern Idaho about 15 years ago. It was on a medium-size whitetail buck that a friend had shot.

Cookeville, Tenn.: Possible explanation for the long-toed deer: Ruminants, included are cattle, goats, deer, can get a condition called lamintis or founder, which causes lameness and excessive hoof growth, sometimes to the extreme. Caused by excess starch in the rumen (first stomach) and known as rumen acidosis. Usually caused by excess consumption of grains ,of which corn is probably the most common agent. It also happens in horses, a non-ruminant, and can cause incredibly long hoofs. For those interested, go to www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/ID/ID-321-W.pdf

Richard (Farmingdale, Maine): I have a photograph of a cow moose shot in northern Maine last year with the elongated-hoof problem. Maine biologists named the anomaly "slipperfoot." Moose in northern Maine are not fed by anybody and the same food is available throughout the state for this member of the deer family. Maybe the strange hoofs just happen.

Brad Holt (Muskogee, Okla.): As a former horseshoer, I have seen this in not only horses, but also in cattle. It looks very much like "founder." Founder is caused by any number of things, from eating too much protein, change in diet or drinking too much water when hot to stress on the feet from running across hard ground. And though it could be just a genetic oddity, I'm going to stand by first decision: founder.

Re: 8 escaped Idaho elk shot by officials (Sept. 12 blog)

Nate Hughes (Rawlins,Wyo.): I am starting to suspect that this great elk escape is nothing but a whole bunch of malarkey about nothing. First, according to the owner, there never were 160 elk loose, let alone 160 bull elk. Idaho has had the elk they killed long enough to have had the tests back three or four times, and have yet to release any results. The owner of these elk stated that they were pure Yellowstone Park elk. Why would he lie, when he knew the state of Idaho was testing the elk they had killed as he spoke? The state of Idaho admitted that the elk were without disease up until they killed a prize bull elk, and refused to pay for it, and were therefore denied access to the property. If the state of Idaho ever releases the test results, I suspect we will learn that the elk are pure Rocky Mountain elk and that no disease was found in any of the animals tested. It would appear the only danger to elk,lies in the fact that the animals that have been recaptured have been exposed to wild elk, and Yellowstone Park elk are definitely diseased. Now no one in Idaho thinks less of deer- and elk-hunting farms than I do. But playing this situation for political purposes, and to stomp on someone because they refused to kowtow to state officials, is dead wrong. I wish someone over there near the farm the elk escaped from would investigate this situation and write an article exposing the true facts concerning this event.

Re: Grouper turns tables on diver (Sept. 14 blog)

Tampa, Florida: In regard to the spearfisherman killed by the jewfish, he absolutely go what he deserved! If you are going to hunt or fish, one should know what is legal and illegal to harvest. Goliath grouper are a protected species for a reason, and the fact that the grouper did the job of the FWC makes me happy. I wish that people could just follow the rules so that the rest of us don't have to deal with all of the new regulations that come about because of other people's ignorance. On top of his death, the family should be fined for the destruction of the wildlife.

Re: Earth to WHA: It's not hunting (Aug. 1 blog)

Tampa, Fla.: I'll be looking forward to watching it this fall! I don't know why everyone is so worried about this. If it is because they will be getting paid, well so do the guys that make the monster bucks videos. If it's because they are darting the animals, that is better than killing them.

Monroe, Mich.: I think this is totally wrong. Hunting is not a sport; it is a way of life. You can't eat the antlers. As hunters, we should be good stewards to the land, by keeping the deer populations in check with habitat.

Isaac (Provo, Utah): If they're after non-fatal methods of "hunting" game, why not give them all cameras (no zoom lenses, of course). Darting for fun or "entertainment" is just harassing animals. Leave the darting to vets.

Brent (Port Huron, Mich): What are you thinking? Hunters show more respect for deer than this. The World Hunting Association should remove the Hunting from their name.

