Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting


Letters to the Editor and Others

Dying West Virginia Boy’s Wish to Hunt Bears

Sent to TimberJay News of Minnesota


To The Editor:

Did Mr. Marshall Helmberger’s catch the irony of the situation he wrote about in his article on a dying West Virginia boy’s wish to hunt bears? (A wish fulfilled, 9/19/03)

Instead of teaching young Jon Crowther that wild animals value their lives as much as he values his own, Jon’s stepfather and others encouraged him to kill.  They encouraged him to be violent toward the natural world at a time when he has to come to terms with the most difficult stage of life that each of us will have to face.

It is a tragedy that young Jon Crowther is in the advanced stages of muscular dystrophy and we wish only the best for him and his family during this difficult time, but we question the wisdom of allowing Jon the opportunity to kill an animal that poses no threat to him or to anyone else.  That Jon never shot at a bear during the five-day hunt that was gifted to him is irrelevant.  The fact remains that in the name of recreation and a dying wish, Jon and his accomplices showed terrible disrespect for the lives of wild animals.

If what bear hunting guide Gary Martinson said was true, that Jon’s hunting trip was “…not about the killing of the animal. It’s the experience of the camaraderie, and of being one of the guys for a while,” Jon could have just as easily shot at bears with a camera instead of with a gun.  In this way, he could have respected the bear’s life, while sharing a trip of a lifetime with those close to him.

Jon’s life is precious and many people are trying to show him how loved he is.  We hope at some point they will understand that the bear’s life is also precious; precious to the bear and to his family.   We hope that Jon will come to understand that it is far better for both parties that he never shot the bear.

Joe Miele, Vice President
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
Rochelle Park, NJ  07662

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