Skip Hollandsworth’s story, “The Killing Field” (August 2008), on the deer killings in Iraan, elicited a number of strong responses from our readers, both attacking and defending the boys involved.

Let us know what you think in TexTalk.

Keying a car is stupid. Clubbing a mailbox is stupid. Cow tipping is stupid. Beating two trapped dear to death with a bat goes a little further than just “stupid.” Do not try to equate the premeditated torturing and killing of animals with the impulsive high jinx of youth.
Abra Beth Garrett

It’s absurd that primarily big urban city dwellers have felt so compelled to demonize these four kids. The people at PETA would have you think that the huge—and at times destructive—West Texas deer population should be treated as if they are the Sacred Cows of India.
Chris Edwards
West Plano

These boys made a mistake, and have been sufficiently punished for their bad deed. Why publicize a one-time event that could further damage the reputation of these boys and reinforce negative stereotypes of Texans in general? George W. Bush is already doing a fine job of that!
Adrian C. Matthys

The young men involved in this incident sound like good candidates for our military—send them to Iraq.
Cynthia Richardson

Here’s a wake up call for you, Iraan: good kids don’t entertain themselves with acts of cruelty.
R.J. Johnson

The next time these kids get “bored,” they are more than welcome to join myself and several other hunters on a hunting trip. Maybe when we get “bored,” we can decide an appropriate punishment for those involved, as well as their irresponsible parents.
Scot Dannhaus

I am positive that the young men who were involved in this unfortunate incident are remorseful and sorry for what they did. As repugnant as the act was, it should be noted that there have been no drive-by shootings, no gang problems, and no recent murders of human beings in Iraan that I am aware of.
Scott R. Steenson, Iraan High School, Class of 1965

I grew up in Iraan. I too know that there is not much to do on Friday and Saturday nights. But on the night [of the incident], plenty of young people found something to do that didn’t end in the death of an innocent animal.
Leigh Scallorn, Iraan High School, Class of 1988
San Antonio

I have full confidence that the people of Iraan, who obviously know the boys well, are wise enough to determine the appropriate response to the boys’ actions. Thank goodness I grew up before the Internet or I may have been just as infamous.
Steve Horton

It is a sad day in America when teenagers kill for the thrill of it.
Ann Phillips

I can only hope that those boys, in their secret moments, remember what they did and what they saw and learn from that experience. Otherwise, it truly is an opportunity wasted.
Sharon Travis
Bisbee, Arizona

Did no one think to test these macho young football stars for steroid use? Their unexplained aggressive behavior strongly suggests the possibility.
Edie Booth

I believe [these boys] should have gone to prison and when they were released, they should be made to wear black and white striped shirts with “Animal Abusers” printed on the front and back.
Mary Louise Dickehut
Del Rio

I do not accept clubbing deer to death for recreation, but I can see why the youth in Iraan just might be looking for something to do in their free time.
Rose-Mary Rumbley

These people don’t seem to comprehend that hunters kill deer with one gunshot.
Lisa J. Foster

In a world where kids are gunning down their classmates, we need to take all violence seriously and do everything we can to stop it—no matter who the victim is.
Jeffrey Mackey

Letters may be edited for clarity and length.