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Oregon Editors Say

Guns and bows can go together

Archery hunters uncomfortablewith firearms need not carry one

The (La Grande) Observer

Some bow hunters are upset that archers are being allowed to carry firearms with them during deer and elk season, which opened last Saturday.

While the ability to carry a gun is good news for some bow hunters who would like to be fully protected in the event they run into a bear or a cougar in the forest, Gene Erwin of La Grande and other archers are concerned.

They say bowmen being allowed to have guns will foster stories that some of the bowmen are killing deer and elk with a gun and then sticking an arrow in the wound to make it look like the animal was taken with a bow.

That would be an unlawful act should that happen. State game officers should be vigilant during bow season, which runs through Sept. 28, to make sure offending archers are caught and cited if they have used a gun in bagging their game. Such violators should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

— But if bear and cougars are multiplying and are a threat to those walking through the woods, there should be little harm in allowing bow hunters to carry firearms. No archer should feel compelled to pack a gun, however. Those who are concerned they will be accused wrongfully of firing at a deer or elk that they took legitimately with their bow and arrow should be sure and leave their guns at home.