Jason (Detroit): Just what Michigan needs — a hunting organization that disrupts the honest character and tradition of Michigan hunters … as if hunting in Michigan needed a corporate boost. I have a better idea for Mr. Farbman: Take the family money and start an alternative energy company in Michigan. Build ideas off of the manufacturing sites that the auto industry is leaving behind. If hunting has to be what you blow your father's money on, maybe start a youth-hunting program, where you have kids come and learn the tradition of hunting. There are a number of ideas that don't involve this poorly designed concept of disturbing the sincerity of traditional hunting.

Tom (Rochester, Mich.): Hunting isn't about killing; it's about camaraderie and spending time with nature. The WHA isn't the first group to exploit hunting for money. I don't support high-fence hunting, but there are already hundreds, if not thousands of similar trophy-game preserves and "put and take" bird clubs throughout the United States. Let's face it, today hunting is controversial and losing numbers. The WHA's methods are far from perfect, but if they can help hunting in the way that BASS and other competitive fishing groups have helped recreational fishing, then I'll support it.

Adam (Missoula, Mont.): To Tom from Rochester — Trust me buddy, hunting is about killing for just about everyone that does it. Camping is for camaraderie and spending time with nature. Don't bother pitching that crap, because no one buys it.

Auburn, Wash.: The millionaire "gentleman" should himself be darted. What a colossal asinine idea.

Jake (LaGrange, Ky.): I agree 100 percent with your blog on the WHA. When I first heard about this lucrative idea, I was sure it would crash and burn just like the whole over-the-computer-use-your-mouse-to-move-a-remote-controlled-gun-and-shoot-a-caged-deer-in-Texas idea. It looks like the war on the WHA might be more of a fight than I expected, but I know good will prevail over evil. Thank you for giving us hunters with morals a voice, and please keep up the fight until this ridiculous WHA goes down the toilet.

Jason (Springfield, Ill.): I have read about the WHA for several weeks now and figured that it would pull up stakes and be forgotten before anything ever really came of this joke of an idea. After reading your latest blog, I figured I would look into the association and see if there was any credibility to the WHA. After seeing what their idea of entertainment is, it appears clear that their vision, production and company is a joke. The combination of corny lines and cornier nick names could only bring to mind professional wrestling. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we could bring the nicknames to all of the hunting community, how about Michael "He Don't Walk He" Waddell, Bill "Shoots Like Michael" Jordan, Stan "Stop Banging" Potts or Fred "Hits Like A" Bear. This organization has found its target audience, and all 28 of those people won't get the ratings as high as you need to support a television show.

Re: No cells or radios hunting moose in Vermont (July 28 blog)

Jeff Taylor (Moore, Okla.): Vermont should allow the use of radios to locate wounded moose. The radios can be used to prevent the waste of game.

Re: On the water, a little etiquette goes a long way (July 26 and July 18 blogs)

Jim (Savannah, Ga.): I have wanted to hook many a boater who cramped me on the river and the bay. I respect others' space. I think the rule should be if I can cast and hit you, you deserve it. Can someone send me one of those big 3/0 trebles with about 4 ounces of weight.

Jerry Bannantine (Pleasanton, Texas): Mr. Absher, after reading your article about lack of etiquette on public waters, I had to respond. I am a career, retired military man who, when stationed in the States, spent a lot of off-duty time saltwater fishing. My final assignment was to a base in San Antonio. I trailered my boat to this location, then parked it at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station (about 150 miles from San Antonio). I figured to do some bay and gulf fishing on the weekends, but each time I arrived in Corpus it was always too windy to fish safely. I finally gave up, sold the boat and took up golfing. Fourteen years of that aggravation was enough, so I put the clubs away and bought another boat. This time though, I changed to freshwater fishing at Choke Canyon Lake, a nice-size, state-owned body of water with five launch facilities. Well, after so many years away from boating, I struggled with the launch and recovery process the first few times I tried. But rather than tell you about irate anglers blaming me for clogging up the ramp, all I've experienced are folks who are willing to help an old guy launch his boat. The fishermen here are great! Not only did they help me with launching, they gave me all sorts of advice on hotspots and recommended lures and baits. So, no sad story here about fishing etiquette, just a word of thanks to all the great fishing folks at Choke Canyon! Jerry Bannantine

