LETTER TO THE EDITOR: DHS Doesn’t Deserve Pot Shots for Informing the Public

In the Nov. 19 Wild Things column, “Fear the Deer? COVID-19 Hype Mars Gun Hunt Opener,” the writer states that the “… DHS [Department of Health Services] doubled down on its advice to hunters gutting a deer or processing venison this season: ‘Wear a mask.’”

Writing about the frustrations and concerns of hunters and providing other hunting and lake information is obviously valid and potentially useful; however, the writer’s sarcasm and ridicule of the DHS seems like a cheap shot.

The article states, “… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there’s no evidence that wildlife are a source of COVID-19 illness for people …” This appears to be the source and license for sarcasm and implying that the DHS suggestion is “bizarre” and a belated “April Fools’ Day” joke. The column doesn’t seem to imply that hunters should take all CDC utterances so seriously.

If any deer hunters caught COVID-19 while gutting or processing a deer carcass, I can easily picture angry articles criticizing the DHS for not letting the public know about even the slightest possibility of infection and how it might be mitigated – if one chose.

Isn’t it the job of a health department to make public any information or potential concern about any possible health issue so people can decide how they want to use, or not use, the information?

My guess (and my point) is that the vast majority of folks working and making decisions in the DHS are good, honest people who care about the public and are simply trying to do a hard (sometimes impossible and often thankless) job within a difficult and politically charged environment. They don’t deserve potshots.

Dan Powers

(not related to any federal, state or local DHS 

or any other government employees)

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin