Bill Steigerwald

Ted Nugent isn't the only guy in America who's not afraid to say hunting is good for the country. Frank Miniter -- the award-winning editor of American Hunter magazine who's stalked game on five continents -- has written "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Hunting." The latest in Regnery Publishing's "PIG" series, it defends hunting from its know-nothing media critics in the big cities and spells out how it benefits conservation, cuts crop damage and saves human lives.

Q: What's your book about and why did you write it?

A: I've been reporting on these things for more than a decade. I worked for Outdoor Life Magazine and now American Hunter magazine, and after digging into what hunting actually does, I found all these facts that the mainstream media are not telling. I see hunting as the conservative environmental movement, actually. When you get really deep into it, that's what hunters really are. They're doing so much good, but that word just isn't getting out there. I thought this should be in a book and it should be out there for people to completely grasp, so I went to Regnery with the idea and it worked.

Q: Is there any one major thing that the general population isn't told about hunting that every American citizen should know?

A: When you talk to people against hunting, their ideas are usually based on an emotional side. They think that hunters want to go out there and kill for pleasure. That's not true at all. You're in Pennsylvania, and you're around that culture a lot. You've got a million hunters there. But when you talk to people in these real urban centers, they don't know that hunters are nature lovers. I tell them facts like, "Did you know that every animal in this country that has a hunting season on it has increased in number after a hunting season is placed on it?" They don't get that. I say, "Look, once you put a hunting season on an animal, you actually end up with a constituency of hunters fighting for that wildlife species." This has happened with elk and deer and turkey and all these other game animals.

Q: Is hunting an endangered pastime? The number of hunters has dropped from 19 million in 1975 to 12.5 million last year.


Bill Steigerwald

Bill Steigerwald, born and raised in Pittsburgh, is a former L.A. Times copy editor and free-lancer who also worked as a docudrama researcher for CBS-TV in Hollywood before becoming a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and a columnist Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Bill Steigerwald recently retired from daily newspaper journalism..