Re: What price world record? (June 30 blog)

R.J. (Salina, Kansas): Skeptics should back off the hammerhead record holder. Most of those people criticizing him would have done the same thing. This is no different than a bass fisherman catching a trophy bass or walleye full of eggs. The fact is, of those pups maybe 10 would have actually lived longer than a month in the wild anyway? Just my guess. Leave him alone.

Re: World Hunting Association (June 12 blog)

Buck (Durham, N.C.): I have to applaud the tranq-n-release effort as great first step in promoting the sport of hunting, while at the same time protecting the longevity of the target. As (if) this gains the public acceptance, it could also provide opportunity for animal study and stewardship. Once an animal is down, trained veterinary resources can tag the animal and give it a medical field check. In that sense, it should be considered a win for the animal. The bedside manor may seem a bit brutish, but animals aren't known to walk into the vet's office voluntarily.

Tim Hepler (Pardeeville, Wis.): Will they have clowns in their circus? Because that's all it is.

Ford, Va.: What a shame to bring our sport to this. It is not a football game or golf; it is America's heritage.

David Waarvik: F.A.P. (Fantastic and Preposterous)

Jason (Ashland, Ky.): I think this is a great idea. It is a lot like a fishing tournament, and we have all seen how big those have gotten now. I hope it is a big success

Winona Lake, Ind.: You have got to be kidding me? Tranquilizer guns in a high-fence hunt? That's not hunting; that's a farce! I find it all totally appalling. I have hunted all my life. I would not spend a dime or a second of time on this so-called hunt. I think it is truly a shame what we try to pass off as hunting today. Have them try to find a buck on a public hunting area. Hunting videos have gotten bad enough. This is ridiculous.

Michael J. Dwyer (Otisville, N.Y.): W.H.A = What Hunters are Against!! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Ken (Upper Peninsula of Michigan): I'm an avid deer hunter who enjoys spending time in the woods and putting healthy meat on my family's table. As many others have said, the WHA's notion of hunting for money is repulsive, disgusting and will provide false and negative impressions of what hunting is really about to the neutral non-hunting public. If you want reality, get off the couch and get outside with nature!

Leland Arneson Jr. (Prairie du Chien, Wis.): Hunting to me is putting food on the table, killing what you eat. Hunting is not a spectator sport or a contest. The WHA is a joke!

Franklin (Massachusetts): It looks like an exciting and fun idea; I think it could work out really well — a competition hunting big game between hunters that does not hurt the animal. It will be great because it shows the viewer the strategy and preparation it takes to harvest these big-game animals.

Eric Krewson (Florence, Ala.): Being of Native American extraction, I find the idea of turning deer into a pawn to enrich a bunch of money-hungry notoriety seekers absolutely the worst idea to ever enter the hunting arena. I have been hunting deer for 35 years very successfully and have gained an amazing amount of respect for the species over the years. The purposed degradation of this magnificent species by the WHA is something that every sportsman in this country should fight against. I suspect any company that supports the WHA's sick concept will experience a drop in sales that will make their head spin. The buzz among hunters on the 'Net supports my suspicions.

Arlen (Kimberling City, Mo.): So we are going to drug the animals and turn them loose. These guys don't know much about animals. How many times are you going to drug this animal before you kill it from the drugs you inject into it and all the stress you place on it?

Fort Defiance, Ariz.: This sounds fantastic! I think it's about time that they think of a more humane way of enjoying this sport. Much of the excitement isn't the kill but the hunt. I'll definitely be tuning in!

