When I began reading my Nov. 15-16 BDN and saw the story about the Karen Wood incident, my first reaction was, “Why are they dredging up this tragedy after 20 years? And putting it on page 1 above the fold? What’s the point?” But I read it. It was well done, I thought.
Fair, balanced and thorough, with thoughtful, insightful interviews with Wood and Rogerson, John Holyoke’s story was substantive enough to justify the retelling of an old local tragedy. With another Maine deer season upon us, the timeliness of it probably makes it even worthy of the front page.
As a seasoned hunter, outdoor writer and former newspaperman who was closely involved in the coverage of this story the day it happened, Holyoke’s story left me with a couple of thoughts. What a remarkable contribution the simple wearing of hunter orange has made to hunting safety. If only we had been wearing it before 1973!
The story gets beyond the hunting safety issue and delves into the more personal: How resilient are we all in dealing with the worst trials of life; and the passing of time does help us to find a more dispassionate perspective.
Over the years, no “hunting accident story” in my memory ever has gotten the ink and air time of the Karen Wood story. Too much of the reportage was inaccurate, sensational, biased and in some cases, blatantly anti-hunting. Holyoke’s story is redemptive, and so much better than so many others before his. I tip my hunter-orange hat to him and the BDN for a job well done.
V. Paul Reynolds, Editor
Northwoods Sporting Journal