Question of the Day: Could You Shoot an Elephant?

Elephant hunter (courtesy pinterest.com)

“When I look at an elephant, I feel one thing: awe,” Liz Bennett writes in an email soliciting funds for the Wildlife Conservation Society. “Awe at their massive size, beauty, and intelligence. It hurts to imagine a world without them. And I’m guessing you feel the same way, Robert.” The Vice President of Species Conservation is not wrong . . .

Elephants are awesome. I approve of her org’s efforts to stop poachers. Only it reminds me of the joke about the drunk guy looking for his car keys under a streetlamp because the light’s better.

I’m a firm believer that licensed elephant hunting is the best way to preserve and protect the species. Assuming at least some of the money from elephant hunting (including legal ivory sales) goes to the native population, or at least the meat, the practice incentivizes people living with the creatures to protect them as a valuable resource.

Somehow I don’t think Ms. Bennett agrees. Or could agree publicly if she did.

Anyway, as much as I support elephant hunting, I don’t think I could pull the trigger on one. Not because I’d be worried about political correctness or becoming pachyderm toe-jam. Because I’d have a hard time killing something I love, admire and respect. (It’s a short list but elephants are on it.)

Could you shoot an elephant?

comments

  1. avatar Imayeti says:

    If he’s in my pajamas, yes. Got that out of the way now.

    1. avatar Nativeson says:

      I don’t agree with elephant hunting. There’s no legitimate reason to kill these animals for sport. I feel the same way about all trophy hunting. We have no right to kill these animals so that we can boast about the killing or display their head on a wall. As an aside, I have no problem with hunting for food.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        You manage a resource by responsible harvesting. Otherwise we’re leaving them to be butchered to extinction by poachers instead.

        “licensed elephant hunting is the best way to preserve and protect the species”

        Edit: I don’t think I would shoot one myself

      2. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        I’m not surprised to still read a white person say the people of Africa should put up with animals eating their children, destroying their crops, wrecking their homes and other property.

        I totally support the African people to manage their animal control issues. The animals are a money source for small isolated communities where white camera tourists don’t go. If the wild life has value to the people in Africa. They will protect and manage them. If they have no value, they will ALL be killed to protect humans and feed the demand for illegal sales of animal parts.

        If cocaine should be made legal why not make selling animal parts legal??? Wouldn’t that eliminate the illegal business in animal parts selling just like the making legal the business of drug sales would take away the power of the cartels???

        Would I shoot an elephant? No. Under the rules of fair chase, only a very brave or very foolish hunter would do this.

  2. avatar Wade says:

    No. I prefer shooting poachers instead.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Shoot an elephant and the locals will cheer you and help process the carcass.
      Shoot a poacher and the locals are mad you just plugged their uncle.

      Nope. The best way to deal with a poacher is to legitimize his business – both he AND the elephant will benefit.
      Could I do it? Dunno. I’d like to be in a financial position to need to answer that question.
      🤠

  3. avatar Noishkel says:

    Pfht. I could shoot anything or anyone if I had to. I just don’t care for trophy hunting, so I have no reason to shoot an elephant. But if you drop me in a situation with a rampaging elephant like Tyke, the critter that went on a rampage in Honolulu back in the 90s then I’ll be just fine with dropping boxes of bullets into one of them.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I really felt for that animal. My son got loose from me at a circus when he was 3. He wound up face to face with a large female elephant. It was amazing to watch how careful she was around him. At one point she had her trunk wrapped around him in what I assume was a hug.

      I really feel that elephants should not be in a circus or a zoo.

      Having said that. A human life is of more value than an animal. Any animal. Even an endangered species. It would break my heart, and bear in mind that I have shot at people, to shoot an elephant. But I would drop jumbo in a second if a human was at risk.

      1. avatar Karl says:

        All life should be weighted by its worth. My dog is more valuable than a surprising number of people I’ve ran into.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      +1 to Noishkel and jwm.

  4. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    Yup. I’d smoke Babar in a New York minute.

  5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    If it’s me or the pachyderm, the pachyderm is going down. (Which is why I carry a .357.)

    1. avatar What I Know says:

      cap gun

      that is to small to do a good job

    2. avatar BLoving says:

      You know I love our .357s, Gov, but even our .44s would not be enough to keep Jumbo from turning us into chunky primate salsa.
      🤠

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Ha! Just trolling with that. I do carry 158gr Double Taps though. If I could get the eye lined up with the brain I might just manage to take one down.

    3. avatar Gray Man says:

      You aren’t taking an elephant with a .357.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

  6. avatar AFGus says:

    Personally, no I couldn’t, unless it was sick or wounded and suffering without the possibility of being saved. I understand the concept and importance of thinning the heard of certain wildlife for conservation of species, but I’ll leave that to the hunting professionals.

  7. avatar Anthony O. says:

    I think it comes down to a case by case basis. If it’s a rogue male that poses a direct threat to people through destruction of property or actual physical harm, then yes it would be the right thing. However simply taking an elephant to take an elephant always struck me as a certain kind of irreverent. Especially when I see people taking them with something like a crossbow, it feels like they’re making the hunt about their own accomplishments, hunting an animal like that should be taken seriously and done with the kind of sensitivity one would have for particpating in a religious service.