Joe Conway (Colorado Springs, Colo.): Are the deer that are put down going to be tagged or tested or anything that will be useful to the other deer populations out there? If not, it kind of seems like a lot of useless stress that the animals will go through. As an avid bass fisherman, we take our fish for a ride all day, also, but we never knock them out. I don't know which would be more stressful?

Steve (Pittsburgh): Hunting? We hunters don't hide behind high fenced enclosures to nab trophies. The true essence of hunting is beyond the reach of the quick dollar. If you wanna make money, don't hide behind the lie of trying to bring my sport into the mainstream. Real hunters have true respect for the animals we chase; they are an adversary, not our prey. We respect the animals more then any animal-rights group could even begin to phantom. So excuse me if I and every hunter I know boycotts this "game" for treating our sport like a harlot.

Dave (Seymour, Conn.): Perhaps the Humane Society would like to sponsor this activity; just substitute the tranquilizers for contraceptives. This isn't hunting; it's a perversion of a great tradition that isn't about the size of the antlers but putting meat on the table and making memories that last a lifetime. Give me a break!

Don (Kingwood, W.Va.): BooooHisssss. I've been hunting for 30 years and have never heard of a concept that is so bad for hunting or so disrespectful for the game we hunt!

Pat McNamara (Australia): All of the Aussie bowhunters I've talked to along with USA bowhunters feel this is one of the worst ideas ever for bowhunting. Tag and release on deer behind high fences has no place in today's bowhunting. This is not hunting. This is using deer as a game for money. This is disgusting. Most of the major sponsors have already removed themselves from W H A due to the protest of all bowhunters concerned. This should be stopped. It's purely driven by greed and no respect for the game or the ethics and morals of bowhunting. Any sponsors and people that are involved in this will loose all respect and support from the bowhunting community worldwide.

Sherry (Greenwich, Conn.): Just when I thought hunters couldn't be more cruel or idiotic. Why can't you find something constructive to do with your time that might actually benefit society?

Don Hanson (Valley Falls, Kansas): I've read with interest the new TV format for a hunting show, a pay-per-view, shoot-and-release hunting tourney. I'm wondering if it wouldn't be perceived in the same vein as professional buffalo hunters would be today. I'm fearful that hunting (even though not killing) would be seen in a dimmer light than perhaps it already is in a lot of circles. Negative publicity to the hunting industry is not what we need. Please reconsider on this one. I could ramble, but hopefully I've made my point.

Josh (Kalamazoo, Mich.): This is garbage!!!! Who in their right mind would support this thing? I personally have sent out emails to all sponsors stating myself and many others will boycott their product. Many have withdrawn, thankfully. This would give anti-hunters the most ammo against hunters in years.

Todd (Holly, Mich.): W.H.A. All I can say is it makes me sick. What a joke.

Jim Brown: I am opposed to this type of competition. I am an avid hunter, but this will give the antis lots of ammo to use against us. I feel this sends a terrible message. Hunting should not be a competition. This will screw the noble sport of hunting.

Ron Simering (Greensboro, Md.): As a hunter, I feel this will bring more bad press against our sport. It's hard enough for us to teach the public that without hunting the population will hurt the environment and now we are going around shooting deer with darts for the fun of it. Animal rights will love this.

John Squires (Clarkston Mich.): The whole concept of the WHA sucks. Do not do it; it will be a disaster!

Sharon, Mass.: As a lifelong hunter and conservationist, I find this concept appalling. The prostitution of the sport degrades the quarry and the pseudo hunters who participate.

Manassas, Va.: Another hunting show I will not watch. Even though there is no kill. It sounds like it falls into the normal infomercial hunting shows like the other 98 percent of the shows I will not watch. Taking game is only a small part of the hunting experience, but it is what the antis and media concentrate on both from the pro and con side.

Bill Greenway (Bartlesville, Okla.): I think that they are out of their minds. We as hunters have a hard enough time with the anti-hunters and PETA the way it is. PETA will be on this like a tick on a fat hound.

