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So while our truck was being repaired in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, we were lucky enough to only be 70 miles from home and the In-laws came to pick us up for a 2 & 1/2 day visit. Here’s one of the reasons I love my father in-law Ken, a lifelong hunter and frontiersman who is now in his late 60’s. The local Kwik-Trip is a bear hunting registration point, and so far every bear killed and registered there has be under 200 lbs, for the most part not yet 2 years old. Wisconsin also has very little restrictions on baiting or killing a bear, not that I am for restrictions or laws, just some common sense and respectable hunting etiquette.  So we pull into this Kwik trip and 3 or 4 Yahoos get out of a pick up with a small dead bear in the back, about 150 lbs. Ken walks over to the pick up and says to these guys, “Wow this one must have been really hard to nail.” Yahoo number one’s reply was,”Why do you say that?” To which Ken said, “he’s so small he must’ve been hard to scope.” All the boneheads gave us a disgruntled and menacing look, then walked away. Ken yelled after them, “I hope at least you’re gonna eat it”, to which he got no response. We both are always armed when outside our home, so we weren’t really worried about these so called hunters that overbait an area with garbage cans full of junk food, then loose the dogs to run a small young bear up a tree, and then play rock, paper, scissors to see who gets the esteemed honor of killing the quite defenseless animal. I was more than ready to back old Yukon Ken’s play, wherever it lead us. The point is, Hunters, I will never begrudge you your right to hunt in order to feed your family or even for sport, but in order to do the latter it is only fair you keep it sporting, do some tracking, pass up on the really small ones and utilize as much of these beautiful creatures as possible.
That’s what hunting really is, and not shooting fish in a barrel.
~ Nick Pensabene