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Reader Don Urbatsch writes:

I am invoking the name of the late great Jeff Cooper to shed light on the media fiasco that is the mainstream media’s coverage of the dentist who shot the apparently beloved lion Cecil. Since the The People of the Gun often cite Cooper’s four rules of gun safety (he also coined the term hoplophobe). I am using an appeal to authority for those who consider themselves people of the gun, but would throw the dentist in question under the bus. Jeff Cooper was an avid hunter and made many trips to Africa including hunting lions. There is a collection of the colonel’s commentaries on the internet and they are instructive in this situation . . .

I have read TTAG for a long time and noticed a divide among regular commentators. I don’t have all the details on this particular hunt and in no way would I advocate hunting in an illegal manner, though even legal hunts sometimes come up in the MSM where the participants are thrown under the proverbial bus even by so called people of the gun. Just for a moment let’s consider a few aspects of hunting in this day and age.

Game Management

Though this quote has to do with elephants the principle is the same.

“It appears that we may have to start culling elephants in Africa’s Kruger Park, to the utter horror of the bambiists. Elephants are wonderful creatures, but they must be managed with care lest they eat themselves out of house and home. Game management usually involves killing in controlled fashion, and the very idea horrifies certain kinds of people. This was vividly impressed upon me as a youth on Catalina Island. When we acquired a summer home there the place was lavishly populated with mule deer. Mrs. Wrigley, who owned the island, would not think of allowing hunting. So the beasts did themselves in. I remember distinctly that one year there were so many deer back in those hills that you almost had to shoo them out of the way on a hike – and next year there were none.

Game management is best understood in Africa today, where controlled hunting has kept things in balance for all to see. Once the wrong people get into the legislative act, however, disaster follows. Most of the anti-hunting people are uninterested in wildlife, but they are terribly concerned lest somebody enjoys shooting it. These are the polypragmatoi, the busybodies, one of the curses of popular government. It has been said that war is too important a subject to be left up to soldiers. To follow that point we may say that legislation is too important a matter to be left up to legislators.”

This is the crux of the matter. Anywhere that man has encroached upon the habitat of wildlife it has resulted in the necessity to manage that wildlife. It doesn’t matter if it is farmland or cities, the reduction in habitat and the need to protect people and property require that game be managed else they would starve, be killed as a nuisance to farmers, or be killed as a threat to humans in the case of more dangerous creatures.

Ethics, morality, “feelings”:

“It has been suggested by one vociferous polypragmaton that all hunting should be forbidden as immoral. This man has a right to his opinion, of course, but not to enforce it upon me. It is the nature of the polypragmatoi, of course, to police the behavior of other people, regardless if that behavior has any destructive social effect. We have always had such people, and we should respect their views, but we should not let such views achieve the force of either law or custom.”

Look past Cooper’s habit of using Latin terms; polypragmatoi would be a busy body. He is suggesting that we leave feelings out of the discussion. I know that on many comment threads here on TTAG “feelings” is a topic of disdain such that those who would base their opinions solely on feels and not on the facts at hand are ridiculed mercilessly.

Canned Hunts

As I have noted many commenters lambast the so-called “canned hunt”.

“These anti-gun people are still hard at it. They are now pushing a bill to prohibit what has come to be called “canned hunting,” which is the hunting of non-native species on ranches stocked for the purpose. This sort of hunting may not be everybody’s cup-of-tea, but it is legal, economically sound, and can be just as sportsmanlike as one may desire. These bambiists have no business butting in to the pastimes of other people, as long as those pastimes do not endanger the uninvolved and do no harm to the environment. These busybodies simply do not want other people to indulge in activities of which they disapprove, and enjoy doing so. As Mencken put it, they are dismayed by the idea that somewhere, somehow, somebody may be having a good time. May they go fly a kite!”

There are many reasons that hunting in this modern age takes the various forms that it does. It does not however make it any less worthwhile. Maybe you live in the city and only have a weekend to get some hunting in. Or you are introducing your child to the joys of hunting without the cold, wet and miserable parts that take time to learn to enjoy. I currently live in Texas which is nearly entirely comprised of private land. So if you have to pay for a deer lease and set up a tree stand in front of a feeder to fill your freezer, how is that any different than paying a rancher to hunt an exotic animal on his land? It may be the only practical way someone with a disability may get to enjoy hunting.

“We can wholeheartedly recommend ranch hunting in Texas. It may not be pure, in the historic sense, but it is there and it is very satisfactory. It is as challenging as you wish to make it, and it puts good meat in the freezer. The blackbuck and axis deer and mouflon are all charming trophies. We have sampled the bison meat, and find it to be particularly toothsome.”

Cooper seems to think it is perfectly acceptable.


The issue can be boiled down to economics. It should be self evident that people protect that which has value. Where the hunting of game is illegal the lions and elephants and all the other game effectively have no value and in many cases become a liability and have negative value if they destroy crops or herds of cattle. That results in the game being culled protect private property and at the mercy of poachers who have no interest in conservation. Supporting legal hunting of any game species gives it value far beyond what it would have otherwise.

