Trump: Trophy Hunting Is A “Horror Show” That Doesn’t Help Conservation

Following the highly publicized accidental killing of a lion some years ago the Obama administration put a ban on the importation of animal trophies, in an attempt to discourage African trophy hunters. A few days ago, President Trump seemed poised to reverse an Obama era ban on the importation of big game trophies. Now it looks like Trump may allow that restriction to remain in place. The President even went as far as to call trophy hunting a “horror show.”

As I pointed out when I first raised the possibility that President Trump would delay the pro-big game hunting decision, the practice is considered a benefit by anyone with an actual functional understanding of the realities of wildlife conservation.

Trophy hunting provides the cash necessary to keep game preserves and conservation efforts up and running. Without the money many endangered species would be poached to extinction . . .

It removes problematic aging elephants who would otherwise terrorize the herd and prevent mating, provides cash to pay the employees of the wildlife preserves, and provides a legal means for hunting animals for those who absolutely feel the need to go shoot something big and dangerous.

The problem is that this reality doesn’t fit into a five-word sound bite. “Don’t shoot defenseless animals” sounds much better. And so low information voters never get educated about the reality of the situation.

Despite the Trump sons being avid hunters and supporters of trophy hunting, it seems that President Trump has adopted that same line of thinking. Based on this tweet it looks like the trophy ban will remain in place for the foreseeable future. I wonder how the NRA will respond come election time . . .

comments

  1. avatar Det. Nick Valentine says:

    “Trophy hunting provides the cash necessary to keep game preserves and conservation efforts up and running. Without the money many endangered species would be poached to extinction . . .”

    Sounds great in theory, but in reality, only a rather small percentage of the money from big game hunting doesn’t do anything to support conservation efforts on the ground according to most reports I’ve seen, and said money is a small part of the overall funding for conservation. Preserves can and do get a lot more money out of other avenues such as people going to see and photograph the animals, various charity groups, etc.

    1. avatar Det. Nick Valentine says:

      “does anything” not “doesn’t do” Oops.

      1. avatar Shotgun Sam says:

        It’s all in the optics. Defending trophy hunting, especially with the massive demise of exotic wildlife will never look right especially when arrogant jerks paste their conquests all over social media. And worse, its the actions of the first-world hunters that get the most negative publicity even though the majority of the damage of the to a species is in poaching and its illicit trade of animal parts. So even if there is a defendable show of good will from the rich hunters’ actions, the optics will always turn stomachs and do plenty of damage to the overall reputation of hunters.

        Donate money. Don’t expect a trophy in return. That ship sailed.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      I’ve been to a number of these preserves in Southern Africa and it really depends on what preserve you’re talking about and what country.

      Some of them do indeed get most of their money from tourism. However, many also allow hunting under certain circumstances such as a lone bull that’s dangerous or when certain elephants learn to attack a village to steal food. They’ll pull down whole buildings to get what’s inside once they know they can do it.

      In those circumstances the preserve will often offer a tag for the beast, a very, very expensive tag. That money goes nearly 100% to the preserve (and/or local villages) and the meat from the animal is given, free of charge, to the villages. Often that’s one of their only sources of meat, especially in a country like Zimbabwe.

      The reality is that conservation in Africa is spotty. Quality varies from country to country and region to region. It’s a place where fly-by-night folks can enrich themselves and disappear. These days that’s pretty rare due to governments taking this seriously but it does still happen.

    3. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

      U of Washington study says that both are beneficial, but that trophy hunting is the more financially critical of the two.

      “It was when Naidoo simulated a ban on trophy hunting that things became really interesting. In 2013, 74% of conservancies had income that was greater than their operating expenses. In other words, they were in the black. But if they were deprived of hunting-related income, only 16% of conservancies would have been able to pay all their bills. That’s some 50,000 square kilometers of land that would go without important protections.
      By contrast, if the opposite were to occur – if communities were deprived of ecotourism-related revenue – they would still feel it, but the impact would be smaller. In that scenario, 59% of conservancies would remain in the black.”

      http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2015/10/what-if-we-banned-trophy-hunting-in-africa/

      1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

        Who do you think you are, briniging sourced facts into the discussion?

      2. avatar Accur81 says:

        That must be wrong because trophy hunting hurts my feelings!
        -Zillions of low information voters

        I’m trying a different tack with anti-gunners and anti-trophy hunters. Economics. Money to the legitimate hunting market versus money to the poaching / black market. It still doesn’t work, because it involves facts, but it’s worth a shot.

    4. avatar Hank says:

      Meh. Liberals can’t shut the fuck up about evolution so let’s let it play out, and the animals poached into extinction. Another species bites the dust and another score for humanity. Then they can sip on their lattes’ and acted like they tried at stopping it.

    5. avatar Ed says:

      If you kill a animal, you’d best be eating it or I’m gonna call you a tiny dicked pussy right to your face and prove it. People who want to kill for sport should start with politicians and people who trophy hunt.

    6. avatar Ed says:

      Trophy hunters are compensating cowards with small penises (kinda like the clowns that run this site). If you kill an animal, you better be eating it. If you want to kill for sport, grow some balls and start with politicians.

