Saguache bull skeeter population jeopardized by hunt

Letter from Riff Fenton

Mosquito hunt – February 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dear Editor:

I was disappointed to see Surf Central give any credibility at all to the recent debacle reported on by the American Sportsman Channel.

At least you showed some sense by printing that night’s TV programming on the back page. We can only hope that nobody viewed the Winter Mosquito Hunt in Saguache. It was a travesty, and in no way “sporting”.

I mean, they held the “hunt” during one of the most brutal cold snaps in recent memory. With a forty-below wind chill factor, the real “trophy” skeeters could hardly get airborne. All a hunter had to do was hunt upwind. You could get off as many as a dozen shots as the poor things floated by, fighting the gale. A lot of the bigger ones couldn’t even get off the ground.

I saw some guys just walk right up to them and … well, it was just not a “sporting” event or a pretty sight, regardless of how the American Sportsman Channel tried to portray it.

With the local mosquito population noticeably down this last summer, there was a lot of pressure to cancel this winter’s hunt completely. But the big TV moguls were seeing dollars instead of the possibility of depleting the Saguache skeeter population for years to come.

When they hold this hunt next year, what if there aren’t any bull skeeters left? They should at least establish some sort of bag limit, or eliminate the winter hunt altogether, and hold it in the spring.

I appreciate the impact that hundreds of skeeter hunters have on Saguache’s otherwise depressed economy, but in the long run: no skeeters, no hunt, no revenue. It’s like anything else, I guess, or not. Anyway, there shouldn’t be a rerun.

Riff Fenton