Reader letters July 7

Jul 06, 2014

Bear shooter is a horror of a human being

To the editor:

I want to express my sincerest gratitude to you guys and gals for publishing letters regarding the recent illegal bear shooting in Sheepback/Maggie Valley, and for not just publishing my letter (thanks for taking my “dare”), but for publishing all those comments you have and thereby repeatedly calling attention to the willful atrocity of the Maggie man who shot a bear, orphaning three cubs.

Legal bear hunting is quit separate from what was done on that morning.

My husband and I moved from South Carolina a few years ago to these WNC mountains because of the natural heritage that remains here.

We love it here in Haywood. And I’m quite happy to live out the rest of my life here. There’s no other place on Earth like it.

It’s a treasure trove of nature. In all of Europe there does not exist the variety of plant and animal life that remains in just one of our beautiful core forests. Imagine.

That thought should make a person feel rich! I sure do.

So it really pains us to witness/hear of stupid, cruel, destructive acts like what happened in Whitewater Estates in Maggie Valley.

Proper bear hunting takes a strong, skilled and wise hunter who buys a permit and doesn’t use a shotgun. What a painful, agonizing death for that sow bear, and in front of her cubs, too. The shooter is unremorseful.

When my husband and I moved from a bear-less beach in South Carolina (yuck!) to Wild Acres in Maggie Valley back in 2011, we had to learn to live with bears — especially in autumn at dusk and dawn.

That’s when I bothered to Google the info on bear/human coexistence. We learned to take in the feeders and store the trashcans in the basement.

We had neighbors, however, who kept their cans on the porch. We’d hear some gunfire in the evening hours to scare off the bears that were uncontrollably attracted to the scent of “food.”

But these folks never aimed their pistol at that bear. Guess why … They weren’t legally permitted to hunt bear, even in season, and knew to kill that bear was illegal. Plus, they simply didn’t want to kill.

I printed off a copy of the Whistler, California, booklet for our neighbors, as they were elderly folks. I asked them to read over it, and they did.

These nice folks immediately changes some lifestyle habits and have avoided attracting bears ever since. No “bait,” no bear.

Thanks again, awesome staff members. Thanks for taking the time to read my henscratching, as the laptop is still “broken,” or I would have typed you a proper letter.

It’s too important to wait on repairs to the computer to thank you all properly for a job so well done. Please keep on banging on this bell. If that horror of a human being gets away with this, more rich types like Cooper will do it too. And that ain’t right.

Bethany Matthews

Maggie Valley