As a lifelong hunter, outdoorsman and conservationist, I was dismayed to see no one quoted in Jessica Valdez's July 25 Metro story as being in favor of Maryland's proposed black bear hunt this fall. Wildlife professionals throughout the country agree that one goal of a successful hunt is to manage animal populations so that animal and human populations can coexist peacefully. After careful study, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has determined that the resident bear population, which has grown extraordinarily in the past few decades, needs to be reduced by 30 bears to meet the optimum capacity for the region.
The article quoted opponents of the bear hunt from the Fund for Animals, the Humane Society and protesters attending the rally, all groups that are violently anti-hunting no matter what species is under discussion. Also, one would assume from the article that the quoted professor and wildlife rehabilitator are also opposed to hunting.
I hope that in the future your paper will make more of an effort to reach out to members of the pro-hunting community, such as Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association, when writing these types of stories.
-- Charles C. Keller
The writer is president of the Washington chapter of Safari Club International.