Shameful is the word that comes to mind for the Burlington Free Press and its decision to print a reader's anti-hunting letter, "Take a few hunters along with the moose," that was written in response to the Vermont paper's story about the opening of moose hunting season.
The letter was placed in the newspaper's online letters section as well and has now been taken down after responses from outraged readers. Hunters and non-hunters alike should chastise the paper for its decision to run the letter, and take the opportunity to educate readers about the role hunting plays in wildlife management. It would be nice to see Vermont's fish and wildlife department weigh in, explaining that trained wildlife biologists determine how to best maintain the state's moose population.
Here's the letter:
Take a Few Hunters Along with the Moose
On this beautiful day we learn that about 1,251 hunters are taking to the woods with legal permits to "pursue prized quarry." Certainly the members of various humane organizations do not approve. I suggest that before the next annual killing season, other residents be awarded legal permits to kill hunters who will be out to kill these beautiful, non-destructive animals. Or the government could just rule out all this primitive killing.
ETHAN A.H. SIMS
Here's the apology from the newspaper's editorial page director that appears online and which had better be in the letters section of tomorrow's print edition:
Today's letters to the editor included a letter about the annual moose hunt ("Take a few hunters along with the moose") that violates the statdards [sic] of the Free Press by advocating for violence against hunters. The letter has been taken down. We apologize for our error in judgement.
Editorial page editor
The Burlington Free Press
While local readers' complaints have forced an apology, you may want to weigh in with your own letter to the editor. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org