    7. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      Even so, my understanding is that countries that allow the hunting are growing populations, countries that maintain bans are not.

      How close to the ideal reality turns out to be I don’t see as important. Does it get overall positive results or not is the ultimate question.

      The choices, as it stands, seem to be poaching or rich westerners coming to hunt, trophy or not. One kills fewer animals, targets specific animals that inhibit breeding, generates more revenue and helps pay people, no matter how imperfectly, to fight poachers instead of joining them.

      Givin a choice between bad and worse one should always choose bad as a hedge while creating a better, third option.

      I understand not liking the sanctioned hunting of endangered species, but the only rational argument against it that I have heard is that there is corruption and the system is not as well run as advertised. However nobody has shown that is worse than a ban, or that such bans amount to anything more than a tacit sanction of outright poaching.

      The westerners going to hunt is the best current option as far as I can tell, and whether or not they can being home trophies I don’t see as particularly important.

  2. avatar Sian says:

    Being honest here, it’s hardly the first time Trump has spouted off on something he knows absolutely nothing about. Maybe he should ask his son to explain it to him.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Being even more honest here, that’s hardly a Trump-only problem.

      I’m happy to have that problem, and not be seething in rage on a daily basis while listening to the Hildabeast spout off crapola while the Leftists swoon.

      Show a little perspective, here. It’s not ideal, but it sure as Hell could be whole lot worse..

  3. avatar Det. Nick Valentine says:

    That said, sometimes animals need culled, and getting thousands of dollars towards funding conservation out of some rich white guy sure seems like a better idea than just having a ranger take them out and getting no money for the park or species.

  4. avatar Danny says:

    The Second Amendment movement has put every last one of its eggs in a basket with this dottering casino-and-pageant mogul, and his family trashy, mobbed-up New York fixers.

    And that picture of American Psycho-boy with his chopped-off elephant tail has become the poster of our cause.

    It is a wretched state of affairs, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    1. avatar PROUD chicano says:

      ^^^
      Yup. The GOP showed no nuts by not sticking up to him and he throws them under the bus left and right lmao.

      1. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

        I have zero issues with Trump. Deal with it.

        1. avatar Danny says:

          … and the villagers said: “Oh, how wonderful!”
          … and the Zen Master said: “We’ll see.”

      2. avatar FrogHill says:

        Danny and PROUD CHICANO

        So the 2nd Amendment is about hunting? You two gentleman preferred Hillary Clinton?
        I also think that it is idiotic to allow people to go to another continent, spend a fortune (To us) and not be allowed to bring anything of the animal back home.
        I don’t see this importation law/rule being above the right to own, and possess a firearm which is the main priority of the NRA is it not?

        If I have misread your intentions in your posts then I do apologize

        1. avatar PROUD chicano says:

          I never attributed the 2A to hunting and I’m not even sure where you got that?

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      Last I checked it was Trump or Hillary.

  5. avatar PROUD chicano says:

    I’m against hunting any animal that isn’t going to find its way to the dinner table.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      The locals aren’t going to let it go to waste.

    2. avatar Det. Nick Valentine says:

      Yeah, the hunters don’t eat these animals, but the meat generally goes to the local villages.

    3. avatar pwrserge says:

      Nobody cares. My rights are not dependent on your opinions. That’s why the 2nd amendment exists.

      1. avatar Marus (Aurelius) Payne says:

        To be fair, we’re not talking about owning arms here, we’re just talking about bringing home, and across international borders, something from a kill.

    4. avatar FrogHill says:

      I hunt and kill coyotes, crows and groundhogs like it is my job and I used to trap muskrats, coon, fox and an occasional beaver as a part time job as it paid well

      I have eaten groundhog, coon, and muskrat once, just to try it but I tried it once and that was enough for me haa, as for the crows, there isn’t much left of a crow after the feather dust has settled and have zero desire to eat coyote or fox

      I have eaten deer, rabbit, squirrel, ducks, goose and grouse and still continue to eat deer on a regular basis and I love the different recipes/dishes for deer and jerky, man do I love deer jerky

      I know people that will shoot and tag a deer and then give it to some of the poor families in my county so the deer doesn’t go to waste

      Some hunters in my area like to hunt but hate the taste of deer, I have no problem with doing this as the animal doesn’t go to waste but if I ever see or hear of anyone just shooting edible animals and leaving them lay then yeh, I have a problem with that

      1. avatar ironicatbest says:

        Me too, I like possum better then coon, and we used to bar b que beaver and have a street dance party. Times change

      2. avatar Bubba Watson says:

        None of it is going to just lay there. The carcasses will be devoured by lots of hungry critters. Some big, some microscopic, but nothing is really going to “waste”. It will all get used up.

        1. avatar Cjstl says:

          And those hungry critters will get lead poisoning and get sick. Some of them will die. Leaving a carcass or any part thereof lay is one of the most irresponsible things a hunter can do. The fact that some people think it is their God-given right to kill something and leave it there infuriates me to no end.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    In a decade, there may be no big game animals extant in Africa because of short-sighted, feel-good decisions like this one. And y’know, in all honesty, I don’t give a damn what happens to Africa. My concern is the USA.