The handling of the Cecil situation by the mainstream media is straight out of the Alinsky playbook. It is intended to marginalize and polarize. It is no different than how Second Amendment supporters are treated. There are many 2A supporters that are not hunters and there are plenty of Fudds out there. What we need to realize is that if we allow ourselves to be divided, we all lose.

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  1. Culling is fine. Any hunting for utility is fine.

    Killing something just to hang its head on the wall is pretty dumb.

    and not even sporting. man with rifle vs lion…ooo real sporting. Maybe if he fought the lion hand to paw…

    just one man’s opinion.

    • before people rip in to me for being some yuppie pansy, i am under the impression Cecil wasn’t used for anything and was literally killed only to be killed. If i’m wrong i don’t mind being corrected.

      If someone tells me local starving africans got to chow down on lion burgers for the next week, then cool. I wonder what lion meat compares to… ?

        • There is a restaurant here in Sacramento, CA that serves a lion burger. I’m told it’s somewhat sweet. I didn’t order it because I didn’t realize lion was more than just the name.

      • Please understand that I respect your opinion and mean no ill will by stating the following:

        I think the utility that most hunters derive from the hobby is derived from stalking and killing game. I know very few hunters who kill for venison. Some do, but in my experience this is largely a secondary benefit. I personally think taxidermic trophies look pretty cool in the right application, but I realize that is subject to opinion.

        At the end of the day, however, I submit that the motivation of the hunter is completely irrelevant to the societal benefit of his function. If that deer does not come through my windshield, I could not care less what the person who shot it was thinking at the time. If I lived in a village in Africa, I imagine I would feel the same about the lion that did not eat one of my cattle or the elephant that did not forage on my property. I personally do not feel that moral judgments of hunters who pursue game legally are useful.

        Again, no disrespect intended.

        • Special K –

          I do hunt for venison. I hunt in an ethical and sportsmanlike manner, but my time available for hunting is limited so I don’t wait for the big wall hanger. Do I want to take a nice trophy buck? Certainly. But if I am presented with a shot at a good size, healthy and legal deer, I’m going to take it. It is healthier meat than what is normally available to us and can taste just as good if prepared properly. I eat it with respect and appreciation for the animal that provided it.

      • @NJ2AZ: Not sure what happened to Cecil’s carcass but, from what I have read, usually the meat from one of these hunts goes to the local village and feeds the local people there. Sometimes they set up some kind of BBQ or roasting pit, cook the meat and have a party. True for Impalas and such but not sure if Lion meat is that good to eat ? However, if you don’t get meat that often it might taste pretty good. And in a poorly managed country like Zimbabwe I would guess the locals are not fed that well.

        • With this hunt only his head and skin were taken and his body was left to rot! Trophy hunting is for pussies who can’t get an erection.

      • Utility can be injected through regulations like a tag system, if managing the population is the bar for utility. This was the responsibility of the guides and the mandatory government agent that is supposed to supervise such trips (someone here in the comments mentioned a few things about Zimbabwe’s hunting laws, I have not done my own research) unless the good dentdentist greased a few palms. Either way, this is by no means a story that warrants the national attention its received.

        But I agree, hunting only for trophies is wasteful, but unless the line is crossed into over hunting I can’t seem to get to upset about it.

    • I respect your opinion.

      I grew up with my mom and dad’s best muley bucks on the ranch living room wall (we kids named them Oscar and Charlie), and a pronghorn down the hall. Granny’s house had some very old interesting taxidermy including a mountain goat. The house I live in had a King Ranch nilgai on the game room wall when we decided to buy it. One of my best friends was so excited last fall because she finally shot a trophy white tail. All her life she’d been doing her duty, just shooting spikes and does, and now it was finally her turn to get a nice buck after all the men in her life had already done so. Her son helped her find it, and he was thrilled too.

      I guess it’s where I grew up, but it surprises me that some people aren’t used to the idea that a lot of perfectly respectable citizens do this.

        • That was the original report. Later reports have it that he was dispatched with the archery equipment.Also, reports indicate that he was essentially defrauded, having paid for a legitimate hunt. The PH is responsible for getting the permits, etc.

    • “…NJ2AZ says…Killing something just to hang its head on the wall is pretty dumb.

      and not even sporting. man with rifle vs lion…ooo real sporting. Maybe if he fought the lion hand to paw…”

      This lion was shot with a bow and arrow- and according to reports, was dispatched with a bow and arrow. The guide had a rifle, just as guides carry big guns in Alaska on grizzly hunts.

      • Hunting a wounded lion with a bow and arrow takes serious guts. If the first shot doesn’t stop it, the lion can be on you before you can loose a second arrow. And that’s assuming you see him before he sees you. Those who call the practice “cowardly” are unthinking abusers of language. It’s just the most shameful word they can think of to call someone, and so they misuse it.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this write up. Since I used all my study time for law and policy lately, it may be time to read more of Col. Cooper’s works. Lions and elephants can be mankillers, and many ignorant folks are completely oblivious to that fact.

