“Sport hunting also is vulnerable to another critique that I call “the objection from character,” philosopher and Boston University Ph.D. Candidate Joshua Duclos writes at theconversation.com. “This argument holds that an act is contemptible not only because of the harm it produces, but because of what it reveals about the actor. Many observers find the derivation of pleasure from hunting to be morally repugnant.” Do you find trophy hunting morally repugnant?

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95 Responses to Question of the Day: Is Trophy Hunting Moral?

  1. Not the hunting itself given the boon they generally are (costs, fees, permits) for the animals as a whole.
    I do find some of the post-hunt photos to be ridiculous, trophy or otherwise.
    “Look at me with this dead animal.” Just not something I personally get the value of.

    • Trophy? Looks like mental illness to me.

      Something is missing in the lives of serial trophy hunters. The moment they take the picture of the latest kill, they are planning their next. Trophies are a drug that punishes a species.

      I get the funding of conservation, and even the “hunting” of a soon-to-die white rino, but a trophy picture is worth a thousand bad words about hunters and hunting in general.

      So like the ivory trade, and human sex trafficking, it’s time to stop trophy hunting. And this is coming from a life long hunter just shy of social security.

      • Everyone who cares ought to take a deep breath; and then, acknowledge that we can’t be entirely confident that our sentiments conform to any objective notion of morality.

        So some, there is sentiment for preserving, or not ending, any sentient life.

        To some, there is a right of self-defense from threatening fauna.

        To some, it is moral to defend crops and ourselves from vermin.

        To some, it is moral to kill for food.

        Trophies are a hard edge case; yet, we recognize the need to manage the population within the extent of the range and the competing interests of humans living in the area. Without trophy hunting there simply wouldn’t be ANY financial resources to protect the remaining herd nor a deliberate approach to managing the population.

        Let’s imagine that societies formed a consensus that trophy hunting is immoral. Then, there would be no financial resources dedicated to preserving the herd. Moreover, the native population would remain invested in killing-off as many competing species for preservation of their own lives and crops/livestock. I.e., vulnerable species would become “vermin” to their only remaining “husbandmen”.

        Is it moral for us, the elite among homo sapiens, to decide to leave any vulnerable species to inevitable extinction?

        In the long run, of course, governments in charge of the respective ranges will allocate public funds to the preservation of vulnerable species. But, by then, (i.e., in the long run) such vulnerable species will all be dead.

        As ugly as the prospect may seem to some of us, the preservation of species for our posterity is in the tender hands of “trophy hunters”.

        • That doesn’t really answer the question of whether or not trophy hunting is immoral, Mark. You basically only said that there is an ecological/conservation benefit to USING the trophy hunters that already exist.

          Personally, I would say that hunting purely for trophies is repugnant and, indeed, does speak to the character of the hunters that do it. And while you can make a very strong case for the practical NECESSITY of taking advantage of such peoples’ willingness to fork over large sums of money to get bragging rights about killing something, that doesn’t mean that you come out of the deal with clean hands anymore than a leader who authorizes using a sociopath to assassinate a third world Hitler would. It’s not a reality we should embrace, or even resign ourselves to. Make use of it while there is no better alternative, but at the same time be working to make it a necessity for a short a time as possible.

        • What Happens to the Trophy Meat?

          If the trophy hunter gets the skin and head /horns, then what happens to the animal meat?
          The answer is the local population eats the meat. Lion, rhino, hippopotamus etc, etc, etc. Is it wrong to eat an elephant?
          You may think it’s wrong to eat an elephant but the people who have lived in Africa for thousands of years have no trouble eating the local animal population. Just as the people in America have no trouble eating the local animal population. Deer, wild pigs, bear, squirrel, possum, etc.

          I think certain white people are using a racist line of thinking when discussing white hunters in Africa. I think people need to stop thinking as if its sometime in the 1890s.
          A lot of self-hating white people are trying to interfere in the local decisions made by black people as to how they want to handle their local animal predator problems. Trophy hunting feeds hungry people. Capitalism will save the animal population.
          Who are theses outsiders to come in and say how animal control will be conducted in Africa???
          Just as there are white people in America who what to Heeelp, black people by taking the black father away and giving black women welfare, and then putting black families in gun free zone public housing projects. Now you have white non hunters telling blacks what they can and can’t do in conducting business with white hunters, who are willing to pay good money to black Africans and employ the local population and feed their families as well.

