Certainly, I was not the only person who was unaware that "talking" and "rustling leaves" was illegal {"'Harassing' Hunters Lands Activist in Jail," Metro, July 26}. I am equally sure that there were other readers who found the imprisonment of Heidi Prescott for "hunter harassment" to be a disturbing event. The only thing more unsettling than the fact that such a law could exist in this country is the fact that a judge would feel it necessary to send someone to jail for challenging it.

Hunters represent only 7 percent of this country's population, yet they are dictating the terms for which the rest of us may enjoy the public lands we all support with our taxes. During hunting season, people with no penchant for killing become trespassers when they visit state parks and "refuges." If Heidi Prescott had voiced her objections to a group of campers who had been littering, she would have been commended. If the splashing of her oars had frightened away a fisher's prey, she may have been admonished by a warden. However, since she objected to the needless slaughter of about three million deer annually (a small percentage of the 200 million animals killed by hunters each year in this county), she was given a $500 fine and thrown in jail when she refused to pay it.

Judge Edwin Collier could have used his bench as a podium to condemn a law that makes a mockery of the most cherished right of every American citizen. He seems to have shown more "contempt of court" and of the ideals of justice that it should represent than the person whose freedom he took away. Perhaps his next ruling will be to have Maryland license plates imprinted with the motto "The Unconstitutional State."