    This criminal investigation should be the same as any other – a thorough investigation of all salient facts within the framework of the totality of the circumstances. As such, evidence only has 1 or 3 outcomes:

    1. Supports Innocence
    2. Supports guilt
    3. Inconclusive.

    When cases get emotional, as in this case, reason is the first victim. The man deserves due process, as do we all.

  3. Well never know if the dentist was aware of what his guides were up to…or if they even knew that this particular lion was Cecil. But I kind of agree that trophy hunting is lame. If you aren’t going to eat it and it isn’t a destructive nuisance than maybe leave it alone…?

    • Cecil was old in wild lion terms. He was 12, and the lifespan of a wild lion is usually 13 or so (they can live to 20 in captivity). He was probably on his way out and certainly past his prime breeding age, yet he was still strong and would have killed many younger lions whose offspring would have reproduced and strengthened the tribe. So maybe leaving it alone was bad for the future of lions. Sorry, but that’s the way it is in the wild.

    • “If you aren’t going to eat it”

      What on earth makes you think animals killed in so-called “trophy hunts” are not eaten?

      In much of the world (and especially where hunting is a money-maker), food in general and meat in particular is a premium. What makes so many people think that good meat just goes to waste…JUST because the hunter keeps a trophy?

      • Yeah I’m always amused by this. First worlders complaining that perfectly good, freshly killed animal protien hits the ground on the globe’s poorest continent but nobody eats it……


        • Absolutely. I love the certainty of MSM idiots – they know Cecil was not eaten. Because Trophy Hunter.

          If remotely possible, Cecil provided several Africans with much needed protein.

          Note this from “Lord of War”. Go to the 1/2 way point, ignore the French…

    • “it isn’t a destructive nuisance …”

      What part of “wild lion” and “apex predator” isn’t a destructive nuisance?

      Other than the fact the crazy Americans will come and pay big money to kill them that is.

  4. It seems that allowing regulated trophy hunting may actually *INCREASE* populations of endangered species:

      • I live in Texas and I enjoy the hunting here just fine . Ducks ,bucks ,turkeys ,dove ,wild hogs and whole lotta fishing

  5. Look, it really doesn’t matter how we hunters perceive this incident (for the record I myself don’t trophy hunt), it is painfully obvious that the overwhelming public opinion is completely different. The public just doesn’t condone killing “charismatic mega fauna” for sport. They feel game management is something that needs to be done reluctantly and should be done in a respectful manner. For instance, non hunters are totally repelled by posing for pictures with freshly killed game. And you aren’t going to change that I’m afraid. Showing Ron Ranger and Vic Veterinarian solemnly euthanizing infirm/injured animals would go alot further towards wildlife education than showing Sam Safari squealing like a little girl as he strokes his freshly killed trophy’s flanks, believe me.

    • When I was a wee lad about 8 years old or so, I had the fascinating experience of watching a hog being slaughtered, processed and butchered from the moment it came down the chute till the fully trimmed halves dangling on the hooks were pushed into the freezer. Unlike today’s children, I was neither horrified nor repulsed by it, and why? Because I had been taught to understand that we humans use and raise animals as a renewable resource for food! Now, if I can understand that as a small kid, why can’t adults do the same?


    • I tend to take a “dead is dead” approach to such things: if the hunt is conducted properly/legally and there is some sort of benefit for conservation of habitat and wildlife populations, then I don’t have a problem with it. It doesn’t matter if the goal was a head on the wall or meat in the freezer (although, yes, as a meat in the freezer type of person, I and my family prefer the latter and would much prefer the trophy hunter donate the carcass to those who could use it). The rest of the equation is up to the individual hunter — act ethically and legally, in short don’t behave like a reckless, entitled, shot crazy (&(&k, and we’ll all be fine. And please learn how to acquire a target properly and take a good shot; that’s a personal quibble. Be a good warden and responsible human being, that way you don’t make life hard for the rest.
      The only time I’ve gotten irritated in a policy sort of way with game ranch type hunts was when some guys from Texas wanted to introduce wild boars to our area: they aren’t indigenous; if they escape (which pigs are admirably capable of doing) they can wreck the local environment; and lastly, the only reason they wanted them there was so they could come up from Texas during the off season for deer and hang out — if you want to hunt year round that’s fine, but please don’t bring something that potentially invasive and destructive just because it might be easier to get the things introduced in my state (a regrettably insane one when it comes to hunting laws). Also wouldn’t hurt if some land was left open for those who really do depend upon the meat they hunt up — noblesse oblige or something like that; would definitely make for better relations among all classes of hunters which in turn would provide a united front against the fluffy bunnies who don’t want anyone hunting (and seem to think we should all subsist upon zucchini, lentils, and rice or something).

  6. If said portion of People Of The Gun can’t manage to watch the backs of the portion who hunts, they can’t cry when those same “Fudds” don’t show up to save their AR15.

