Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Coming of Age

"Their excitement is about the hunting experience, it's not about 'We're vicious little kids and we want to kill the bear."
"Reed himself has baited those baits [with me] since he was three years old -- we go out there, we put out bait, he's come to bear hunting camp since he was three, he's been around that his whole life."
"When all of the work finally pays off and you finally get to shoot your bear, it's an exciting moment."
"Our whole lives we have grown up with our great-grandpas hunting, my grandpa hunting -- that's how we put food on our table, that's the common way of life. So, we're passing that down to our kids. And I can promise my kids know more about wildlife than 95 percent of kids out there."
Greg Sutley, hunting outfitter, Grande Prairie, Alberta
YouTube   The bear shot by nine-year-old Reed Sutley
"Line up on that one.  In the centre of the body, in the front shoulder." [Greg Sutley]
"OK" [9-year-old Reed Sutley] "Hoo we could have shot him." [the black bear that walked away from the blind].
"OK, whenever you're ready." [Greg Sutley]
"It's going to be too loud." [Reed Sutley] "Yeah!" [mission accomplished]

It occurred in 2010, a hunting party that was meant as a birthday gift from a loving father to his hunting-precocious son turned nine, a party to remember. It was young Reed Sutley's "coming of age", his proud father said. An accurate shot directly to the heart of the largest black bear that had arrived to take advantage of the bait that had been earlier sprinkled below their tree blind.

The shot was accurate and the bear died instantly; the young boy had been trained by an expert, his own father.

And the video that was taken of the momentous event was duly posted on the Internet. Where other hunting aficionados could find it and admire the proficiency with a rifle of a young boy. But of course whatever is on the World Wide Web can usually be accessed by anyone. And in this instance it was; London's Daily Mirror found it, and publicized it as a shocking manifestation of values too long in the tooth, that should be retired.

Bear approaches the food that has been laid as a trap

"The delighted lad and four pals then giggled at the grisly birthday party as they chatted about the killing", wrote the Mirror. The boys, dressed appropriately in camouflage, recounted their experience to one another, relishing what they had witnessed and taken part in. And, pointed out Mr. Sutley, their delight was 'taken out of context', completely misunderstood.

By, of course, effete urbanites, animal lovers who know nothing whatever of nature other than their feelings that animals have a right to exist unmolested by humans.

Nine-year-old Reed Sutley aims his rifle at two of the bears

Baiting black bears on private land during the spring hunting season is legal in Alberta. From early April to the last day of June it's open season on bears. The province permits licensed hunters two bears per season. In 2014 Albertans bought over thirteen thousand black bear hunting licenses, and 2,445 black bears were duly shot, according to government figures. Hunting on private land obviates the necessity for a hunting license.

Greg Sutley is outraged over the fuss that has resulted with the public revelation of the video, emphasizing that his son had undergone gun safety training with him. No one would be more appropriate to teach his son, since Greg Sutton teaches such courses as a profession. Moreover, his son's friends had permission to attend the party taking place up in a tree blind where they were perfectly safe, though the bear definitely wasn't.

"We shot one dead, and it was amazing", clamoured the smiling, laughing boys. They're learning to 'put food on the table', as 'the common way of life'.

YouTube   Boys who took part in Reed Sutley's birthday bear hunt pose afterward.

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