  8. avatar Lightfoot says:

    No, No, No.

    Of course I’m goin’ to protect myself against beasts of the jungle, in the same way as I’d protect myself against an aggressive member of the human race.

    I just don’t see the sporting attitude in shooting a slow moving creature that’s bigger than life itself, just for the sick logic these trophy hunters must have.

    1. avatar bobnotaub says:

      If it wasn’t for those trophy hunters, there probably wouldn’t be any elephants around. As for slow moving, you should go piss off an elephant and see if you can outrun one. Hunters don’t shoot things moving fast. They shoot them when they’re standing still regardless of how fast they could potentially run. That goes for deer, bear, antelope, elephants, lions etc. Your ignorance on this subject is showing. Maybe you should read up on it before you start demonizing the people who are keeping the elephants around.

  9. avatar YAR0892 says:

    Shoot it, eat it, wear the hyde, put the head on the wall, legally sell the ivory, and gladly pay for the privilege… that is if I could afford the privilege to begin with. Otherwise, poacher huntin sounds like a fun time too.

  10. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    If it was necessary, managing wild life, threat of safety, etc., yes.

    I don’t kill ANYTHING unless it serves a real purpose. Trophy hunting? Nah, not my bag, baby. Killing is a chore, sometimes necessary. Besides, hauling off the carcass?! Uh unh.

  11. avatar Danny says:

    I wouldn’t shoot an elephant even to save humans, and I would sign a directive not to harm an elephant even if necessary to save my own life, if that was a thing.

    There are more than seven billion of us, while these animals are endangered. Given the numbers, their lives are more valuable than those of us, the metal-forging hairless chimps.

    (If a rogue is an imminent danger to the herd itself, that’s a different situation where you would have to choose the lesser evil.)

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Thanks for sharing Barak

    2. avatar Hank says:

      You’re mere existence has an enormous impact on the environment, other animals, microbes, and endangered species. Perhaps you should do something about that. You’re only one out of 7 billion, so you are pointless anyway.

      1. avatar Danny says:

        You mad? You sound mad; like angry.

        1. avatar Hank says:

          Sound? Hmm. Yes the *sound* coming from my voice which you are hearing right now. You know as you *read* written words… you are something special.

    3. avatar Bitchnuts says:

      We can all at least agree that we wouldn’t shoot an elephant to save this weirdo.

    4. avatar Scoutino says:

      Hang yourself to save the planet. Why don’t you?
      I bet dollars against donuts you don’t know anything about metal forging.

  12. avatar Five says:

    Of course I could shoot an elephant, as could anyone else capable obtaining transport, tools, licenses, guides and operating said tools. The question I think you wanted to ask is would I shoot an elephant.

    And my answer to that it, no. Too damn much hassle for too little gain.

  13. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Yeah. There are some bigguns down in Botswana. I just can’t afford the tag.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      First thing I thought was, “Could I shoot an elephant? I’d hope so. As big as they, how could I miss?”

  14. avatar Desert Dave says:

    No, just that I have no reason to. Jeez, can you just imagine what it takes to field dress one of those buggers! And what kind of freezer would you need to put all the elephant steaks in, not to mention I don’t think I could fit one on my BBQ!

    Nope, just to much trouble to do that for no good purpose (for me).

    1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

      Agree…and every night it would be elephant….elephant stew, elephant steak, elephant BBQ, elephant meatloaf, elephant, elephant,..elephant….madness follows lol.

  15. avatar Harry Flashman says:

    There’s a reason why we don’t suffer from a shortage of beef cattle in this country. It’s called livestock management. Same applies to wildlife.

  16. avatar Hank says:

    Probably not, for the same reason I have no desire to go whaling, eat a dog, or go bald eagle hunting.

  17. avatar Ken says:

    Not interested.

  18. avatar Pete says:

    I couldn’t shoot an Elephant. They’re pretty amazing animals, intelligent, enormous and beautiful. An elephant pregnancy takes 23 Months so it’s not like they’re making more elephants quickly!

  19. avatar little horn says:

    to me that is the ultimate cowardly kill. unless of course its charging someone. its a smart, usually docile animal. it is what men with small dicks do to make themselves feel better.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I thought owning a gun proved you had a small johnson? A fast car? A loud motorcycle? Bungy jumping? The list is endless.

      We must all have small dicks.

    2. avatar Gray Man says:

      You must be a liberal. Only liberals talk about a man’s penis when that man is doing something he doesn’t agree with. Drive a large truck, own a gun, hunt deer, etc., they’ll always have your penis on their mind. So you, Mr. Liberal pansy, have our penises on your mind because we are willing to do something that you don’t like. Not that any of us ACTUALLY did it. We are just saying that we are willing to. And for that, you’re thinking of our penises.

      I think you lost this mind game. In the interest of accuracy for your imagination, I’m 7″.

    3. avatar Jim B says:

      My ex-girlfriend shot an elephant in Zimbabwe (40 pounds a side) and she doesn’t even have a dick!

  20. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “Could You Shoot an Elephant?”