          If you did not have legal organized hunting with limits in Africa the local population would eat every animal to extinction. For example, African lions are a nuisance for cattlemen in Africa. In fact, lions are a dangerous nuisance.

          In America, some communities are discovering how much a nuisance a sea lion colony is when you can’t use a boat dock. Sea lions were hunted in America just like elephants are still hunted in Africa. And now that sea lions are no longer hunted in America, we now have a problem in California and other states. Sea lions have already been identified as a problem for the salmon population.

          Sea lions are a problem for fishermen
          http://www.cbsnews.com/news/oregon-sea-lions-fake-orca/

          http://www.huntersnamibia.com/ignorant-of-the-realities-of-trophy-hunting/

          This article is a good example of the racist low expectation views of white liberals and the white hunters who really want help local blacks in Africa solve their animal control problem, and at the same time everyone makes some money and gets to eat good fresh meat.

          also see “Carters War”, on the outdoor channel or the sportsman channel. Its the story of a wild game warden in Africa.

      • As a life long hunter (your words), would you not take the buck with the better rack? I would. Get a tag to hunt a species – even deer – and pretty much every hunter will try for the best looking animal. This is trophy hunting. Getting a tag for a larger species of deer or elk or moose is done for pretty much the same reason. I am always entertained by people claiming to be hunters, yet decrying those who hunt for something beautiful or unique. I have no issues with trophy hunting.

        I also have no issues with limited tags, expensive tags, or a “must use all parts” policy.

        Wolves and lions eat livestock and if their populations aren’t controlled somehow can pose a threat to people. If you remove top predators, then large grazing animals can do the same, even that giraffe. Not just a threat to people, but to their own species if the balance tips too far in any direction.

        Your comparison to poaching is absurd. Poaching is illegal and doesn’t respect balance. Your comparison to sex trafficking is even more absurd. No animal’s worth approaches anywhere near a human’s.

        • Regarding your last sentence, you should look up one of the recent posts here about defending property. I was surprised (or not) at how many people consider pets to be family.

        • Oh, I consider my puppy to be part of the family. I don’t argue with people who do. However, I support the death penalty for people who murder people. I would NEVER support the death penalty for people who kill an animal, not even if they killed my puppy. Which means even though my pup is part of my family, she’s still nowhere near equal to my wife and children.

          For an honest moment that hopefully will not see the police called on me. If I catch someone in the act of killing my dog, they’d better fear for their health and wellbeing. But if anyone murders my family, it won’t matter if I catch them in the act or not, they’d be wise to never stop looking over their shoulder.

      • “…Trophy? Looks like mental illness to me…”

        What’s really mental illness can be defined as someone living in California after that state has legalized under-age prostitution.

        What’s really mental illness is people condoning abortion.

        Mental illness is someone who calls for genocide of white people, or any other race.

        Mental illness is a government that refuses to identify a terrorist for what they are: terrorists.

        The list can go on and on. “Trophy” hunting will never make that list.

    • How do you make yourself look sillier than somebody who says “Gun Violence”?

      You say something far, far more stupid, like “Serial Trophy Hunters”.

    • Probably because you have obviously never hunted. The reason for being proud of taking a trophy of whatever species is because of the challenge. The larger the trophy, the older, smarter, and more wary he is. It takes a lot to outsmart a trophy animal, and that is why it is an accomplishment to cherish. It is the challenge that is the point, NOT the kill. But, not having hunted, you would of course be unaware of that.
      OFC, there are those I call the “slob hunters”, who hire a guide to take them on a canned hunt in a small area where success is assured, instead of earned. But these also are not in it for the kill, they just want the pictures and the head to hang on the wall to prove to their friends how great they are. All arrogance and bold talk, and lacking in confidence and courage. But all activities have those, not just hunting. Earth is cursed with many evil and immoral beings, in all realms of human activity.

  2. This is the opinion of a non-hunter. I frankly do not enjoy killing animals, though I am happy to let others kill for me. I am a carnivore, after all.

    Obliterating sixty million bison to starve the indians out of existence – THAT was immoral.

    Killing animals for trophy purposes, if it is done with a conservation approach that benefits the species and the ecosystem as a whole, that is not immoral.

