Dear Editor:

Before moving to Colorado, I was against hunting. I didn’t know anything about it really, except that a beautiful wild animal was to be killed.

After a few years here and from a few Colorado friends, I learned to respect the sport of hunting. Thinking it through, I realized that I eat meat that comes from animals who don’t get a chance to live the life of the wild for even a day.

The hunters I knew were good folk, some of them providing meat for the year for family and friends. Some hunted with bow and arrow, some with rifles, but all were sportsmen and women.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife permits hunting to maintain the size of herds permitted by the resources of Chaffee County.

A few years ago I happened to see five or six dead deer by the side of U.S. 285; police were investigating the scene. It appeared that people had shot from their cars and left the deer dead where they fell. This was another side of “hunting” I had never seen.

Today I drove upon a scene that showed me another way “hunting” may be done. A herd of several dozen elk had taken an almost military stance, shoulder to shoulder, body to body in the northwest portion of a hayfield off CR 270. The herd was in a bodily position I had never seen before, all leaning away from the road and tightly packed together.

The single male was in the middle front row. Several orange-clad men with rifles were let out of a car immediately in front of mine on 270. The men walked a few feet from the road into the hayfield and dropped to their knees to begin aiming at the herd. To my challenge of “private property,” one responded, “Was it my property?” No, it was not.

He named the rancher who owned the property, telling me the rancher had given them permission to shoot. Both men returned to aiming their rifles. Other cars drove by, and homes were visible from the field.

I didn’t stay to watch the slaughter.

Phyllis M. Kittel,