Letter: Hunters are not conservationists

In regard to your article of Aug. 12 about Don Martin being inducted into the Outdoor Hall of Fame, I found it rather disturbing. Mr. Martin claimed that hunting down and killing animals is an "honorable sport and part of our American heritage," and this I must disagree with.

Hunting down and killing animals for food, as people had to do long ago, is part of our American heritage. Killing a beautiful, majestic elk (as pictured with Mr. Martin with the article), having it stuffed and mounted on his wall as a "prize" trophy, just for the "sport" of killing it, has nothing to do with our heritage.

Hunters now kill animals for "fun," not for much-needed food as they had to hundreds of years ago.

It seems that Mr. Martin has genuinely tried to help gravely ill children and I applaud him for that. It's just a shame that his idea of helping these gravely ill children is to teach them to kill a living, breathing, healthy animal the "proper" way, instead of allowing these kids to view and enjoy these animals in their natural habitats.

I also find it disconcerting that Mr. Martin claims to be a conservationist, then had his photo taken with his slaughtered "prize" elk head hanging on his wall. A conservationist is supposed to conserve and protect animals in the wild and their habitats. These animals don't stand a chance of escaping a hunter's high-powered rifle and scope. Where is the "sport" in this? I'm sorry, but teaching people the "fun" of killing animals is wrong on so many levels.

Why is it that if you kill a deer, elk, antelope, sheep, etc., it's perfectly legal and acceptable. Yet, if you kill a dog, cat, horse, etc., it's a criminal offense. Yes, some animals are wild, some are domesticated. But they are all animals and they all deserve the right to live. We humans are the ones infringing on the natural habitats of wild animals, but they are the ones paying the ultimate price just so hunters can have "fun" slaughtering them?

Lori Gabriel-Dane

Kingman