Feeling the need this morning to opine, after many days of pondering about a letter to the editor written by Mrs. Siegfried in the Oct. 13 edition of the Summit Daily. The letter was titled 'Hoping hunter finds another area' Curiously in the same edition on PAGE A2 was a thoughtful and informative article written by Shannon Schwab from our local Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division. Her article was titled "'Hug a hunter' this fall."
Wow, what a contrast between the two! Honestly I had to chuckle ... As Shannon stated in her article, nearly 250,000 hunters in all and most from Colorado will take part in the yearly tradition that we call hunting. From Mrs. Siegfried's letter, I would gather that she will not take part in any hugs this fall or in any year for that matter? Her concern was over a close friend of mine that finally after 15 years, drew his Colorado archery moose tag for our area. I'm thrilled that she and her husband now call Summit County their home, where they can enjoy hiking and the great outdoors here that the Colorado High Country has to offer. So welcome to the county! But what gets me is her statement that this hunter was not out there hunting moose for the meat but just the prize "rack" as she puts it? Really and honestly Mrs. Siegfried I take exception to that statement. I've personally known this hunter that you met on the trail that day, supposedly hunting your "family pet" as you say, and I can tell you that he was not hunting specifically for that individual moose. It was one of many drainages that he hiked throughout the season where he logged over 100 miles throughout all of Summit County hunting moose to fill a once-in-a-lifetime tag. Yes, that's correct, one moose per hunter for life. I'd also inform you that only one tag was issued this year for archery moose.
As stated, I've hunted with this hunter for close to 30 years now and like him, there are quite a few of us longtime Summit County locals who prefer to provide for their families each fall with wild game. As Shannon stated, it's a tradition!
Archery hunting is by far the most difficult means in which to hunt wild game and also as "fair chase" as you will find for the wildlife. So please instead of making generalities and disparaging remarks about fellow hunters that you meet on the trail, stop and say hello, get informed and be willing to share the trail. Hunters are not dangerous as you state, please look up the statistics.
Also, If you did not see or read Shannon's article? Hunters and anglers spent over $1.5 billion (with a B) in Colorado in 2007 alone. So, our Colorado economy depends deeply on this tradition. Not to mention hunting helps manage our local wildlife to keep the herds healthy.
Let's share our many fine trails and backcountry friends, after all Summit County is called 'Colorado's playground' right?
We are responsible and ethical in this tradition of ours, so cut us a little slack and as Shannon says, 'Hug a hunter' this fall! Sincerely,
Leo Causland, Silverthorne