Memo to Bear Hunters

I turned on VS today to check if there was anything on fly fishing showing. I watched a father and son harvest a bear. They were dressed in hunting camo gear. Dad had the tripod and video camera set up and son had a high powered rifle with high powered scope.

A big black bear came sauntering out of the forest to take a drink at the waters edge about 200 ft away. After much giggling anticipation son took the shot and the bear took the hit, ran off and died a short way away.

I have a few questions about the whole affair and maybe a few bear hunters can help me out:

Is this sporting? Taking a shot at 200 ft from a high powered scoped rifle doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. The world record sniper shot is almost 4000 ft (and it killed an armed human enemy combatant).  There’s no stalking involved in bear hunting – especially when you consider there’s son and dad standing in the open 200 ft away with the bear ignoring them complete with VS channel film crew standing next to them with broadcast quality film gear.

Is it a right of passage? I’m not sure what son learned from the whole experience. To take the easy shots? That bears don’t really give a shit about you until you shoot them?

Is it an impressive feat that will give son the street cred to start life? When your guests come over and sit in your family room  next to your bear rug to watch your home video of an easy shot and the death of a beautiful piece of American landscape that was trying to get a drink of water, I doubt they’re going to be impressed.

Does bear meat taste particularly good? No, it tastes like greasy beef and it tastes like crap if the bear has been eating dead fish. And I doubt you’ll be eating 300 to 500 pounds of greasy bear meat.

And why call it “harvesting” when it has nothing to do with subsistence and all you’re really doing is getting kitted out in the latest Cabela’s catalog gear and playing cowboy in the forest with your video camera.

So really this looks to me like a fashion statement. Look tough with gun, shoot big bear on TV, pose with big bear for closing shot. Skin and decapitate bear for bear rug and trophy to show girls how manly you are and leave carcass to rot.

I guess I’m a little confused about why this is on the ‘sports’ channel.

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