Letters – Fall 2022

That’s just idiocy—do any of you really get out in the wilderness? First off, whoever drew the “grouse” for your article (“Ruff Country," Summer 2022, p. 36) has no idea what a grouse really looks like—not even funny. Yes, these are intense animals when it comes to people coming into their habitat but never, ever have they “attacked.” The first thing they do is feign being injured to get you away from hurting their hatchlings. I fathom to say that you people are the whiners of nature—what seems like an attack is just not. Is this a woke magazine where now everything is out to get you? I've been hiking and hunting for over 60 years and the only attack I’ve had was in Alaska by giant mosquitos! I hope that your article was simply a funny joke and not meant to inform people about the wilderness. —Donna, Olympia WA

Hey Donna, thanks for reaching out. And I’m glad that you’re just as put-off as we are by the woke culture these days of acting like everything is out to get you. But I’ve spent some time out in western Washington, too, and I must say, the animals there are quite tame compared to the ones we have in Montana. If you don’t believe me, see “Hand-to-Hoof Combat” (Fall 2018, p. 28). —Joe King

I’d like to submit a nomination to the Pillory for the SOB who left a hook covered in artificial bait on the shore of upper Spanish Lake sometime in early August. After a nice weekend outing, as my wife and I were about to leave, I turned to see three feet of fishing line dangling from my dog’s mouth. After trying to reach in her throat to no avail and realizing the hook was set far out of reach, I noticed bits of telltale green PowerBait in her mouth. A nervous hike out and trip to the emergency vet confirmed it was a treble hook lodged in her stomach. I’ll admit to thinking anyone willing to tarnish a pure alpine lake with PowerBait is lacking in wilderness ethic, but this individual is scum of the earth. Leave-no-trace bedamned; they saw fit to leave a treble hook covered in rubber on the shore of a pristine alpine lake, ready to kill the next creature who happened along. Only $4,000 of vet bills saved my pup from this fate, and certainly dampened my post-backpack bliss. It crushes my soul to know this jackass is out trashing the Lee Metcalf while I’m doing my best, digging catholes for dog poop. These places we are lucky enough to visit are too special to be tarnished by BS like this. Act like you give a damn and pick up after yourself. If anyone can identify this hook-leaving lowlife, I’d like to present a tarring and feathering, as well as an invoice. Honorable mention to the seven cliff-jumping young men who left camp with their fire still burning. —Wes S.

You have a great magazine, thank you. But I found “A Growing Problem” (Summer 2022, p. 38) very odd. It does not fit your culture of the rest of your content. I know it is published under “humor,” but it was not even funny. Odd you would take the time to print a full page on trashing babies as the problem. These are babies we are talking about. The population is on the decline in the US, too, not increasing. It was a dark article or humor, either one it does not fit your culture of the rest of your magazine. Just my opinion. —Will Kastroll

Yes, Will, the article is odd indeed. Frivolous, too, not meant to be taken seriously. We thought it was different and kinda funny. Plus, we have at least one English major on staff who appreciated its (presumable) origins: “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, a famous satire about British indifference to Irish poverty, published in 1729.

The entire summer issue is absolutely outstanding! Cover to cover it has it all. My heartiest congratulations to the editor, the staff, and all contributors. The photos are fabulous and the articles are so very timely. Case in point is the popular Champs & Chumps column where the editors rightly praise the outstanding American Prairie organization while calling out the greed, hypocrisy, and disingenuous ways of United Property Owners of Montana, who if they had their way would gut the state’s extremely popular stream-access law. “Save the cowboy,” indeed. What a con job! Thanks for calling UPOM out guys! —Orville Bach