So you love the hunt, eh, Fredrick Kunkle? ["Yes, I'm a Hunter -- Here's Why; Like Father, Like Son, It's in My Blood," Outlook, Oct. 30]. Well, there's another kind of shooting that involves "immersing yourself in the woods" and that "reaffirms a reverence for nature." It's called photography. You get to sneak up on Bambi and BAM! shoot him with your camera. That way, nothing gets killed and you bring home a nice picture to show your friends and family. If the camera has a real long lens, maybe you can even pretend it's a gun.

Yes, "the cycle of life demands that other living creatures must die" -- but of natural causes. Not at the hands of a gun-totin' urbanite in search of his inner caveman.

-- Susan Barror

Rockville

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Fredrick Kunkle's article eloquently put into words the feelings that I and probably most other hunters have about hunting. Yes, the venison tastes great, but sometimes it is not about the end result of the hunt; it is about the hunt itself. And to his critics and naysayers I have only one thing to add: Unless you are a vegan, you are a hypocrite. You may disdain hunting, but you evidently have no problem with someone else doing your hunting for you.

-- Gary Joseff

Reston

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Your reporter said that there is only one reason to hunt today and that is ritual. But the most important reason for hunting is to keep wildlife populations in check.

Populations of deer have soared in recent decades in response to tight hunting restrictions, the elimination of most natural predators and a sharp increase in forage from logging and agriculture. Countless studies have shown that these overabundant populations of deer wreak havoc on plant and animal communities. Hunting is the only effective way of controlling populations of white-tailed deer. In fact, researchers advocate more hunting by extending the deer-hunting season and adding earn-a-buck programs. People should not allow sentimentality to interfere with doing what is best for the natural community.

-- Shannon Wiegmann

Annapolis

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Here are some "primal" things Fredrick Kunkle could do in the woods:

* Sleep under the stars.

* Rub two sticks together to make a fire.

* Build a raft using only stone tools.

* Admire beautiful creatures without turning them into screaming heaps of blood and guts.

* Swing from vines, yelling like Tarzan.

* Run naked through pricker bushes.

* Let insects have their way with him.

* Use poison ivy as toilet paper.

-- Holly Sternberg

Annandale

The writer is a founder ofwww.petstorecruelty.org.

A hunter stands in a clearing during the first day of deer season for shotgun owners near Beaver Dam, N.C., on Oct. 15.A wild Silka deer.