The Sept. 18 story, “Minnesota woman shoots trophy bull elk on hunt of a lifetime – only 3 miles from home,” made me very sad. The story was about a hunter, from Lancaster, Minnesota, thrilled to finally draw a “once-in-a-lifetime” license to hunt elk. She had been eying one particular 7x8 “trophy” bull elk that was part of a nearby herd.

Her big chance came one afternoon after waiting maybe 45 minutes in a neighbor’s stand. When she looked up, she saw the animal she had been waiting for. Her husband yelled, “Shoot it, shoot it!” So she did. The bull elk, no doubt in great pain, stumbled for about 50 yards into the woods and died. A crowd soon gathered to take a look.

When I have asked hunters what joy they find in such brutal killings, they sometimes say it is one way to control overpopulations of animals who might otherwise starve.

The question I have is: might there not be better, less painful ways to solve the problem of overpopulation in specific areas? For one thing, might not such animals be sedated and moved to less-populated areas instead? For another, why couldn’t a means of sterilization be developed and used to keep their numbers down? Of course, such solutions would take careful planning and additional funding. But wouldn’t it be worth it?

How can we continue such brutal killings without considering possible alternatives? Look at the suffering we are causing many animals through no fault of their own.

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Patricia Richard-Amato