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Unused Body Part Lying Around
I was dismayed by your cover story "How to Stalk, Kill, and Cook a California Wild Pig" (Sept. 2). First, the article says, "You can use any size bow and arrow, rifle, or pistol." In fact, using too small caliber of a bullet or too light a load will drastically increase the likelihood of merely wounding the pig, something that's not very wise or sportsmanlike.

Also, unlike some hunted animals, the gender of the pig is impossible for the hunter to determine in the instant before shooting. How many pregnant sows are shot each year? How many nursing mothers are shot, leaving their piglets to starve or be eaten by predators?

The article states that "pig hunting is allowed on any public land managed by ... government agencies." Last year, hunters killed one person and injured 25 others while they were on California's public lands. The suggestion that it's appropriate for more novices to be firing guns on public lands is a reckless one.

The article lauds the magnificent scenery of Sonoma County where this hunt takes place. But far more picnickers, hikers, and bird-watchers use these lands than hunters do. Gunfire, the screaming of dying pigs, or unused body parts lying around does not enhance the nature experience for the majority of us who choose not to hunt.

The article states that the act of finally killing the pig is a downer. Could this perhaps be the hunters' conscience informing them that what they do is wrong? Every other positive element of the hunt -- communion with nature, the thrill of the chase, and so on -- is just as achievable with a camera rather than a gun, and without the guilt. Hunters have long claimed that their "sport" brings them into communion with nature. This is absurd. The average vegetarian or vegan has a far closer and more genuine relationship with nature than someone who enters nature to stalk and kill its creatures.

Robert Haines
Truth in Action
San Francisco

Perverse Glee
I'm sure you're going to catch all kinds of flak about the pig hunting article ("How to Stalk, Kill, and Cook a California Wild Pig") but I thought it was good. Being a hunter living in the Bay Area, I got a sort of perverse glee out of seeing the front cover in the newsstands all down Market Street, mainly because it's not a subject that can be discussed very openly, or intelligently, with the majority of people around here.

Anyway, you've got my vote of confidence, and I'm sure the bike rag wouldn't have had the balls to print it.

Happy hunting.
Bill Grave
Via Internet

So, You Tolerate Us by Default?
Talk about weird fetishes -- every week I look to see if SF Weekly has beaten the Guardian in total pages. I don't know why I care. I mean, it isn't like I enjoy your paper all that much. Some of the feature articles are mildly interesting, but often they're just too eclectic.

I think it's because the Guardian appeals to the lapsed hippies of the Haight in the same way as the New York Times appeals to the liberals on Central Park West: It comforts them with censure of the usual right-wing boogeymen, but it doesn't promote anything that would upset their privileges, or their conviction that they're better than everyone else.

Bob Schneider
Via Internet


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