This letter is in response to the guest column by George Smith (March 13).

Mr. Smith is upset about an increase in hunting and fishing license fees. Hunting and fishing are sports, not necessities for life!

Thousands are losing access to mental and physical health care services because of the budget cuts and he is crying over recreational activities. I am not aware of anyone who has died because they could not afford a sporting license! The same cannot be said for loss of life because of a lack of access to needed services.

Mr. Smith doesn’t feel that sportsmen should have to pay for the capture of rabid animals or the rescue of an injured hiker. Would he feel differently if he were to break his leg in the woods while hunting and had no one to call for help and, while lying there in excruciating pain, perhaps a rabid fox came along and bit him?

In this time of huge budget deficits, how can anyone put personal recreation ahead of the well-being and life of people?

Much needed, life-preserving services are being cut and even more are slated for fiscal 2005! This will mean even more loss of human life because people rely on these services to maintain life.

The preservation of life must far outweigh the price of a sporting license!

And, yes, my husband is a fisherman and a hunter.

June Watson, Jay

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