Answer to an Elmer “Enjoying a bear hunt in Alaska”

The following is a letter in response to an article in the “sports” section of the Albany, NY Times Union:

Dear Editor,

A friend of mine sent me the article, “Enjoying a bear hunt in Alaska,” by your Outdoors writer, Rob Streeter (June 15, 2012). With friends like that, who needs enemies? I don’t normally have acid reflux, but reading how casually Mr. Streeter prattled about his desire to impale a black bear with an arrow made me burp up enough burning bile to fill a golf cart battery.

Bears are not play toys put here for our sporting pleasure; they are intelligent, autonomous, highly evolved sentient beings. But each year, ursiphobic “Elmers,” as I un-lovingly refer to bear hunters in my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport, are responsible for the deaths of 30,000 black bears in the US alone.

I’ll never understand how a New Yorker can feel justified in flying clear to Alaska to savagely snuff out an innocent bear peacefully grazing on spring grass.

Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, saw the brutality of hunting as a detriment to civilized society:

“Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is—whether its victim is human or animal—we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”

On the rare instance that bears resort to violence, at least they don’t take moronic delight in it.

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

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11 thoughts on “Answer to an Elmer “Enjoying a bear hunt in Alaska”

  1. I once found a place in the forest where a bear had died. Mostly it was just bones that were left but a little hair and skin was dessicated and still attached. But the skull still had almost all the hair and skin from the eye sockets down to the leathery nose. The eyes were gone of course. My impression was that these bones belonged to a being who had been wearing a bear mask at the time he died.

  2. If killing a bear makes a man feel superior then why not go after the animal without a weapon. Then let’s see who is superior. Man will cowardly hide behind a tree or in deep brush until he gets a good “bead” on the creature he is about to destroy. A bear would just charge from out of nowhere unafraid and in a matter of minutes man would be dinner, not a trophy on the wall. I despise big game hunting.

  3. Oh, with regards to “Elmer and the Bear” by Phil Harris, the last line in the song goes, “But honey, I done brought this bear home ALIVE”

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