    • Curtis – I should hope that you are not simply a carnivore, but an omnivore. Eat your veggies! As for the rest of your reply, I am totally in agreement with you. Wildlife is a resource which now requires that Man be cognizant of the necessity for its management both by conservation and the need to “thin the herd” when required for the health of a species.

        • Geez, how old are you? My Grandfather ate a half a pound of bacon and a half dozen eggs every day until the day he died at 89! Also smoked from the age of 9. Got a cancer of the lip from it always hanging their at about 75. Had it cut out in the 1950s and his treatment was to switch the smokes around to the other side of his mouth. Guess he figured that if one side lasted 70 years, he would never have to worry about the other side.

    • It’s funny you mention the American Bison, because while yes, they were nearly hunted to extinction by the private market (more as a form of economic “warfare” or control over the Native Americans), it was also the private market that saved them from extinction. Essentially, private conservationists saved the American Bison where the federal government, and unregulated private hunters could not.
      You could even say that trophy hunting (in a primitive manner of speaking) is the reason we even have the American Bison today. I will confess that my internet armchair analysis has vastly oversimplified that part of American history, but the fact remains: the value American Bison had as a game animal and its place in the culture/myth of the Wild West is largely what kept it from being wiped off the face of the earth entirely.

    • I can’t eat antlers or horns so I’m an opportunist. If the antlers are massive I won’t complain cuz I think they look cool on the garage wall. But I don’t think trophy hunting is morally wrong.

      As far as the comment about shooting all the Bison to starve out a population, well that irks me. Native Americans were some of the biggest offenders when it came to slaughtering animals only for the choice meets. They’d run huge herd over cliffs and just take the good stuff. No one complains about that.
      When it comes to hunting we should all be on the same team. Just cuz you don’t like their method doesn’t mean it’s wrong or bad. Different strokes for different folks.

  3. I find it interesting that the creator of this hit-piece video seems to single out female hunters upon whom to direct his vitriol. I’m sure that reveals something of his misogynist character as well.

  4. I find it interesting that the creator of this vid hides behind a fake you-tube name while outing others. Heck, why not post their addresses while he’s at it?

    Once again, not the whole story, but opinionated sound bites.

  5. Trophy away my hunting friends. Dividing hunters up like this just helps us turn on each other. Sure I don’t need to kill a deer to eat and I’m sure you’ve heard you don’t need that AR15. Let’s cut out the infighting or at least try to.

  6. What I do with and how I spend my Benjamin Franklins is none of your business. I do not bitch at you for the number of shoes you own.

  7. My grandfather was a trophy hunter, I’m just a fill the freezer guy. Maybe because i have more of a background in animal husbandry and definitely more as a chef, but it’s just product to me. And it’s a chore if you tan the hides and try and use the entire animal. I live in the burbs for now, so that level of processing is a no no, so I rarely hunt these days.

    • I only ask about the brain tan because I love the feel of brain tanned leather. I would like to have a fox or coyote fur piece that is as soft, but I’ve been unable to get the hair to stay in. I don’t even know if it’s possible, but I was hoping for some advice…

  8. Kill one lion, make enough money to protect the other 100 lions a whole year in a giantic preservation area. I don’t see a problem there.
    Leaving them alone as prey for poachers, that would be a problem.
    Also, with shooting permissions on certain animals of the group you can sort out the old/ill/weak animals and only keep those with the highest survivability chances.

  9. I don’t hate the hunters, so much as I hate some of the resorts/ranches that cater to them “Spend (Mucho $$$) and we’ll garunteee you a trophy grade animal! We do all the work, you just show up and pull the trigger! ”

    Then they take all that money and go lobby the state and DWR to make things even harder for hunters who don’t “pay to play.”

  10. I hunt to fill my freezer and to support and maintain wildlife. Who else is going to pay for it?
    I’ve helped to support small villages by “trophy hunting”.

    • What you are describing isn’t trophy hunting, though. There is a rather large difference between someone that hunts as a means to harvest wild game for food and someone that hunts for the bragging rights of having killed something.

      • Conservation is something that even “trophy” animals need. Sometimes that’s thinning the herd. Is a whitetail deer more moral to hunt than a moose? Is a moose more moral than a brown bear? Is a bear more moral than a wolf? How about a lion preserve where the lion population grows too fast? Every hunter decides for themselves what tags they want. Even hunters who just get a whitetail deer tag are going to pick the buck with the best rack. Poaching is illegal and breaking the law is immoral. But everytime someone gets upset about trophy hunting, it was a person who did it legally. Who paid for a tag issued by a government for a reason, usually either conservation or raising funds to better the community.