    1. avatar Det. Nick Valentine says:

      Do explain? Conservation is certainly being funded in many areas through other efforts besides big game hunting, and the laws still allows for big game hunting. These rules just ban trophies largely because allowing trade in animal parts also helps shield the movement of illegally obtained (poached) animal parts which is one of the biggest threats to these animals.

      1. avatar JJ48 says:

        But there are certainly some people who would otherwise participate, but who won’t now that they can’t bring home a trophy legally. Whether these make up enough of the hunters to have a significant impact, I don’t know.

  7. avatar million says:

    to quote that rhino farmer in the big game hunting documentary Trophy..

    “Give me one animal that has gone extinct while farmers were breeding it and making money out of it.”

    1. avatar Snatchums says:

      Aurochs?

      1. avatar million says:

        Looks like the Aurochs were wild and went extinct due partially to food competition with domestic cattle.

        https://web.archive.org/web/20090420140454/http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct/speciesinfo/aurochs.htm

        “Humans were the cause of the decline and extinction of the aurochs. This was done through means of hunt, but also thought competition on its feeding ground by domesticated cattle. Finally the very last aurochs in Poland disappeared through a combination of disinterest, corruption, cattle diseases, food competition (from domesticated cattle), and in less extent hunt. (Van Vuure, 2003)”

        1. avatar Rincoln says:

          Texas Longhorns are pretty close, but Heck Cattle are almost real deal Aurochs.

        2. avatar Snatchums says:

          I wasn’t sure the level of domestication of them, I knew they were the great grandaddy of cattle so I figured the species had to be domesticated to some degree. Kind of along the lines of horses, you have the wild mustangs and domesticated draught horses.

  8. avatar CalGunsMD says:

    African subsistence farmers could not be reached for comment.

  9. avatar dwb says:

    Possible in theory, but in reality a lot of these countries have dysfunctional governments run (barely) by warlords. Warlords who care about hard currency more than the rule of law. I am not sure canned hunting on a preserve really counts for a trophy any more than the prize at the bottom of a cracker jack box. Nor do I think its a good substitute for people looking for a “real” trophy off-preserve. Hunters with cash looking for adventure are not going to limit themselves to legal hunting. I see no point in giving them an avenue through which they might launder their illegal trophies (by claiming that they got it from a legal preserve).

    When these countries are not run by warlords and terrorists, I may change my mind.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Who cares? It’s not our problem.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Exactly.

      2. avatar ad-lib says:

        if you’re trying to convince people to sign off on importing trophies, “who cares where the money goes” is not the BEST argument.

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          It is not the job of the United States government to oppress its citizens because some third world hellhole has law and order problems.

  10. avatar bobinmi says:

    What did you expect when a straight populist ended up in office.

  11. avatar Patrick H says:

    “Based on this tweet, it looks like the ban will remain in place for the foreseeable future.”.

    Well yeah, but this president changes his mind like other people change the TV channel. So we’ll see.

  12. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Africa can do what it wants, I will never hunt “the big five” I wouldn’t want them extinct . There’s another problem with pay to hunt here in the U.S., so many landowners have jumped on trophy hunting that ,coon hunters, coyote hunters, and people that can’t afford to pay to play can’t hunt. Now this year I have killed three rabid racoon’s and the coyotes have damned near whiped out the natural food sources that they’ve turned to harassing cattle.The trophy hunters just cull out ” the horns’ and they have no interest in coursing hounds. The hounds men can’t pursue the coyotes because,” they scare off the deer” ( they don’t really, the deer just run in a big circle). Trapping is no more and the skunks and feral cats, skunks are eating up turkey eggs and the cats catch young turkeys and quail. ” The Butterfly Diaries” pretty good book on the future.

  13. avatar Stinkeye says:

    “I wonder how the NRA will respond come election time . . .”

    If history is any guide, they will respond by pestering the living fuck out of me to give them money, spending more in mailings and phone calls than my measly yearly membership nets them.

    Oh, you mean how they will respond to Trump? By continuing to act like he’s the second coming of Gun Jesus, in spite of there being scant evidence to support that characterization.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Why should the NRA get involved? It’s just Africa.

  14. avatar Kyle says:

    For the 12,000th time, the gun community is to the right, what the african american’s are to the left.

    We exist to be taken advantage of as they feel we have no where else to go.

    In our case, they’re mostly right. Jury’s out on the african americans.

  15. avatar former water walker says:

    I really don’t care about African hunting…Donnie Jr. and Eric need to sit dad down-or not…MEH.

  16. avatar MouseGun says:

    I really have a hard time understanding all this menstruation over hunting. They’re just animals.

  17. avatar Yogibearlythere says:

    This is a bunch of downward facing dogma if you ask meeee. And you should ask me. I’m a conservation biologist, and I eat dick for breakfast.

  18. avatar Anonymous says:

    Something the fudds can chew on.

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