In this July 31, 2018, file photo, a doe and her two fawns prepare to cross a road near Bar Harbor. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

Last week, I told you about Disney’s plan to turn the classic film “Bambi” into a live-action movie, and shared my fear that hunters could become less popular for future generations as a result.

As you might expect, BDN readers were quick to chime in on the issue. Here’s some of what they had to say, in both our comments section and on social media. Responses are edited for space and clarity.

From SmartenUp: [You wrote]: “With that said, the new, more realistic, live-action ‘Bambi’ worries me a bit.”

Good, I am glad, it should!

“Animals die. Blood is shed.”


“Even for an avid hunter, taking the life of an animal can be an emotional event.”

If it is emotional for you, think how it affects the animal and the animal’s family!

“But hunting puts food on our tables …”

Lots of other ways to do that without shooting, without killing.

I am now looking forward to this new version of Bambi.

From Nunyabiznizz: Many of you folks who do not believe hunting is a scientific way of managing animals have your head in the sand. You would all probably be the first to complain when “Bambi” eats all the flowers you meticulously planted a couple months earlier. Or the garden vegetables you spent hours planting. Never mind when you hit one with your beloved Prius and must pay thousands of dollars to get it repaired. Have you seen an animal die from starvation? I have seen the final chapter (death) of this and cannot comprehend the suffering it must have endured.

For me, hunting is not about the killing. It is time spent with my family and friends. If I only went in the woods to kill something I would never go in the woods. However, when the opportunity presents itself I do my best to make a clean, ethical shot. I thank GOD and revel in the fact that I have an organic, tasty animal to share. I truly feel bad for those who do not have the opportunity to experience everything hunting has given to me.

From OrgFarm: I think the future of Maine sportsmen and sportswomen would fare better if the BDN didn’t have a sports writer who regularly writes articles to stir up a bees nest of anti-game management folks like we see here.

One last thing. I hope all of you that look down on us hunters are vegetarians! If you think any commercially farmed animal is living a life of nirvana for your nourishment you are sadly mistaken.

From RustyHalo: Here’s the case of another BDN writer hypocritically griping about the damage that the First Amendment will do if allowed to go unchecked … in this case, causing “unfounded trauma” to moviegoers who might get a bad taste in their mouth about hunters if they see “Bambi 1” or “Bambi 2.”

Editor’s note: The First Amendment dictates that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. A columnist pointing out possible ramifications of a film does not abridge freedom of speech.

Of course, as BDN readers, we have the uninterrupted “pleasure” every year of seeing the photographic glorification of the Great Maine Hunter (and a few Great Out-of-State Hunters) standing with a high-powered rifle and a goofy grin over the bloody carcass of another magnificent Maine creature during the annual “harvest.” That’s “good free speech.” Got it.

For those of us who choose not to hunt, most also choose not to gripe about the annual bloody gallery of dead eyes, lolling tongues, and dripping blood. “Live and let live,” is our motto, although come to think of it, that’s sort of an ironic stand for us to take, given the fact that hunting is a recreational activity where “animals die and blood is shed.”

From Vix04087: I actually think the recent live action versions are geared more for adults than children. I recently took my 5-year-old grandson to see the Lion King which was one of my adult children’s all time favorite movie 25 years ago and he was totally bored and even seemed to miss the trauma that was implied with the death of Mufasa. I think preconceived ideas of killing animals comes from adults and is passed down to young minds. If we just taught children where their food comes from, not just wild game, but all meat they would not see hunting as slaughter but as a personal choice.

From Jonathan Albrecht: [You wrote] “it [hunting] helps keep wildlife populations in a healthy balance.” A healthy balance for whom? The animals or humans? I too “…see myself as a reasonable, rational former hunter and conservationist who is willing to consider other points of view.” But as I get older and modern life changes, it becomes less tenable to believe that hunting contributes to a “healthy balance” or puts meat on the table. Hunting has become just another hobby in our quiver of hobbies like football, baseball, poker, or coin collecting that has emotional highs and lows, but which continues to lose positives and gain negatives and someday may become as irrelevant as an 1890 telephone. We’ll be puzzled why we ever thought it was so wonderful.

From Christian Pearl Belanger: As a moderate, and an avid “Bambi” fan from childhood, it never changed my views on hunting. It just gave the the hard facts of life and I was really blue about it for a week but I accepted that death is a part of life and then learned that there are reasons for the laws around hunting seasons.

From Charlotte Hanks: Hardcore liberal here. Hunting your own meat is much more ethical than supermarket factory farmed meat. I used to raise my own meat, I know what it is to rear an animal for slaughter. That’s better than factory farmed, but still not as ethical as hunting. If you’re going to eat meat, you have to be okay with killing animals, or you’re a hypocrite.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...