Incensed by a rather innocuous question, Drew Pogge's tirade against hunting (see "Got your elk yet?" from Writers on the Range, Oct. 8, 2009) was as confusing as it was misguided.
Apparently responding to claims made elsewhere, Pogge first insists that hunting is not a sport. As an assertion based entirely on context, semantics and perspective, a person can call it whatever they want. The author displays his own narrow perspective when he calls elk "dumb" for being road kill, overlooking qualities that allow them to thrive across the millennia: Their tremendous speed and agility, hulking bodies, ability to endure long periods of heat and cold, and a sense of smell we humans can only imagine.
Pogge criticizes hunting for being unfair, yet fails to explain the fairness of his long-distance feedlot "T-Bone," meat in which the raising, killing, processing and transport are all outsourced. Content in dealing only with the end product, Pogge is dismissive of any hunter who prizes their game as the inexpensive, local and organic food source that it is. He is predictable in trotting out the well heeled, trophy hunter card, but their existence doesn't alter the legitimacy of hunting for meat one bit.
Away from Front Range ski lifts, Pogge might see hunters as working-class people trying to manage a part of their food economy for themselves. In failing to do so, he ignores important questions about where our food should come from and alienates a group—hunters—that might otherwise be reliable partisans in the environmental conservation arena.