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White Turkey Legally Bagged
Lapham Legacy Example for All
Why No Preference for Seniors?
Balancing Great Lakes Water Demands
Praise for Outdoor Expo
I was entertained by Lonnie Bernarde's turkey story Spooked by a feathered specter (April 2007). Though the story was interesting and well written, I was upset when I got to the end of the story to find out Lonnie had illegally transported his turkey one-half mile back to his truck before putting his tag on it. As you know, the hunting regulations clearly state that "You may not carry by hand, possess or transport a turkey unless you have lawfully killed and tagged the turkey." I would hope in the future such articles would be screened for hunting violations before being printed.
David J. Sachse
We checked with Mr. Bernarde who offered this explanation: "I understand the concern about violating game laws. Perhaps a better word than 'tagged' would have been 'bagged' since I tagged him shortly after I took my foot off his neck. Also, I slit the tag while waiting for him to expire the first time!"
As a photographer I was looking forward to reading this article because I also enjoy the search for a male turkey. As a naturalist, I understand hunting and its purpose to control animal populations. When I search for an animal or bird to photograph, I try very hard not to disturb nesting individuals. Most naturalists would certainly claim the same philosophy.
In this article, the writer outlines the story very well until the end. How can an experienced hunter not make sure his target is dead once shot. Allowing the turkey to "have his last moments in peace" is not normal. The remainder of the article was very hard to read and certainly not funny. Later in the article he says, "I sprinted to my gun, slammed some shells into the chamber and took off hunting for my runaway prize." This person should have broken the neck of the bird and not allowed it to suffer a slow death. Slamming shells into a shotgun and running throughout the marsh is not the way my youngest son was taught when I took him to hunter safety class. There certainly must be many stories with proper hunting events that you could tell.
We printed the story for several reasons. The author clearly showed that he had done some things right and made some mistakes that in hindsight should have been handled differently. He had an unusual quarry. He explained both his hunting techniques and the strategy he intended to follow. He hunted his plan and still would have considered it a successful opportunity regardless of the outcome. He was willing to share the fact that he had made an error in judgment in assuming the turkey had died. He took steps to try and rectify that error as he had reverence for both the bird and the opportunity. We considered all those attributes worthy of sharing with our readers and thought the story provided lessons for others in an interesting narrative.
The article in your February 2007 issue about Increase A. Lapham (Citizen scientist) by Erika Janik was greatly appreciated. I had never before heard of Mr. Lapham. After reading the article three times, I realized how much we all have been benefiting from this man's works and accomplishments. To appreciate our natural resources is truly a virtue. It is good to be reminded.
The article about bear hunting (Learn to bear hunt, June 2007) for young people was well done and it is encouraging to see efforts to involve young people in hunting. However, I would like to know why some consideration is not given to seniors who have numerous preference points but have yet to draw a bear tag. Wouldn't it be fair to give hunters over the age of 70 (or 65) a "free" preference point in order to increase their chances of drawing a tag? A great percentage of senior citizen hunters have contributed many years of license fees for hunting and fishing so why not give them a small break? After all, seniors also have a terminal illness (not to make light of youngsters who do) called life span.
Jon King, from DNR's Learn to Hunt Program, says the program was established to give novice hunters a chance to get out into the woods and attempt hunting without any obstacles or hurdles. With so many activities competing for the time of young hunters, we needed to do what was necessary to prevent the decline of hunters in Wisconsin. "But remember, this program is for novice hunters," King says. "A novice hunter is anyone who has less than two years of hunting experience. That means anyone from 10 years to 100 can give the sport a try."
I was quite disturbed by your article in the June 2007 issue (A firm hand on the spigot) advocating the banning of any water being exported from the Great Lakes. This attitude is selfish and myopic. Wisconsin has no coal, no oil and no natural gas. Nearly all of the state's energy must be imported. I challenge you to explain how Wisconsin would cope if West Virginia, Montana, Alaska, Texas, Kuwait and others took a similar stance and banned the export of their energy supplies.
We actually don't see this issue very differently. The crux here isn't about banning water diversions or exports. All the states and provinces want to manage commerce to protect regional resources and regional assets. Improving lake water quality and setting up a system for states and provinces to consider diversions in a consistent fashion is an important step.
You are absolutely right that collective decisions on communal resources have serious consequences. They can change the discussion from shared resources to economic power, just as oil producing and exporting countries have created a system that controls how we value, use, allocate and charge for limited reserves of fossil fuels.
There are similar economic and ecological costs in managing water supply even though it is a renewable resource. We need to moderate wasteful habits in how water is used, and we need to look at ourselves first. There is a difference between "hoarding" water and being prudent in balancing the needs of communities, businesses, future generations and wildlife for access to clean water supplies. The Great Lakes agreement is as much about holding up a mirror to our own activities in Wisconsin as it is about building a wall around the Great Lakes. The aim is to hold everybody accountable to the same standards, and you are right that we can't expect others to change their habits and conserve water or energy supplies if we are not willing to take those steps ourselves.
After I read about the Outdoor Expo ( Keeping connected, April 2007), our family made the drive up to Beaver Dam from Pleasant Prairie for the family portion of the Expo. It was everything promised in the article. My girls got first-hand experience in handling firearms, bows and fishing poles. They climbed into kayaks and tents (telling me how we REALLY needed to upgrade our camping gear). They touched pelts, called turkeys and climbed in blinds. The refrain of the day was, "Mom, this is so much fun!" My eldest watched in fascination while a girl not much older than her skinned an otter. Sadly, the event was sparsely attended. I can only assume that better advertising would help this really unique experience. As a result of attending the Expo, we have purchased a bow for target shooting: the mission succeeded for one family!