  11. Do I find trophy hunting morally repugnant?

    I haven’t hunted on fifty years and still don’t understood the value of mounted heads on someone’s wall. So what?

    The problem with even asking the question is the unforgivable hubris of the questioner, who claims some kind of moral superiority. That’s as morally repugnant as it gets.

    • I’m not much for the full bust mounts but on the flip side it’s a trophy and for some a shrine to the animal, it’s possible that those mounts may become an heirloom all to itself. I haven’t kept any mounts but i do have the brass from the first hunt with my dad.

  12. The act in and of itself, fine – the whole sharing it on social media and throwing it in people’s faces . . . not so much.

    I don’t post any of the guns that fell of my boat on social media, and I don’t want to see what you just killed.

    • It sounds like you’re simply pointing out that trophy hunters are as pathetically desperate for attention as the rest of the world’s faceplant users.

  13. As long as population is properly managed at sustainable levels and local populations are able to earn a living from the hunting activities, hunting is generally a good thing. I personally love the taste of venison, find bear to be acceptable and would not want to eat lion. But I know that the local villagers in southern Africa are no so squeamish, and so no usable parts of the animal will be wasted. Giraffe tastes OK, but they’re not exactly the fiercest creatures on the veldt, so those “trophy pictures” seem a bit off.

    That said, I don’t really enjoy the idea of killing animals like bears or lions unless necessary – too intelligent (or at least intelligent-seeming). Of course I’d do so in self-defense – I still like humans better than bears.

    Deer, elk, moose, bison etc. are just free-range steak.

  14. The animals in question will either have have value to people, or they won’t. To people who are against hunting, the animals have no value. They just want to feel good about themselves, and say “look, we did something, we tried, it wasn’t out fault”. To some of the locals, the animals are vermin that should be killed to make room for their crops and livestock, and to some of them the animals have value because their carcasses can be sold on the black market for lots o’ dollars. either way, to the locals, the animals are worth more dead than alive. To hunters with deep pockets from first world countries, the animals have value when they are alive, so they can be hunted. The hunter will pay the locals a lot of money to kill one of these animals, since every animal has a value when it is alive, they gave the locals, and their government, a reason to keep them alive. As long as the animal herds are responsibly maintained, there is nothing wrong with killing animals for sport. Sportsmen pay for conservation. Hunting licenses and taxes from legal hunting give people a reason to protect animals from poachers and habitat loss.

  15. I agree strongly with comments Ralph:

    “The problem with even asking the question is the unforgivable hubris of the questioner, who claims some kind of moral superiority. That’s as morally repugnant as it gets.”

    There is no difference between “trophy hunting” and buying a steak, all neatly wrapped in plastic, at your local Whole Foods. The animal is still dead, and you are the agent of its death whether you pulled the trigger or handed over your credit card at the cash register.

    All the rest is virtue signaling…”I stand on higher moral ground than you because…” whatever. The cold hard truth is that we all kill to live. I grew up in the South surrounded by soybean farms…I know what dies so you can enjoy your bowl of edamame. Is the life of a deer, or a raccoon, or a vole worth less than the life of a lion, or an elephant or, indeed, a hyena? Large-scale farming is death on small animals, whether a person who only eats vegetables chooses to acknowledge it or not. Spend some time living next to a production turkey farm, then tell me you’re still excited about Thanksgiving.

    The attack on trophy hunting is simply more of the divisive rhetoric aimed at us by our blood enemies, essentially more s%$t thrown on the wall to see what sticks. More than a decade ago, I went to the hunting community and begged them to stand with shooters in the fights we were facing. While there were a small number of “Fudds,” the overwhelming majority of the hunting community stood alongside us in the battles. Here in Colorado, for example, Rocky Mountain Elk and Ducks Unlimited were right alongside us as we fought the banning of recreational shooting on public land and with us at the State House as we fought the Bloomberg laws.

    It is now time for all of us to “return the favor.” I am primarily a shooter (and a sometimes trophy hunter), and I believe it is necessary for us as shooters to stand with hunters, whether subsistence, freezer-filling or trophy, against our common enemy.

    There is no true “wilderness” left in the world. We have taken the top slot in the food chain, and now we have to live with it.

