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

Comments (2)
Posted by: Joseph Edwards | Jul 08, 2014 05:01

I have been following the comments about the gentleman who shot the bear. A number of you do not think it was the right thing to do.  It may not have been but you were not there when it happened.  You do not know all the circumstances and do not know if fight or flight syndrome kicked in.  You do not know if panic or self preservation was an equation.  There are a lot lot of unknowns here but one thing is for sure. Many feel that a mistake may have been made but to label someone as "A Horror Of A Human Being" is a bit much.  We all make mistakes.  How would you like to be called a Horror of a Human Being because of a mistake.  Words, regardless of their intent, can and always have been a powerful weapon and can and will destroy a person. Labeling is not only destructive but also reflects back to the person implementing such action.  Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are A Horror of a Human Being the next time you make a mistake.  It is evident that shameful action was waged against this person and what has been done cannot be undone.  It appears that Tar and Feathering is being called for here and retribution against him is a trait of someone who feels they are without blame.  Remember, "those without sin cast the first stone"  I have always believed that a society of laws and compassion does not hate the person but the actions of that person if they do something wrong. Holier than thou is often seen as a self righteous indignation of a small minded person.

But then again, this is my opinion on the matter and we all have opinions.

I wish my life perfect and all the world problem were of such insignificance that all I had to do all day was criticize someone who I felt was "A Horror Of A Human Being" for making a mistake or not.

As I said, this is my opinion....

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jul 08, 2014 07:38

A few days before the bear was shot, there was evidence that a bear was walking around town.  If there is such outrage that bears walking around town eventually may be shot or hit by a car, what can we do handle the situation between the time of the sighting and it being shot or hit by a car?  THAT'S where you bear-lovers ought to put your thoughts and energies.  No amount of tar or feathers will bring the bear back to life.




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