It is rare that I feel the need to respond in writing to the current debate in the letters to the editor, but I take umbrage with Dixie Hayes’ statement that hunting and harvesting should not be encouraged in our youth. What should we encourage them to do? Go to the recreation center? The arcade? The theater? Well, we live in rural Alaska where these things are not a part of our young people’s regular activities; but fishing, hunting, trapping, snowboarding, boating, skiing, and snow-machining are. We live here so our children can learn to be self-sufficient and learn how to live a sustainable, subsistence-based life. With all of the risky behaviors, substance abuse, and other unhealthy activities our young people are exposed to and engage in, I can’t imagine trying to stifle this type of spirit. I say hurray to those young people and their families, for not only having a great experience but for sharing it with the rest of us. You represent what is so great about living in Haines!