Girls Hunt Too -- And Story About That Ignites Debate

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Tamara Keith/NPR

Magan Hebert, 15, poses with the young buck, or "spike," that she shot in Waynesboro, Miss., in November. Magan has been hunting since she was in the fourth grade.

People are passionate about hunting — those who are for it and those who aren't. Join the conversation that Morning Edition's story has touched off.

People are passionate about hunting -- those who are for it and those who aren't.

That's become clear yet again with the reaction to Morning Edition's story today headlined "For Some Girls, The Ultimate Goal Is To Kill A Buck." It's about 15-year-old Magan Hebert of Wayne County, Miss., who is among the 300,000 female hunters in the nation under the age of 16 -- a group that doubled in size from 1991 to 2006. So far, it's generated several hundred comments on NPR.org and more than 1,000 on NPR's Facebook page.

We'll put a player with the full audio of the story at the end of this post. But here's the minute that has really gotten some listeners upset (so consider yourself warned if you don't approve of hunting). You're with Magan as she shoots and kills a young buck:

Here's a sampling of the comments we've gotten on the story page and at NPR's Facebook page:

-- "Thank you NPR for providing an interesting, personal and unique story. From the first words of the story I could tell that this would stir extreme emotions from your listeners and I am pleased that you followed through and produced it, despite the likelihood of a vehement backlash." (Chris Rinaldo)

-- "This story turned my stomach and caused me to turn the radio off." (Gil Martian)

-- "Get down out of your ivory towers NPR listeners. The hostility towards this girl and this story is pathetic. She is happily engaged in an activity that provides sustenance for herself and her family. What good did you do this morning?" (Holly L)

-- "I was unfortunate enough to turn on the radio in the middle of this story. I was most disturbed by the gunshot, the pride, and hearing there were photos of the slain animal on the NPR website." (Carie Greiff)

-- "I don't know what is funnier, the fact that ya'll are shocked that girls hunt or the fact that y'all are outraged by hunting. If you think hunting is wrong, you are out of touch with our country and a little something known as the cycle of life." (Duder Jones)

-- "NPR - I love you, but please provide us with something more enlightened than the subject of girls hunting. If this is intended as a 'girls are equal to boys' article, then it has chosen a poor example. The smart, strong, independent, and articulate women I know recognize the difference between causing unnecessary suffering for sport and responsible, enriching forms of entertainment that cause no harm. We are not Neanderthals - hailing hunting as indication of a gutsy girl is simply short-sighted, out-of-touch and evidence of a severe lack of compassion." (Abigail M)

-- "How many of you holier than thou types that say this story is disgusting do as much as hunters do to preserve wildlife habitat? Seriously, deer leases, wetlands, other wild areas receive a lot of care and protection from hunters. We get it. You think children and fawns are equals and that killing animals is like the holocaust. Get over yourselves!" (Mark P)

We expect the discussion will continue for some time. Here's another way to express your opinion:

And here, as promised, is the complete story: Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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