    Michael B

    • Perfect reply Michael (I didn’t realize it was you until I went to post this reply). Even vegetarians are responsible for the deaths of animals, even if it is only via destruction of habitat to create farms.

      So, no, I don’t find “trophy” hunting to be repugnant or morally questionable.

  16. how could it not be? well if you have no conscious, thats one way. im all for hunting, just not this. and if you are of the opinion that ALL trophy animals are some how sickly and we are doing them a favor…then you are willingly gullible and deceiving yourself for your own gratification. besides, aren’t giraffes endangered now? i hope not.

  17. For the last nine years since I took up deer hunting, I’ve been a meat hunter. I really enjoy venison and have found all sorts of delicious ways to prepare it. But honestly, that’s mostly because I hadn’t had the opportunity to shoot anything that I would qualify as a trophy. Until this season. I was fortunate enough to kill a huge 9 point that crossed in front of me in pursuit of a young doe. I’ve always wondered what I would do if I kept hunting long enough to kill one like that. I decided to get a shoulder mount. I started hunting later in life and I don’t know how many more years I have to do it. It’s not going to make any Boone and Crockett records but to me it is a trophy. I don’t think I will have a second one mounted but I don’t really know. It will be on display in my basement/reloading room cause my wife doesn’t want to see it upstairs. That’s ok, because it means something to me and that’s all that really matters. I will enjoy the memory of this animal long after the meat is consumed.

    I will continue to hunt to fill my freezer, but as I continue to get better at it, and having at least once taken one that I was satisfied to call “a trophy”. I anticipate that I will be more measured as to when I decide to pull the trigger.

    I don’t believe that I will have the opportunity to ever hunt Africa, it’s not really something I aspire to do, but I don’t begrudge those that do. We are at the point on this planet that we must manage wildlife to preserve it, many value these animals but few have or are willing to put up the funds to do it, except the trophy hunters who might just value these animals a little bit more.

  18. I am an avid hunter. Although after this last season I think I have had enough consecutive bitterly aggravating hunting disruptions that I may never hunt ever again.

    At any rate I am a HUGE advocate for keeping animal populations in check AND feeding people by way of hunting. With respect specifically to trophy hunting, to the extent that someone eats all the meat from a trophy hunt kill, I am 1000% on board. (I don’t care if the trophy hunter eats the meat or if local people get the meat.)

    Having said all that, I am opposed to “thrill killing” and killing an animal simply to take its tusks (worth thousands of dollars) and waste the rest. This is where faith comes in. Animals are a gift from our Creator God. It is no more appropriate to destroy that gift than it is to open a specially chosen Christmas gift from our Earthly parents and destroy it for a cheap thrill.

  19. Trophy hunting? Not my thing but I won’t label it “immoral”. I don’t hunt but I’m very pro-hunting to eat. It’s only a short step to the sissy twinks who label anyone with a GUN as immoral/criminal/rightwing gunnut…

  20. The only people that have a moral leg to stand on in using this argument are those that totally abstain from consuming any animal products.
    Anyone else is just a gosh-darned hypocrite.

  21. Why does everyone think that photos and video with the dead animals is for other people to look at and be impressed by? Folks, its not all about you.
    My photos, and yes the “trophies” I have are there to help me remember those great days hunting. It has nothing to do with you.
    And although I primarily meat hunt, and I don’t think I’ve hunted an animal I didn’t eat, I totally support hunting purely for the sake of the hunt. To pit yourself, with a reasonable expectation of failure, against nature, is beyond moral, it is admirable.

    • “Why does everyone think that photos and video with the dead animals is for other people to look at and be impressed by?”

      Because they’re all over facebook, instagram, snaptwat, name your social medium for the self-absorbed, attention-seeking types, the pictures and videos are there.

      If it weren’t for trophy hunters bragging to the world about their accomplishments in far away lands, the peta-sierra-club-bunny-huggers of the world wouldn’t even know about it.

      • fermented leprositic armadillo. and scabied prairie squids- the human mites eat the beaks, so you don’t have to.
        didn’t know about bubonic rodents. might need to break out the sukang maanghang for that.

  22. Cecil died so that his brothers and sisters could live. It was in vain. Men with sand in their vaginas cried out in protest. The number of trophy hunters declined along with their conservation dollars. The government in Zimbabwe was forced to reduce the number of lions.