Charles Bourland: This is a very bad idea and as a bowhunter, I do not want to see this on TV. Hunting is a good pastime. But darting deer for money and competition is not something I wish to take part in.

Heather Rogers (Minnesota): I think this is the most ridiculous thing I have heard of. This is not what hunting and the outdoors is about. This is a bunch of people who have way too much money on their hands trying to make a successful cash jackpot out of it. I can't believe Eastman would sponsor something like this. This is not hunting to me. It is a bunch of slobs trying to act like hunters.

Shane Suther (Kansas): This is not a good idea. I don't go to the woods to make money. I go to the woods to get away from where I make money. Commercializing the sport is the last thing that should happen.

Rio Rancho, N.M.: This is a horrible, greed motivated, travesty. Farbman should be tranquilized.

Steve Armstrong (Michigan): Hunting is hunting, whether with a bullet, arrow or dart. Hunting is not about taking; it is about skills with your weapon, understanding habit and conditions. If bass, tarpon, redfish and trout fishermen all compete no-kill for the most pounds and largest fish, why can't hunters compete for the largest buck? I am having problems understanding the negative comments about this event.

John (Portland, Ore.): This needs to be stopped and fast. High-fence hunting isn't hunting any more than fishing in a fish hatchery/trout pond is fishing. As for the WHA? I will do everything in my power to make sure that neither myself or my fellow hunters that I come in contact with have anything to do or support any sponsor or company that is attached to this in anyway. We hunters have to work extra hard to make sure we don't offend anyone as it is. Then these idiots come along and push us back and ruin all the effort we have put forth to educate the non-hunting public. This disgusts me and I sincerely hope that hunting has not come to this. Our hunting ancestors are rolling over in their graves as this comes about. Our heritage is being tarnished badly, and REAL hunters need to make their voices heard. Thank you.

Matt (Elizabeth Ill.): You have to be kidding me; this is the dumbest thing since the XFL. This will destroy hunting as we know it.

Jon B. (Auburn Hills, Mich.): I think this is great. Finally something entertaining!!! What will the animal activists say now? There is nothing wrong with hunting; in fact hunting and fishing has to be in the top running for all-time favorite pastime throughout the country. This should make everyone happy. NOTHING IS BEING KILLED. Can't we all just get along??

Kerry (Nevada): Thank you. J.R., for voicing your opposition to the World Hunting Association. It absolutely disgusts me! … Again, thank you for denouncing this perversion of hunting. I can only hope that word gets around soon enough to prevent this outrage before it does irreparable damage to the image of hunting and hunters.

Jeff (Houston): This is the worst thing that can happen to hunting. Hunting is not a game and using this premise to do so only gives fuel to the anti's that are trying to stop hunting altogether on a daily basis. This idea of hunting for money needs to be buried right now!

Kotzebue, Alaska: Wrong, just plain wrong, is shooting deer inside high fences.This darting could be very traumatic on the animals and end up killing them anyway. I am a hunter, but this isn't what hunting is about. Besides that, I don't believe in playing with my food.

Matt (Rochester Hills, Mich.): Hunting for money? Doing what I love and getting paid for it; sounds like a dream come true to me.

Mike Willand (Wauconda, Ill.): Deer hunting is not a sport, but a passion. It is deep seeded within every man, woman and child. Unfortunately, most of us have lost its importance and for them I feel sorry. To try and make a sport out of deer hunting is disrespect, both of animal and God. Any man who tries to become rich from such an endeavor and exploit deserves everything he will get. I am against the WHA.