    Only if Rosie really had it coming…

    *snicker*

  21. avatar Gray Man says:

    Yeah, I could shoot an elephant if I was on a legal safari hunt. The reason is because legalizing hunting of elephants helps to preserve them. I could participate in that.

  22. avatar Blurb says:

    My dad taught me that it is only right to kill for protection and for food. I’m a fat guy, but I’ve never been that hungry.

  23. avatar Marc T says:

    And that muzzle is pointing straight at the dude’s face. That was my takeaway from this…..no I haven’t read the article.

  24. avatar Trooper Sam says:

    That’s pretty much a hard no for me, save for actual need, like one is running toward me with the intent of filling muddy footprints with the goo that was once me.

  25. avatar anonymoose says:

    Yes. Next question.

  26. avatar Hank says:

    I’d love to shoot an elephant, if only the circus would come to town again. Ever since I took a trophy lion on their last visit, they won’t set foot in my neck of the woods anymore.

  27. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Not elephant, not rhino, not tigers, lions, or bears, not hawks, or eagles, buzzards or frigate birds, whales or sharks. Critters are my brothers and they don’t bother me. However I am not against trophy elephant hunting, as at this time it appears the only way to stop extinction. I could shoot a Chinaman dealing in ivory. Oh and elephants have be killed with a 44. and so has Chinamen.

  28. avatar Mark N. says:

    I will never have to make that call. I can’t see spending multiples of my net worth on tags, travels, guns and guides to find out if I could pull the trigger on such a magnificent beast, and I can think of other things I’d rather do than hunt dangerous game. I have had one run-in with death, and I don’t particularly want to tempt fate. That said, I have no moral objection to trophy hunting for conservation purposes; I understand the need. I just won’t be the one participating.

  29. avatar former water walker says:

    I don’t hunt but approve of hunting. I would shoot a pachyderm only if it threatened me or mine…

  30. avatar MLee says:

    The answer is no. In my view the guy in the image is a do*che bag and anyone else that would enjoy something like that is a DB also.

  31. avatar Ralph says:

    I’d much rather shoot a Donkey than an Elephant or even a RINO.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      You’re an Ass man?

  32. avatar Mad Max says:

    Unless I’m forced to hunt for survival, I don’t harm anything that isn’t trying to harm me.

    I’m not against hunting, but I would not want to have an animal suffer because of my bad marksmanship.

    I have a friend that used to hunt but stopped because his eyes are no longer good enough to get a clean kill.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I respect the man that recognizes when it’s time to stop hunting because of his physical limitations. Just as I respect the man that decides its time to hand over his car keys to the younger folk in his family.

  33. avatar Blake says:

    Could I? Yes. Would I want to? No.

    Like many I just don’t get a kick out of trophy hunting, though I would if it were a “primitive” style hunt, ie no guns or modern equipment. Some like it, and that’s fine too. The main conditions I’ll kill things: 1) Food 2) Its a danger to me/others 3) It’s sick/hurt.

    Having said that, I would consider going spear hunting for lion. Would most likely end up getting me hurt, but that’s definitely something that gives ya bragging rights. Alas, I could never afford such a thing.

  34. avatar Roymond says:

    Only with a camera, unless said elephant posed a real and serious threat to someone.

    Though if that someone were a government bureaucrat, I’d be really slow to respond.

  35. avatar Evan Balch says:

    Probably only under the circumstances that it’s a very old bull who is preventing new breeding because he’s sterile (which is part of managing a herd). But those are the very specific conditions needed.

    I do want to hunt Cape buffalo and plains game though.

  36. avatar Hannibal says:

    Him or me? Yeah. But I don’t WANT to and would be generally unhappy about the situation.

  37. avatar Bitchnuts says:

    No, but I sometimes I wish we could shoot Rhinos. Specifically the ones in congress.

  38. avatar adverse5 says:

    If it’s climbing thru my window at 3 am.

  39. avatar TatendaZim says:

    Yes. Twice. But I prefer Cape buffalo hunting.

  40. avatar Charles says:

    Generally speaking, no I would shoot an elephant, or any other animal except for protection or meat, but we will kill a man on his hands and knees in Mesa Arizona and feel justified.

    1. avatar adverse5 says:

      We who?

  41. avatar Jason says:

    I enjoy hunting land that I scouted and put in the work to learn. While I support, I’m not even interested in paying for some guide to sit me in a tree in some place for which I have no connection. The whole Africa thing is that type of guided hunt on steroids. I have no connection to that land and I have no connection to those types of animals. I don’t see how that type of experience could be satisfying. Spending years for the opportunity to shoot a small doe with my bow in Colorado, now that’s satisfying.

  42. avatar raptor jesus says:

    Not unless it was an immediate threat.

    I certainly wouldn’t pay to kill one.

  43. avatar Aaron says:

    No, but I could shoot a donkey…

    1. avatar adverse5 says:

      Only if it’s making an ass of itself.

  44. avatar Scoutino says:

    Could I shoot an elephant? Yes.
    Do I want to? Not really.
    Will I ever? Most likely not.

  45. avatar Dave says:

    With my camera.

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