    On a positive note, consider this. As soon as we solve the technical issues involved in harnessing the energy of our fathers spinning in their graves, we will solve the energy crisis.

    Trophy hunting is not just moral, it is noble. Moreover, it is necessary on a planet with a population pushing seven and one half billion humans.

  23. I no longer hunt in any capacity but I have no problem with trophy hunting.

    It controls animal populations while generating money for conservation. I don’t know how people roll here in North America but in Africa the meat from the kill is given to the locals.

    Money is made for conservation, locals get food that they can’t afford, the population is controlled and someone gets a weirdo trophy. I’m not seeing the downside here.

  24. I’ve heard so many different definitions of ” trophy hunting” I can’t answer until you tell me yours .

    Oh and thank you Bob, well put .

  25. Sometimes you have to kill animals for necessary population control and hunting for food is of course understandable, but hunting just to kill something is a little too “serial killer in training”.

  26. If I step on a roach or club a sewer rat you wouldn’t mind. Who the hell do you think you are to choose which animals deserve to live or die???

    • Well if your not going to acknowledge differences in intelligence and emotions, then why care about killing humans either?

      • Rather than not acknowledging differences in animal personalities, I think the intent was to say that it is not up to you(or me) to make moral judgements about which ones are vermin, and which ones are not, based upon how cute and cuddly you(or me) find them to be.
        There are many cute and cuddly disease carriers, and many ugly as sin that are harmless and friendly. Just as with other humans, we need to learn to judge entities by behaviours and habits and not looks and feelings.

    • enjoy your vermin salad.
      i would allow my dim perception of scarcity vs. ubiquitous nuisance to influence my thumbs down decisions.

  27. As someone who has hunted overseas I love seeing comments like the ones above, “that trophy hunting is immoral but meat hunting is fine”. What do you think happens to these “trophy” animals? They feed dozens of families who have neither the means nor the weapons to hunt these animals themselves. So I am wrong to go to Africa and shoot a few animals when the locals eat everything but the hooves? People who have no other means to add protein to their meager diet of Maize? If I want to pay to ship the hides and horns home to hang on the wall as a reminder of an awesome trip what business is it of yours? When I’m paying big $$$ to feed those less fortunate than I there are no regrets, except that I wish I had more money to shoot more animals to feed more people.

  28. As long as the hunt serves a redeeming value, I see no problem. The idea that the hunt is controlled, whether by license limiting the scope of the hunt, or a guide selecting a particular animal to be culled serves a purpose. In many places, the fees provide the conservation efforts, which has led to increases in the animals impacted. American buffalo (bison) might have easily followed the mastodon into extinction without conservation agency efforts. This is also true of other specie (wolf, bear, eagle, beaver, etc).

    And as long as, where applicable, the carcass is not left to rot, and only the head kept as a trophy.

    Personally, I prefer this means to those of the do-gooder animal rights types who would kill industries, force people to surrender their property, etc, by absolute cessation of all hunting (and they have begun to impact fishing as well).

  29. Many fishermen will practice “catch and release” just as many photoghers will go to the ends of the earth for the right shot(is a trophy). Killing an animal for a picture bothers me. Now, if the animal is a rogue(like a tiger that has a taste for human meat or the milk animals of a village), go for it. You can go to Fla, and go after the ilegal immigrant snakes that are taking over. You could do some good. Most large animals on this earth are somewhat endangered, and hunting a healthy one that can add good genes to the genepool is not a favorable outcome.
    If you are feeding your family or helping out a village in India, that is one thing. Hunting and/or trapping in cold regions to wear or trade fur on animals that are not endangered is also different.
    It is you life, do what you like, but I will have nothing to do with that.

  30. If we’re to ban trophy hunting because some people find it morally repugnant, then why can’t we ban the much more common practice of abortion (let’s just start with late term abortions to grind the point very finely) based on some people finding it morally repugnant, hmmm? I mean, if we’re talking about banning something based on moral outrage, then which outrages more people more deeply? Shooting some animal that’s eventually going to be taken down by some other predator on the Dark Continent, or hacking up viable fetuses and selling off their parts in the for-profit organ trade?

    Oh, wait, I forgot: It’s always about the virtuous pecksniffery and unctuous hectoring of the left that we must attend, right?

    • so leave the viable fetuses to be eventually taken down by some animal in chicago’s dark continent? maybe.
      i don’t know- i’ve never shot at unborn wildlife.