John Morse (Edwardsburg, Mich.): Any event that a fan can't physically attend will only appeal to a limited number of viewers. … I hope this new league pays close attention to ethics and morals of hunting. It will be bad enough that they will be accused of overstressing and torturing the animals. Hunting does not need "pros" who behave as bad as other professional athletes. Sincerely, John

Scott (Houston): Well, it may not be for you (or me either), but what he is doing is essentially no different than what a large number of "hunters" are already doing. And that is paying big money for a deer in a high-fence situation. At least he is not killing them. What about all the deer videos that show impact shots and deer stumbling after being hit with an arrow. Those deer never get to be "revived". But is that acceptable because that is hunting? The argument against this guy is not fundamentally sound; however, it may not be for everyone and may not be supported. I wouldn't do it, but that is just me. Maybe there is a market for it; that is for everyone else to decide.

Greg Holland (Temple, Texas): I and many other avid deer hunters are livid about the idea of this mockery of our sport that our forefathers brought us. I can't believe this guy is still running around claiming he has multiple sponsors for this crap he plans to do with the WHA. I know exactly what hunting is all about, and this is not hunting. This type of thing will only fuel the hunting antis to new heights. This event, if carried out, will leave a very large black eye on this industry we so dearly love.

Bob (Detroit): World Hunting Association, it is about time we had professional hunting for outdoor sportsman to enjoy as fans and participants.

Trey (Santa Fe, N.M.): I love hunting. My wife would say obsessed, and I might agree with her. And that is the dumbest idea I have ever heard of. Harassment of wildlife. Why not just shoot them with paintballs? Another idiotic idea.

Clay Massey (Southlake, Texas): This program will reflect a very negative light on fair chase hunting. This is NOT what it's supposed to be about. More ammo for the antis.

Frank Pearson (Norway, Mich.): Although the intent to improve interest in hunting is admirable, this type of "hunting" will not help the cause. In fact, the opposite is more likely.

Joe (Beaverton, Mich.): As a lifelong hunter who lives less than 5 miles from the Lost Arrow Ranch, I strongly support this program. A longtime friend is one of the people behind this show, and it will be handled humanely and be extremely entertaining for hunters of all ages to watch. 100 percent support.

Patrick Clark (Conroe, Texas): As an avid hunter, this contest makes outdoorsmen look extremely bad. I am a well-traveled outdoorsman and also an owner of a game ranch in Texas. I would never let someone dart an animal on my ranch to take a picture of it. Whitetails have a high fatality rate when darted; we always net whitetails from a helicopter to capture for the purpose of moving an animal to another ranch. This process is more expensive than darting, but if done right puts less stress on the deer's body than drugs do. To me this is just another gimmick way for someone that wants to be somebody in the hunting world to make his mark, just like the gentlemen that tried hunting from a computer; it's on the same level. Hunting is not a contest of catch and release like fishing; it is a hobby enjoyed by millions of individuals and families.

Sam Carrozza (Palos Hills, Ill.): This competition is not an accurate representation of the true hunters. We do not need any more anti-hunting associations all over us, and it seems that this won't help the situation. This changes the sport from an ethical sport to a ruthless competition.

Gary Mauser (Coquitlam, Canada): This is not hunting but a perversion of hunting. This ersatz competition will merely provide live ammo for the anti-hunters to attack real hunting.

Eric Powers (Bakersfield, Calif.): I wish I had thought of the World Hunting competition. Looks like a fun and interactive way to see who the best hunters are. Where do I sign up?

Clint (Ogden Utah): This is an outrage. How can this event even be made possible? I have witnessed drugged animals die not because of the dose of the drug but what the animals body does after the injection. We do not need to have a catch-and-release deer hunt or any other angle for the anti-hunters to attack us. This is awful.

Dave Halverson (Somerset, Pa.): I have been a hunter all of my life and this WHA is about the stupidest thing I have ever heard. True hunters don't have to be on TV or in an organized league. What a true "hunter" values is the time out in the mountains, getting close to mother nature and friendships. It's not about the harvesting of animals and to sink to a professional hunting league about makes me sick to my stomach.

