Bear hunting story upsetting to a reader

Not everyone enjoyed reading about a 648-pound (or more) black bear being killed near North Hudson.

Julie Irving, a resident of Krattley Lane in the town of Hudson, called the Star-Observer to dispute one of the statements in the story that ran in the Oct. 13 Hudson Star-Observer. She was also unhappy to see photographs of the dead bear in the newspaper.

“That bear would spend four, five or six hours in our yard, lollygagging, sleeping,” Irving said, countering the report that sightings of the bear were rare.

“I have thousands of pictures of that bear alive. It’s sad that a dead bear would make the front page when they are so beautiful to watch when they are alive,” she continued.

Irving said she cried when she saw the photographs.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen something in the paper that has kind of brought me to tears,
because it is just like, wow. We had known this bear. He was kind of like a little pet to us. I know you probably don’t understand that. Every time he came around it was a thrill. And he’s gone,” she said.

The headline read, “Monster bear bagged near NH (North Hudson).” But the bear was no monster to Irving. She described him as “majestic” and “the most wonderful bear.”

Irving said she understands “the hunting side of it, too.” She knows Lon Feia, the hunter who felled the bear on Oct. 9 with a slug from a shotgun.

“He’s a friend,” Irving said. “So this is nothing against him. It’s just that, gosh, for it to be on the front page like that – and such a big deal to have a picture of a dead bear. It’s just incredibly sad, I think.”

I’m pretty ambivalent when it comes to hunting, but I sympathize with Irving. It does seem odd to admire a wonderful animal and then shoot it.

To quote a Star-Observer co-worker: “You don’t say, isn’t that a beautiful building? And then blow it up.”

Deer hunting makes more sense to me. I see the need to control the population, and I’m fond of venison sausage. Who knows? Now that I own a little patch of woods up north,
I might take up deer hunting myself some day.

I have less sympathy with Irving’s suggestion that the taking of the bear didn’t warrant
being in the newspaper – or at least on the front page.

As is ususally the case when readers tell us that a story isn’t news, it’s the one getting the most attention.

The bear story has been picked up by other media websites, and as of Friday morning had
thousands of hits on It had close to seven times the number of hits as the next most-popular story about a North Hudson woman charged with stealing prescription drugs.

2 thoughts on “Bear hunting story upsetting to a reader

  1. I would like to correct that my sentiment was that is was sad that the pictures of the bear were of him being tied down and drug out of the woods. That was the sadness of the picture. Pictures of him living would have been easier to see. The bear was not only magestic, but he was gentle too. My husband encountered him when he was in the yard and the bear looked at him, and turned and walked away from him. It is a loss.

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