  31. I love this “I’m okay with hunting for the meat, but not this”. The majority of people in this country who hunt don’t do it because it’s they have to feed their family, they do it for recreation (I know, because I’m one of these people).
    I love the taste of fresh venison, but my survival doesn’t depend on it. It’s easier for me to go down to grocery store and buy a pack of steaks than it is to slog through the woods, wait for a deer, shoot it, track it, gut it, drag it back to my truck, etc., but I do it because I enjoy it.
    The fact of the matter is a majority of meat hunters are people who, once a year, dig out out their boots, rifle, and camo, and sit in a blind, play Angry Birds on the phone, and shoot a deer when it comes into view. How is that any different trophy hunting?

  32. its just that it’s harder to attack a “meat” hunter than a “trophy” hunter. It’s just like attack black rifles. Go after something that non hunters might consider distasteful.
    Attacking a person trying to feed their family is a nonstarter. The non-hunters can assume that meat hunters don’t hunt for pleasure, but for the food. This is tolerable for them. They don’t want to believe that someone that is ok with killing can be a part of their society. They assume they are better than us because they are more civilized. In my opinion they are simply weak and helpless and want everyone to be as weak and helpless as they are to not feel inferior.

  33. I don’t care for trophy hunting at ALL but after having read a few of Peter Hathaway Capstick’s books “Death in the Long Grass”, “Death in the Dark Continent” about the experiences of hunting Africa’s big five I can at least tip my hat to some of the big game hunters for having some extremely big balls.
    Hunting animals who would almost qualify for a spot in Jurassic Park with nothing but a slow to reload double rifle is a high risk endeavor of the highest magnitude. And according to Capstick’s accounts there are quite a few big game hunters who lost the battle to their wild prey and returned home to a closed casket funeral never to be heard from again.

    • Capstick’s are some of the best hunting books I’ve ever read. My favorite story is the one in which the Black Mamba pinned his finger to the fore end of his shotgun and missed envenomating his hand completely. Anything can happen…

      • I no longer have my copies ( soon to be corrected on Amazon ) but I seem to remember one chapter that opened with an unfortunate hunter underneath a Cape Buffalo being pounded into slurry underneath it’s hooves and horns. Another fuzzy recollection is of a previously wounded elephant, already suffering and in pain, who took advantage of a hunters missed shot, knocked the man off his feet with his trunk and then knelt its massive weight down upon the tiny human and then skewered him with one of its tusks.
        Let me state again that I find trophy hunting to be somewhat sleazy but I’m not going to let that overshadow the absolute fearlessness a big game hunter must possess in order to meet a giant animal on almost equal terms. And when things go wrong for the hunter, they go terribly wrong.

        • I also remember a story about a tribal that was attempting to poach a rhino with a black powder muzzle loader. Capstick found him 15 feet up lodged in a tree limb at room temperature. The remains of the musket were trampled to pieces something like 25 feet away. No rhino blood to be found. Firearms do not provide much of an advantage against large and dangerous game. One could say they don’t even make us equal, but just provide a fighting chance.
          I’ve never seen any news item that refers to a “low powered rifle”. Apparently ALL rifles are high powered, even a .22 RF!

  34. The vast majority of hunting is trophy hunting. Sure, a lot of people kill and eat, but for the money spent within the hunting economy (land/leases, plot planting implements, dogs, feeders, cameras, vehicles, weaponry, attire) you can buy far more food in a supermarket than you’re likely to take in the woods. It’s mostly the thrill of the hunt/kill, hanging out with buddies, the stories you can tell…and much of that revolves around the trophy.

    An animal is an animal, and we have the dominion over them. So long as hunters make their kills as cleanly and safety as possible, don’t exterminate everything in the woods, don’t dump perfectly good meat after taking the loins, and pick their garbage up instead of leaving it for natives to deal with, I don’t care why they do it. Otherwise I think they suck and would have them barred from the privilege.

  35. it is my belief that everyone everywhere does something that someone somewhere finds morally reprehensible, and everybody can just tighten up their act and lighten up on everybody else.

  36. I’ve never seen the point in killing something just to hang it on the wall. But I’m not going to sit here and say that I wouldn’t hang up a nice 8 pointer if it happened to be attached to the pile of meat that I’m planning to shoot and take home.