    That said, “hunters” who break cardinal hunting rules are drilling a hole in the boat we’re all in.

    I say this as a guy who has a foot in each camp. I don’t get the divide.

    • Eh. I dont take it seriously when some child calls me a FUDD because I hunt, or because I dont support open carry of ARs in tactical low-ready in a suburban mommie mall eatery. So, I dont care if they express their 1A rights here in an opinion that differs from mine.

      No groupthink needed here. Moonbattery, yes. As in fisking upon the moonbats of the left, who are circling this issue wildly, as is to be expected- and one or two might be flapping, lost in the forums here.

      • He didn’t say open carry did he? He said save the AR15, as in Assault Weapons Ban. Lern 2 reed. Now that you got your ad hominem against open carry in, would you like to be part of the discussion?

  7. I killed Jake the Cockroach yesterday. It was a brutal murder sponsored by my wife. I had no choice. Today Adam the ant and his brother sister and Im sure most of his extended family were in what only can be described as a wonton act of anticide were lured into a trap and poisoned. Earlier this week I accidentally drove over Leo the Lizard in my driveway. His hid it tanning in the Sun today a testament to my cruelty and immoral lifestyle.

    And last week John Debbie, Alex, Jim, Bob, And Francis the humans were all killed by drunk drivers. I care little about them either.

    I am a terrible person.

    • It’s very sad. I ran over Bob the Oppossum. I had a barbaric agenda to drive to taco bell without swerving onto a dirt shoulder.

    • This sums it up pretty well. Most people are okay with the wholesale slaughter of just about any of the “icky” insects. Burn a spider with a blowtorch? Nobody seems to care. But someone somewhere shoots and kills one pretty cat and the whole world loses it’s sh!t.

      Nobody panics when it all goes according to plan… even when that plan is horrifying!

  8. Excellent post.

    “The handling of the Cecil situation by the mainstream media is straight out of the Alinsky playbook. It is intended to marginalize and polarize.”

    Yup. My worry is that the Cecil incident is being used to rile up people against hunting, and if bans go in against shooting African game or bringing home the trophies, that will be absolutely disastrous for wildlife.

  9. Rejecting the notion of fact and due process is far more divisive than the hate-mongering rhetoric designed to do the same…

    At least for civilized, intelligent people. Too bad such persons are an extremely small minority.

  10. He killed a celebrity. It doesn’t matter the legality of it. Cecil had a name, and blah blah blah so it made him cute and human like. You know, like in the Lion King. Or Like Bambi’s Mom. That means that the court of public opinion is highly likely to bone him (and appears it has) regardless of what the truth is.

    In terms of ecology and hunting, it’s an absolute requirement especially for the animals that wind up at the top of the food chain and they weren’t previously. The invasive species such as hogs and even deer mandate it if we don’t want them tearing society apart.

    • Excellent point. Even with a guide backing you with a rifle, a few consecutive bad shots can result in maiming or death for the human(s).

    • really? it takes guts?

      does it take guts to lure a lion out of a protected area and then try to destroy the gps collar?

      I’m all for hunting but this goes beyond and is just a gross example of what humans are capable of doing to animals. if you’re gonna hunt, do it the right way and be constructive about it. not all this shady business.

      this jerk plead guilty over the illegal killing of a black bear in Wisconsin in 2006. a pattern is beginning to form here.

    • It would take more guts to actually stalk the animal with a bow, rather than lure it into range with bait, though.

      • A human’s greatest weapon is his brain. We were born without sharp tooth nor large claw. We have tiny muscles and thin skin; we can run neither quickly, or far, and our vision sucks. There is nothing wrong with outsmarting a larger, stronger animal. Or is David and Goliath only applicable when it’s man vs man?

  11. I cringe at how emotional this issue has become. People will mentally play with themselves and be manipulated against hunting, guns, and the relatively loose international situation. All very unfortunate.

    The usual culprits: anti-gun people, animal rights people, and people in favor of big government are fired up. No surprise. But also the hunting community has long been shrill, self-righteous, and schizophrenic in its morality. That load of festering baggage is now biting us in the butt.

    • Pretty broad brush there on the “hunting community” being shrill, self-righteous, and schizophrenic in its morality. Thats actually a very large group to be shrinking from afar, and judging in your moral wisdom.

      You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but facts would be helpful. Any large, multi-year, statistically valid psychological studies of schizophrenia in hunters you can cite, or is this more self-righteous projection, perhaps?

    • The hilarity of so-called 2A advocates who feel obliged to defend a convicted poacher just to antagonize people who dislike trophy hunting. It’s “solidarity” of the worst sort, no different from cops who defend the killers among them.

      No no, let’s not criticize this dentist’s unethical night shot and attempt to cover up his illegal killing of a protected animal, we must all stand together. LOL.

      • How was he convicted of he was not in the country to be tried? A conviction in absentia is not valid.

        • Not only was he convicted of poaching, he was convicted of lying about it to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

          Shows how much credibility this guy has.