Farmington Hills, Michigan: It sounded fishy at first, but I read some recently posted reviews of this upcoming sport and with further inspection from the Web site came to my own conclusions. Like anything new, it won't easily be accepted because no one usually takes the time to read what it really is about and how it is exactly played out and constructed for broadcast. It may not be for everyone, but it surely has an audience around our country. With professional rock/paper/scissors and food-eating contests on a heavy rise, I'm sure in time all will love it like any other American sport. Cheers I say!

Keith Patrick (Wheatfield, Ind.): This is a sad day in the history of sportsman. This will completely destroy the way that ethical hunters have hunted and passed traditions for generations. If this show gets out there, it will show the non-hunting world a different aspect of hunting that completely contradicts the proven methods of hunting that are used now. Unfortunately corporate sponsorship will probably make it happen. This will only hurt the fight that we (ethical) hunters have against anti-hunting organizations already. The things people see on television is what they believe and this is not the way Americans hunt. The simple fact is that hunting is not a sport; it's a way of life for so many of us. We have a crisis here and need to stand together to solve it.

Chicago: I think it could be a whole new frontier for hunting. I would watch it.

Tara (Ripley, W.Va.): As a hunter, I find this deplorable.

Bill Roberts: How competitive and "sporty" can it be behind 9-foot fences. Like shooting fish in a barrel?

Re: Chest waders shouldn't be indicted (June 6 blog)

Charles Pacheco (Manteca, Calif.): J.R., you have the most interesting stories. Where the heck do you come up with them? I found the story about the wader drowning "myth" (i.e. sinking like a rock when the waders fill up with water) to be particularly interesting and educational. It helped dispell one of my long-held beliefs. Thanks, also, for reminding us that filled waders pose a hazard when you are in a body of water that has current.

Re: The Baghdad School of Fly Fishing (May 22 blog)

Jack Kiser: I think it's great that our great American fighting men are able to enjoy some flyfishing while on their downtime. Fishing is a great stress reliever . Catch 'em up, boys.

George Snyder (Montana): I'm sorry, I grew up as an avid sportsman in the heart of the Rockies, but there is no place for such "fluff" in any discussion of our war experience. It is unnecessarily distracting from the tragic sacrifice more than 2,000 American families have made. Let's focus on the mission and get it done with.

Re: The controversy over the demise of a record hammerhead (May 17 blog)

Bill (Bally, Pa.): As long as it is legal, I think it is OK to sacrifice the fish for a line class record … BUT only if there is no way of releasing it alive. If the meat is edible, though, it should be cleaned and given away if the angler doesn't want it. Ted Nugent wouldn't be happy about burying a trophy unused.

Jim (Dunellen, N.J.): I think it is deplorable as a fishermen that for a moment's glory an animal that has ruled its environment for well over a decade becomes nothing but root fodder for an orange grove. The angler was obviously attempting nothing but gaining media attention and acknowledgement of his skills as an angler. Too bad his choices lead only to his being revealed as a fool (mind you the guide, if there was one, should be fined and have his license suspended for blatant destruction of public properties) and a lout. The gene pool is shortened and the Darwinian balance unseated when an apex predator kills for no purpose but the thrill. It's sad statement on this individual's appreciation of the natural world.

And in general …

Jim Aznoe: Enjoy your blog a lot … great perspective, education, and entertainment. Thank you.

J.R. Absher: Hello Cordele, Ga.: You can go to the story about the record crappie provided by the Missouri Dept. of Conservation, and click on the photograph to download a large, printable version. Here's the link: http://mdc.mo.gov/cgi-bin/news/news_search.cgi?item=1146847051,73357 Thanks for reading the News Hound!

Cordele, Ga: I am a retired fire fighter, and I now own a crappie lure business. I have just read your article about the monster black crappie caught by Mr. Horstman. I also write a weekly fishing article in my local paper, and you did a great job on this article. I would appreciate it if you could get me a picture of this crappie because I would love to put a framed picture on my wall. Thank you and GOD bless you all.