  37. IMO trophy hunting is immoral. Vanity isn’t good enough reason to take life. Hunting for food is okay. But even for that reason I would be careful. It’s easy temptation to take too much, more than you need.

  38. Morality isn’t my place to judge….but I’ll straight up say I don’t understand it. Hunting deer and feral hogs and what have you that feeds your family and enhances a valuable survival skill? Completely understand.

    Flying across the world will the sole intent of being able to say you killed something just for the sake of killing it? I don’t get it. It -feels- wrong to me. The animals are no threat to you, they’re not food to you, and you’re not going to be hunting giraffes and hippoes for survival with your bug out rifle. So you’re literally killing to kill. You’re getting off on the killing aspect. It’s just a little odd to me and makes me personally uncomfortable.

    • I agree. Trophy hunting bothers me. For instance, Cecil the lion being killed still bugged me because I’m an animal person. It’s just the way I am.

      By the same token I don’t try and humanize a lion either.

      Lions and lionesses are predators who kill without mercy or empathy. They will gang up on and kill other adult lions from other prides who stray into their territory. Those cute little cubs sired by another lion will be ripped to shreds by yet another big male to bring that particular female into heat again. And the lioness will quickly lose that short-lived bond to her dead cubs and act like they never existed. No grieving behavior at all. Lions do not f**k around when resorting to lethal violence.
      Still it bugs me to see the killer be killed.

      • Oh make no mistake…the wildlife kingdom is not a pretty place at times. I mean obviously there are times where critters need put down, such as the infamous Tsavo lions, but largely this is a group of beasties that are rare and endagered. Hunting is a weird entity in that it blurs the lines between sport and necessity at times. Me, myself, I’m not a hunter…but when i see a friend post a picture of their takedown of a 10-point buck with a broadhead I see someone proud that they were able to use skill to fill their their freezer with steaks and sausage for the winter. When I see someone posing with a dead tiger and using the excuse of how noble they are because the money they spent goes to help allllll the tigers i just see a disillusioned man with too much time and money on their hands.

  39. I only hunt squirrels , rabbits, quail and dove .
    Never had an animal mounted. That said…..I don’t NEED to hunt but I do.

    If you were going to ban trophy hunting then you need to ban Mercededls, BMWs, and Corvettes. Just another status symbol. If not, get over it.

  40. Did anyone else notice that the guy in the video misidentified a Leopard as a cheetah? What an idiot. Cheetah are heavily protected, leopards are reasonably abundant. And why is killing African game repulsive to so many americans? Is it because they look exotic? A gazelle is no diffrent in africa than a deer in america, but people freak out when a rich person shoots one? Wtf? As long as the animals are well managed and not endangered, kill as many as you want. The meat goes to the natives and the money goes to the local economy.

  41. It is hilarious to read that a philosophy student holds forth on the morality of trophy hunting, and searches beyond the hunting act to what it reveals about the character of the trophy hunting. What? He accuses trophy hunters of immoral thoughts? What lunacy.

    I recall my college years fondly and rather clearly. The only department that had no women professors was the philosophy department. My memory of the most famous tenured profs in that department was that they spent half their time trying to seduce undergraduates, boys or girls depending on their philosophical character. Talk about trophy hunting……

  42. Immoral? Maybe not. Douchbaggery? Most definitely.

    There are well founded economic and game management arguments to be made for trophy hunting, especially in Africa. That doesn’t mean killing animals just to be killing isn’t the hallmark of a jackass.

  43. I personally feel you should never be happy about killing any living being, terrorists dont count. I like the way the native americans did it. You should kill for need, either food or the herds health. You should be somewhat sad that a life had to end so yours could go on. If you like to kill then to me that says you have something wrong up top. To go out and act like you are some kind of hunting stud because you shot an animal in a wide open desert from 500 yards away after some guide lured the animal there with food is ridiculous.

    • Yes, whenever I pull a pack of ground venison out of the freezer, I pat myself on the back over the life of that cow I spared.

      I see nothing wrong with enjoying the process of acquiring your food. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have respect for the animal that provided it. That’s a lot harder to do when all you know of it is a slice between styrofoam and cellophane.

  44. Talk to an African game guide and learn that it was funds raised from hunting that brought back the black wildebeest from extinction. The fee are used for huge amounts of animal conservation and land grants for them to have enough land to have a viable population.

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