Mrs. J. T. Fleegle,

Mrs. Fleegle, I am writing this letter to you in response to your “Enough” and ‘Bobcats and coyotes and bears, Oh my” articles. I find your articles to be insulting and am infuriated by your callous, pompous attitude towards the travesty that has befallen our great deer hunting tradition in pa.

Normally, I would take the time to spell check and edit what I have written ,but in this case I am going to skip the formalities and let you have it off the cuff. I hope you have the courage to hear me out, as I think you got it comin’, verbally, of course.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Jim Joint . I was born and raised in Erie, Pa. and learned to hunt and fish from my grandfather in central pa., Renovo, to name the place. I am the captain of our bear and now defunct deer crew, thanks to decisions and opinions of pompous, educated, know it alls’ like you.

You know the type, you must parley with them every day in your attempts to impress each other. The ones with the generic answers like, “you don’t get in far enough”.

The reason I told you the town in central pa. where I learned to hunt is because if you know Renovo, then you know what rough country is and that you can “get back in” there. Our bear crew has taken 102 bears, look it up if you have to, our crew is the ucnuttin camp, you guys must surely log all this info for data banks, right along with the accurate data on how many deer we have and how many are taken, and oh yeah, the no. of boone and crockett bucks taken in pa. since the “plan “ was instituted.

We hunt the toughest, back in country in pa. for these bear, and guess what, they used to be full of deer too, good bucks, that got little to no hunting pressure in the 2 weeks of buck season. Not much has changed ,EXCEPT, the deer are all but gone. Do we get back in, yup, do we hunt hard, yup, come and see for yourself. Since we have taken 102 bear and HUNDREDS of bucks, BEFORE the plan was put in place I think my crew and myself have bragging rights.

Back in the “day”, the 70’s , 80’s, and early 90’s, we had bears and bobcats, little hunting pressure and lots of deer. We started seeing coyotes in the early 90’s and coincidently, that’s when we started seeing our deer herd start to dwindle. We started finding their [coyote ] kills everywhere. We saw them trailing deer on bear drives,and read the sign in the snow. We informed Mr. Alt of this before the plan was started and he told us that this would be taken into consideration as to how many doe tags and dmaps would be handed out. He said each unit would be treated differently. Never happened, doe tags and dmaps were and still are handed out without concern of the damage.

You and all your pgc cronies and generic answers and lack of data, pertinent, that is, think this is funny. I don’t think it’s the least bit funny, never mind the 500,000 less hunters since the plan started, never mind the hundreds of mom and pop hotels, stores and gas stations that went out of business. Come on man, even Mr. Alt made the comment of “seriously, 2 weeks of doe season?” Worst of all, is the youth, you all in your educated pomp have no idea how you have effected many of our youth today.

Earlier I made mention to our defunct deer crew, and that’s what it is. After a few years of demolished deer herds the young’uns quit wanting to come to camp and bust steep sidehills in the cold and rain and snow , to not see a deer. We hunted hard, all over pa. we preferred the back in places, tough places, where we had the woods to ourselves and had plenty of success. Now we kill more bear than deer in our season. Ha, we found some deer around Pittsburgh, amongst the houses and highways, which is fine for now, but there went our backwoods hunts. And by the way, do ya think that the 500,000 less hunters has anything to do with a few deer comin back???? Or was it the stellar plan? This is not the first letter I have written , but it may be my last, I learned to get my deer hunting elsewhere, other states, which is a travesty in itself that I hafta give up ,like countless hunters, on a tradition and sport I love in my homestate because of decisions made or fueled by “educated” fellas as yourself.

Just because you have a degree, it does’ nt make you right. I suggest you go over that traveled road and talk to locals, not posted,qdm, managed areas, private farms. Mountain country people, ask them, ask meat cutters, the ones I talk to say business is way down, ….listen there is much more I could ramble about, but I wrote this because I have seen what it has done to our youth and felt I should at least try to make a point, I can live with the repercussion of what I have attempted to do…how about you…have you made the right call??

Jim Joint





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