Mary (Fort Smith, Ark.) in response to question about how young is too young to hunt: An arbitrary age should not apply to allowing youth in the woods when accompanied by a responsible adult. Most adults that grew up around hunting in the early years probably "hunted" prior to being the "legal" age. Now, that just isn't happening due to various restrictions … some of which are regulations in the hunting laws, but others such as soccer, t-ball or other organized activities the youth participate in rather than a spontaneous walk in the woods. Even those that have access to woods are more involved in an "organized" activity. Usually it is easier for mom or dad to take them to the "organized" activity than it is hunting or on a walk in the woods. I personally have no problem with taking a young person hunting; whether they pull the trigger or not should be up to the adult and child, as long as the adult has had the responsibility and safety guidelines supplied in a hunter-ed class. At some age, however, the child does need to take a hunter-ed course if he or she wants to hunt alone without supervision. Regarding bowhunting, the equipment usually determines when a person is old enough to hunt. For example, being capable of pulling back a 40-pound bow. However, in states that have crossbow usage during archery season, supervised youth can learn to "bowhunt" with crossbows at a much earlier age than with other traditional archery equipment.

Guy Sagi (Linden, Va.) in response to question about how young is too young to hunt: We can argue about the safe age someone can begin to hunt, but the truth of the matter is simple. This kid wasn't parked behind a mind-numbing video game. This kid wasn't asking for trouble with adult predators on the Internet. Nor was she hypnotized by a television's drone. She was spending time with dad, learning about Mother Nature and the heritage he cared enough to share … therefore old enough.

Tony K. (Tucson, Ariz.): Great job, J.R. Amen to the immigration thing. Living in Tucson, I know that you are right on.

Mike W. (Martinsville, Ind.): Longtime reader of your columns. Keep up the good work!!!

Craig Springer (Edgewood, N.M.): Birddoggin' for outdoor news — couldn't be any better than this. Cougars that could next earn the right to vote, dynamite fishing, and wild turkey gone wild. What's J.R. going to find next?

Mark Wenberg (Tucson, Ariz.): Congratulations J.R.! Your articles are great, always have been, glad you made it to the big time. Keep up the good work!

T.K. (Burnsville, Minn.): My on comment on the turkey busting up that library in South Bend is … it looks like the Fightin' Irish may have found a new running back!

Guy J. Sagi (Linden, Va.): The only problem I foresee with the California legislation making it illegal for mountain lions to attack humans is the fact that the court system will have to modify its swearing-in procedure. "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," won't cut it when a cougar can answer "I ain't lion." Good stuff J.R. Keep it up

Leslea Hoffpauir (Bryan, Texas): Looks great J.R. Congrats.

Barry W. (Greeneville, Tenn.): Great stuff, Mr. Absher. It's hard to figure which is more flocked up, a bunch of turkeys, or anti-hunting California politicians. Look forward to seeing more.

Mike Clifford: This has been a long time coming J.R.! ESPNOutdoors has done themselves very well to acquire your skill and wit that is like no other in our niche. Looking forward to your usual informative articles in the new digs.

Mark Henckel (Billings, Mont.): I read the story on the Russian anglers who blew up the train with dynamite they had planned to use for fishing. I take that as a sign of progress. Now, with newfound prosperity, they use dynamite. In the old days, it would have been old, dull pitchforks. Just goes to show that embracing new technology will get you more fish at the end of the day. And, what the heck, if you bag a train in the process, that's just an added bonus.

Frank V. (Hollywood, Fla..): California, California, California. Not letting hunters track cougars is making things much worse in your state. More attacks on animals — and humans — since before the hunting ban was instituted. And now we learn that more cougars are killed by wardens than were killed by hunters. Serves you guys right!

Jackson, Miss.: Funniest line about the volumes of cleanup work in the library after that turkey-through-the-window incident. Good stuff, J.R.