      • OK, unlike foodog, you’re feeling me for the most part. I don’t think your analogy is correct. It’s characteristic of the half-baked morality of the hunting collective that I’m talking about, in part because tourists don’t have the same obligations as people who are on the public payroll and questionable hunting practices are less serious than killing a person. But whatever, if that’s how you see it I’m not surprised and while I don’t enjoy being seen just toeing the line for the pro-gun not-anti-Palmer side it’s only natural that someone from the other perspective would jump to that conclusion.

  12. Hunting is needed to control animal populations, but this whole affair with its iffy legalities and the bad PR isn’t helping hunting as a whole and may hurt game management in the future.

    I put this “hunt” in the same bucket as people openly toting AR-15s at an airport- stupid and generally unhelpful.

    • OK, regarding the “legal” question…

      The guides may be spinning a narrative – they knew they were bending the law – but customer service trumped the legal niceties of killing an aging lion. Realize that poaching is endemic in Zimbabwe; there is desperate poverty, which is due to horrific government policy (google hyperinflation).

      That said, the plus side of Zimbabwe’s semi-dictatorship is that the rule of law is essentially what King Mugabe says. He won’t throw high end hunter$$$ under the bus. My guess is that Mugabe’s government will make some noises to appease enviro and animal rights nuts, but in the end nothing will result. And if needed, they can always play the race card…

  13. 1) The locals want to know what all the fuss is about, somewhere near a hundred lions a year are killed there, otherwise they would feast on the farm animals and citizens daily. Don’t forget rogue elephants. We don’t see any horrific news when a lion or an elephant kills off a few humans, oh wait, it’s Africa, not worth mentioning.

    2) Cecil, though who invented that name is unclear, was wounded with an arrow, and finished off with an arrow. I am not a fan of trophy hunting but my hat’s off to any man willing to get within bow range of a mature lion, even a wounded one.

    3) Yes, guided hunts are legal and the law states that the meat from a trophy must be given to a local village or such like, it’s not wasted unless the animal is actually poached illegally. Poachers are usually local, bush meat is considered a delicacy and helps spread diseases like Ebola so it’s allowed to continue.

    4) Apparently somebody pointed out to the corrupt (redundant?) government over there that they could use the publicity to squeeze a few more million US dollars out of the gravy train that flows from the poor working people in the US to the rich butchers of their own people for a nickel in their country, so they’re raising a hue and cry.

    5) I thought the media couldn’t get any stupider with the endless Jenner circus, I had finally gotten my gag reflex kind of under control by avoiding the news and such, now we got Cecil.

    6) I suggest a nice relaxing trip to the range, and fuggedaboutit.

    • though who invented that name is unclear

      I believe he was named by the biologists who are studying the lions in the national park where Cecil’s pride lived. My understanding is that he was a bit of a “celebrity” to park visitors, because he was easily identifiable by his tracking collar.

  14. I don’t know why this site is obsessed with defending this pos. he obviously fd up and is now dealing with the consequences. I guess that’s what you get when you are a psychopath who kills beautiful species bc he “loves them.”

  15. Well written article and makes complete sense if one is capable to keep emotional reactions at bay. The examples of the encroaching human are not a reality many want to accept. They believe as did Ms. Wrigley, nature would care for itself, wrong. I believe some people mentally think about the near extermination of the Bison and equate this to all hunting of everything and everywhere. The other issue is they are hunting in Africa.

  16. The National Geographic Society is now as full on libtard leftist as PETA etc. But last issue has an article where they discuss the positive merits of American’s hunting game in Rhodesia (ne Zimbabwe) in improving the herd and financing conservation programs).

    Amusing that the natives (or some white overlord) named the cat after that reprobate socialist POS Cecil Rhoades.

    I wonder what lion tastes like?

  17. Care less about a lion, Ceil or otherwise. It’s a vicious animal and no sooner kill you as to look at you…that and Ebola is why I have no desire to do Africa.

    Saying that I LEARN A NEW WORD. Polypragmati Poly=many. Pragma=business. Literally “one with many businesses”. Colloquially, one.

    TTAG = informative and educational.

  18. Great post. As a hunter, I go for meat first. I’d much rather have a nice younger deer or elk to feast on. But if I come across one that many would consider a trophy, I’ll shoot it. And chances are very high I will have it mounted.
    As I sit and type this, I can look at several mounts in the room.
    Each has several memories associated with it. From the hunt, to who I was with, to the fine meals they provided…
    Those memories are accentuated by the mount.
    I’ve paid 50% of my taxidermy bill from the last Africa trip and I am anxious for that crate to get here so I can place more memories on the walls and the floor.
    The protein they provided has long since been consumed.
    If you don’t like hunting, that’s OK. But I suggest that you’re missing out on some future memories and wholesome food.
    The author here is right, we do need to stick together.

    • We should stick together, but I’m not sure this dentist is someone I’m ready to circle the wagons for. It sounds like there were a few ethical lapses in this hunt, and the guy has a conviction on his record for killing a bear in Wisconsin and lying about it, so I’m not convinced that his version of events is particularly trustworthy.

