I’ve never been opposed on principle to hunting or hunters, and back in the day I have dispatched some small game. A squirrel is a small target and doesn’t sit still for long, so it requires marksmanship, but nothing about hunting signals courage when you have a firearm…maybe going after wild hogs the old fashioned way, with a spear. Taking game in the wild requires knowing something about their habits and ecology, and there is such a thing as a sustainable harvest. Deer in suburbs without their predators are a serious problem, maybe worse as the predators (coyotes and mountain lions in CA) follow them in from the woods and acquire a taste for poodles.
Every now and then, though, an episode like this comes out that makes hunters look really bad–it’s so great when a boy learns sportsmanship, honesty, outdoor skills, and character from his dad, right?–and your government is at work to encourage behavior that cannot be called sport or, except for someone with a real pathology, recreation.
Did these people start out pulling the wings off flies? Pouring kerosene on cats and lighting it? Pups and cubs, recreational baiting and poisoning, yup.
Republicans have seriously degraded since Teddy Roosevelt, and maybe a lot of Alaskans have gone through too many long, dark, cold winters.