What is the big deal about leopard hunts?

Posted: Sunday, July 08, 2007

This is in response to Anita Martin's letter, "Empire's coverage of leopard hunt was tasteless," posted July 2.

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I just don't understand what the big deal is about two guys going hunting. So what that they had the money to go all the way to Africa to hunt for the sheer enjoyment of it. If Martin and others are so upset over it, then they must be really upset that men and women come from all over the world to hunt in our own state and right here in Juneau as well.

Lots of folks hunt Sitka deer (you know, Bambie's little cousin), bear, moose, elk, etc. Hey, let's not forget the thousands of tourists that come to hunt kings, coho and halibut. Sure it's called fishing, but it is really just another form of hunting.

OK, one might say that's different; that's not exotic like a leopard. Well what about buffalo hunts, mountain goat hunts and all the others? Should we all just stop doing business with every business owner who does what a very small minority of Alaskans might find offensive?

This whole thing has been blown so out of proportion that it is not even funny anymore. Fine, if Martin wants not to go to Bullwinkle's (I don't really care for the pizza myself), then she should do it for the right reason. A hobby has nothing to do with the business itself. I mean, I might be right there with Martin if they started offering leopard pizza, but they are not (although if they offered buffalo pizza, I would be there!).

As far as the point Martin tries to make about shooting on those landowners' property, she should maybe look right here as well. There are many landowners all over the state that work out deals with hunters to allow them to hunt on their property. I would wager that a portion of those hunts help feed their families, whether it is in meat or cash.

If one were to boycott every business that in some way or another has an owner, family member or employee that hunts, then I am afraid Martin might find not too many places to shop.

Chris Watson


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