      I have no problem with ethical, legal hunting. As the article points out, it’s absolutely necessary in today’s world, regardless of how the anti-hunting people feel about it. But this particular hunt sounds kind of shady, and the dentist claiming he didn’t know about any of that rings a little hollow given his previous poaching conviction.

      The article definitely got one thing right: the whole thing is a complete fiasco.

  19. As far as he allegedly knew, the hunt was legal. If what he’s said is true his guides lied to him and due to that misinformation he made a mistake.

    And because of this mistake the Internet mob has ruined his business, protested outside his house and threatened him with murder. Because that’s obviously the rational solution here.

    • If anyone cares about the PH’s point of view, he gave an interview after his court appearance stating he advised against a night hunt but the dentist insisted because he was in a hurry and wanted to shoot an elephant on the same trip. But after they found the collar on the lion, the dentist bugged out and left him to deal with the mess.

      The PH spins a believable story. The guy lost his farm and his livelihood to Mugabe and is pretty much forced to do whatever his wealthy clients say. The dentist on the other hand has already been convicted of poaching in the US.

      But hey, let’s all wail about the dentist having to close his business. Not that it matters because his wife inherited a fortune. The PH on the other hand is probably screwed for life, because he did what his asshole client told him to do.

  20. Whatever-I would back away from this. “We” aren’t going to win anything on Cecil’s carcass. Once again if 10 million hunters supported OUR rights I would care a bit more for the mighty bow hunter…

  21. Ahem. Dentist poaches a lion. (at least everything so far points to that conclusion)

    TTAG invokes game-keeping argument.

    Am I missing something?

    • Yeah. You’re missing that two days ago Robert reported that no guns were involved here and that it had no further place on TTAG. Apparently this is now The Truth About Hunting too…

  22. So the guy was a trophy hunter, so what? So was President Theodore Roosevelt, and I don’t hear a lot of people on this site slamming him. The hunter in question (why are people obsessing over his being a dentist?), used a bow, just like Fred Bear, and again, most hunters wouldn’t slam Fred Bear for trophy hunting with a bow. It was allegedly a night hunt, which is really more dangerous for the hunter in this case. “Cecil” was “lured” out of the wildlife sanctuary, allegedly. How, exactly? Staked out some tasty animal that brought that particular animal out of that sanctuary? I’m pretty sure the hunter paid his money, hired a professional hunter, and had no idea there was a wildlife sanctuary nearby. It’s isn’t like there are fences and signs all around, unless some 3rd world country is doing a better job at that than we are here in the USA.

    Get over it. This guy is being railroaded by the tree huggers.

    • “I’m pretty sure the hunter paid his money, hired a professional hunter, and had no idea there was a wildlife sanctuary nearby.”

      Nothing says America like: “I paid my money now gimme what I deserve”

      Some of us feel like we should exercise our own judgment regardless of someone else is telling us is okay.

    • Even if you give him all the benefit of the doubt about not knowing where in the world he was hunting and not knowing of the presence of legally protected animals in the area, bow-hunting a large predator at night with spotlights when even the best archer will not get a clean one-shot kill stinks of arrogance and unethical behavior.

      Unsurprisingly, he took one shot and didn’t get the kill, the animal suffered for hours, he went to sleep in a cabin and finished off the crippled animal at point-blank range the next morning. Truly living in the danger zone.

  23. Hundreds of lions are killed annually on the dark continent by poachers or native farmers defending their shambas… and several of them are also killed by lions every year, and so are some of their children, but nobody gives a hoot, because we don’t hear about it, and we don’t know their names.
    One old lion, who might have had a year or two left in him at best, before he was killed or tossed out of his pride by a younger stronger male, if that was not already the case… was killed by an american who spent a lot of US pesos in that country to do so…
    The world is in meltdown mode because someone called him Cecil, and it was claimed he was poached…big f**king deal!
    Apparently he was shot outside the Park on private property where there was no legal concession to do so, and maybe the client knew and was the instigator, and maybe he thought everything was legal and all hunky-dory, and the crooks were the landholder and the PH… who knows?
    It’s going to be a, “he said-she said” deal.
    Every year in Zimbabwe, many human beings are murdered under the auspices of Robert Mugabe’s government…why does nobody get up in arms about that?

    • “why does nobody get up in arms about that?”

      Caring about problem A means you don’t care about problem B. Gotcha.

  24. The dentist in question is free to spend his disposable income as he chooses but it would have been cool if he’d given the 50G’s to GOA or SAF.

    (not the NRA because they’d just spend it on mass mailings, hookers, and blow)

  25. From what I understand, eating an apex predator is a damned fine way to die from some kind of parasite! Stick to the ungulates!

  26. There are three reasons to kill: as a defence, to obtain food and to cull the herd.

    The first two constitute the Law of the Jungle, under which killing to protect crops and herds/flocks fall as well.

    The last wouldn’t be necessary were humans not so prone to eliminating predators due to their Microsoft – like aversion to competition.

    Killing a creature for “sport,” especially when it’s been lured to a convenient kill zone, is contemptible.

    This time. Every time.

  27. The point of the article seems to have been missed by most here looking to debate the merits of hunting. Specifically:

    “The handling of the Cecil situation by the mainstream media is straight out of the Alinsky playbook. It is intended to marginalize and polarize. It is no different than how Second Amendment supporters are treated. There are many 2A supporters that are not hunters and there are plenty of Fudds out there. What we need to realize is that if we allow ourselves to be divided, we all lose.”

    While I agree with this overall point, I find it highly ironic that the article employs the derisive term “Fudd” I know plenty of hunters who think that politicized gun topics like unrestricted open carry threaten THEIR access to firearms. However most vocal folks here are happy to label them as “Fudds” and imply that they are more against us than with us.

    Fact is that there are probalby more low-key gun owners (aka Fudds) whose support we need than there are Confederate-flag waiving good ole boys who think it’s a good idea strap on an AR and pistol and then draw down on someone who burned their flag (why the heck wasn’t that story covered on TTAG?). The “truth” about TTAG is that it sometimes can be just as divisive as any imagined media conspiracy.

  28. the aint-gunners and anti hunters got everything they wanted .
    1. the uninformed and usually uninterested ate howling mad at “hunters”
    2. people of the gun are pizzing on each other with vigor.
    3. they have put huge pressure on all african countries to end ALL hunting programs.
    all this means is local poachers will kill all the wildlife because the funds from hunting
    will no longer be available to fund game wardens. and any areas where they don’t ,
    soldiers with machine guns will manage game numbers.

    So thanks to all you who want to tell us of your moral superriority because you only
    hunt to eat. keep this up and none of us will hunt at all.

  29. If you ain’t gonna eat it, don’t kill it. I only kill ’cause I’m hungry. Paper targets (moving or not) otherwise are good enough.

    Even in fishing, catch and release seems like a waste.

    We probably don’t deserve this world. It’s probably only a matter of time before nature corrects itself. Our species is arrogant, wasteful, and unnecessarily destructive.

  30. IF, and only if, this lion was lured outside his preserve and killed ILLEGALLY, that’s all I need to condemn it, person of the gun or no. Generalities with which most of us agree (including even a good deal of liberals who call it a “necessary evil”) are that truly sporting hunting is fine and dandy, and that from an economic perspective, having wealthy loons pay tons of bucks to get a trophy kill is a great way to ensure the survival of the species being hunted, as it supplies the funds for conservation.

    But in this situation, if the facts as reported are correct, it’s still wrong on another level. You want to eliminate our feelings from the situation and only speak pragmatically? Fine. We need to condemn this jackass dentist because his illegal hunting has done us no favors politically. He’s made us all look bad. As per usual around here, several folks will immediately chime in and argue that his his “sin” doesn’t have anything to do with them, but in the game of politics, perception is reality. Dr. Doofus, DDS, has hurt pro-gun politics. Whether we ARE bad or not, he’s done something dumb that makes us LOOK bad. The liberal bleeding-hearts may not be relevant to this discussion, because they’ve already made up their minds we’re evil, awful people, and the facts be damned, but the people in the undecided middle on 2A issues are.

  31. So the “mainstream” gets all outraged with primetime news programs and discussion groups about the alleged poaching of a lion. Marching and protesting and making death threats and driving out of business the man that perpetrated such a “horror”.

    Yet the murder of millions of the unborn and the selling of the babies body parts on the black market is not much remarked at all.

    It continues to be shown to me that Liberal/progressives are death cult. They hate themselves, their culture, the very existence of human beings on this planet and they want us all dead.

    No culture, no civilization can survive such suicidal tendencies. And it won’t. We are facing the beginning of a new dark age.

    • So are we “fully sorting” according to party platform? Does being pro-gun mean being anti-Roe? Do we have to oppose gay marriage, too? How about legal marijuana? Any other ways we can narrow down our base of support while we’re at it?

  32. I have a close family friend who worked for the Alaska Game and Fish he coined a term that fits the Cecil story. Charismatic Mega-Fauna, generally apex predators that people with little knowledge of wild game or game management make into poster children.

    They did it in my area about ten years ago with mountain lions. One of the most rewarding, and best tasting trophies out there. It took complete decimation of deer, elk, sheep and mountain goats in the area combined with a huge effort from sportsmen to open a season. This sort of politics in game management causes issue with all wildlife, especially since the most charismatic, politicized wildlife often needs the most management.

    To those who live by the, don’t kill it unless you plan to eat it mantra, please quiet down. Have you ever had to manage a property for game and/or agriculture? Have you ever made a bad shot? Wasted meat in the freezer? Managing overpopulated species, Killing obviously wounded or suffering game that you don’t plan on eating, or hunting predators to prevent stock loss. There are many reasons to harvest game that don’t involve eating your kill.

    Was this the case for Cecil? I have no idea. I wasn’t there, I didn’t participate in the management or the hunt itself. The only reason this outrage has taken off and previous ones have sputtered isn’t the possibly “questionable” circumstances of the hunt. It’s that an animal was killed that some non-hunters feel they have a connection to. That combined with FUDDs proclaiming, “That’s not real hunting” has made it a perfect storm of outrage and misinformation.

      • Any good hunter should be aware of the extinction level issue. There was a time when I was a child that hunting advocates cared a great deal about protecting nature. Now any Fox News idiot just wants to drill and kill everything in site. Brainwashed robots. Think whatever the six corporate media companies tell you to think. Pathetic.

        • All true Scotsmen…

          I didn’t advocate drilling and killing everything. Managing game populations is very difficult at best. I don’t advocate for or against lion hunting. I was trying to make the point not to take a side based on politics or your feelings or moral stands on what hunting should or shouldn’t be. I haven’t picked a side because I don’t hunt african lions, and never plan on it. I have seen what local overpopulation of an apex predator can do to an entire ecosystem. It’s not pretty. I will reserve judgement.

      • Then request that African nations stop developing their rural areas and destroying lion habitat. Large predators don’t need hunting pressure removed, they need large wilderness areas to thrive.

      • don’t oversimplify this. In the preserves where much of the megafauna lives, there is a limited carrying capacity for them . the hunts are to prevent local populations from causing problems with locals by leaving the preserves and killing people and livestock. The side benefit is the fees from the hunting permits support the game wardens and protectors in countries that could otherwise not afford it.

        so if you want to save the lions , support the lion hunts. bing it.

  33. I had the honor of guiding Col. Cooper on his last hunt. The five days I spent with him were wonderful, with many stories, sage wisdoms and yep- new words.

  34. As Christians we have an obligation to get some get back on those lions. They ate many of our number in the Colosseum. Paybacks a bitch.

  35. I am not trying to inject abortion into this discussion, except to use it as an example of leftist media’s manipulation of news cycles. The things I’m posting are true, regardless of how one feels about that particular topic…….

    On 7/15/15, CNN published its first story about the first video released showing that Planned Parenthood had been selling fetal body parts illegally. CNN published their LAST story on this subject on 7/30/15, despite their having been an announcement that there were a total of 12 such videos to be released, and only the first 4 were out.

    This article points out that, since 7/14/15, ABC news has spent 9X as much coverage of the Cecil the Lion story as it has the Planned Parenthood story:

    Newsbusters ( points out that the Cecil story got more coverage in 1 day, than the Planned Parenthood story got in 5 days. They also point out that the major networks censored the Planned Parenthood videos, while giving out personal information about the hunter who shot Cecil.

    Cecil continues to dominate the news, while the bigger story languishes. I do not think this is a coincidence.

    The legacy media have found a story they can pump up, as an excuse to stop covering the story with the bigger political and legal implications. It doesn’t matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, the Planned Parenthood story is the bigger, more important story……..and it has been buried by the killing under questionable circumstances of a single lion, 10,000 miles from here. This is not accidental, and People of the Gun – whether they be hunters or not – should be smarter than this, because this is EXACTLY how the media ALSO go after our gun rights……… skirting the larger issues of individual liberty, in order to appeal to emotion.

    Don’t be dumb enough to fall for that crap.

  36. There are more people living in Utica, NY than there are lions living in all of Africa. This is hardly a “mule deer” scenario.
    Sorry, friend. This is not the hill I’m going to die on, nosiree.
    I believe in security purpose guns, so that we can kill monsters. That is the “selling point” of the Second Amendment.
    “Sporting” guns and killing animals for “sport” is just a public-relations disaster waiting to happen, as this case shows. We should not associate the Second Amendment with harm to animals, and defending the Second Amendment should not come with a non-negotiable price tag of defending the killing of rhinos, elephants and lions.

  37. There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who “love Nature” while deploring the “artificialities” with which “Man has spoiled ‘Nature.’ ”
    The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of Nature but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers’ purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the “Naturist” reveals his hatred for his own race; i.e., his own self-hatred.
    In the case of “Naturists” such self-hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate.
    As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women; it strikes me as a fine arrangement and perfectly “natural.”
    Believe it or not, there were “Naturists” who opposed the first flight to old Earth’s Moon as being “unnatural” and a “despoiling of Nature. ”
    Robert A. Heinlein

  38. If Cooper said it, it’s damn near gospel to me.

    Having acknowledged that, all hunting is for sport, well, 99.9%. Very few have to fill their larders with their hunting skills these days. A failed hunt just means going to the grocery store for most. In Africa, or so I’ve constantly been told, little meat goes to waste and the hunting fees, as in the US, go to help “Game and Fish,” if you will.

    Man hunts. It’s in our blood. I’m too urbanized to really take joy out of it, but I realize it’s place and damned if I’m going to let bambists take away something man has done since the dawn of time. Men who don’t hunt lions, tigers, or bears, oh my, have no problem scouting out the right car, boat, or woman. Men hunt. Period.


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