Trophy Hunting, is it Good or Bad?

Big Game Hunting

Trophy Hunting in the eyes of many is no doubt a deplorable action. When you think about it, taking a life of another, even if it is a completely different species, is something quite a lot of people can't do. It could be for religious reasons, morals or simply the act itself.

From here on out, I do want all of you to READ this take carefully, I will try to be as neutral as possible without bias.

First, why do people Trophy Hunt and more importantly, why do certain people endorse it?

When you think of Trophy hunters, you think of white semi-rich to rich people that likes to use their rifle and shoot down some exotic animals, bring a bit of their corpse back home and display it on a wall like some kind of trophy.

That is pretty hard to argue, I've been looking at a couple of photos and many if not all of them seems to display white people posing next to the corpse acting as if they have just done something awesome. To many people, its not exactly something they'd like to see, I admit, I'm indifferent but I understand the disgust many of my friends and colleagues have at those hunters.

But here is the shocker, who or what endorses this Trophy hunting program? Most African governments and/or organisations that works with conservation actually support the Trophy Hunting Program.

There are studies that do support that a WELL MANAGED hunting program is actually effective at not only conserving animal numbers, but even capable of increasing the population as well.

WHAAAT? Really?

That's hard to believe, killing animals can increase the population?

That's my reaction at first when I've read a couple of articles and watched a few videos in regards to it. However, if they do state it as if it were fact, then naturally there should be some sort of evidence right?

To be honest, I was a little hard pressed for that, I did see some evidence that it certainly is a viable solution.

However, that solution requires several forms of criteria that must be fulfilled in order for Trophy Hunting to be beneficial overall. The argument for Trophy hunting seems to base around providing economic benefits for local communities, warding of poachers which are considerably worse than trophy hunters, provide food for villages, cull certain parts of the population that can harm the population itself and fund long term conservation projects such as building parks etc.

Sounds fair right? Provided that the management of the Trophy hunting is correctly done, then yeah it can possibly work. Poachers are one of the major if not biggest threat to most animals especially of exotic nature. Warding them off is certainly going to protect numbers in a sense.

Culling animal numbers do make sense, there are some cases where hunting is very warranted, for example Lionfishes at the coast of Florida which are known for destroying a large number of species due to their strong ability to hunt and a lack of efficient predators against them (they aren't really native to the area, they've been introduced by human intervention). Another example is the Reindeers in Norway that had the issue of a brain disease caused by a prion. The Norway Government is forced to exterminate the infected herd (I'm aware this isn't trophy hunting, but regardless this is a viable solution against this problem) to ensure that the rest of the animal population (yes animal), remains safe as prions have proven to be difficult to combat due to their virulent nature (I'm almost sure there is no viable cure either).

Economic benefits also makes sense, Trophy hunters (in accordance to trophy hunting program) pay big money just to shoot an animal or two under the direction of the organisation or government. That money can be used to fun conservation projects and hire guards to deal with Poachers as well. To me, these are fairly sound arguments, but there are still a few questions that comes into mind.

Corruption in institutes do happen, what are some of the checks and balances that could be used to ensure the Government and Conservation organisations don't abuse their own system? I'm sure if you are all privy to current African politics, there is a coup currently happening in Zimbabwe as of the writing of this article. It makes you question that if this is happening in an African country, what could we expect from Government controlled organisations that focused on conservation? It does make me feel uncertain about their intentions and capability.

Managing hunting will require a very large space so that animals can roam the area effectively with as much freedom as possible. That means it's not likely there are other forms of facilities that generates revenue in those areas. This makes me question the viability of the economic benefits of the Trophy hunting program. Sure it generates a large amount of money, but at the cost of not only animal lives, but fairly large area as well.

Finally, because the targets of the hunt are usually large and older animals, what effects could it have on the rest of the groups' function if that larger and older animal gets eliminated?

Say if its a lioness for example, how would the cubs learn to hunt? who would protect them from external factors such as other animals?

Conclusion

I'm all for making sure that animals go through with their lives in the most natural way possible, that's almost impossible due to human intervention (poachers being the most problematic).

Trophy hunting, while it does seem sound, needs so many things to go the correct way to make it viable. Is it the most feasible? Maybe, I'm on the fence. I'm sure there may be a better solution down the road but I've honestly yet to find one right now.

But I'd like to hear your opinions guys and girls. Please, let's be civil, I understand that this topic is something of passion to many of you, if that's the case, instead of firing off with a frenzy, you are welcome to PM me of your own opinion.

Note, if there is a mistake, please point it out and I'm happy to correct it.


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What Girls Said 9

  • See, if a person battled another animal with their own strength and won- that's one thing. But you see these fuckers from hundreds of feet away, shooting at a lion, and then standing proudly over it, thinking they're such a fucking badass... when really, they're weak as fuck and had an unfair advantage. It's a shame for any magnificent thing to die at the hands of a self-indulgent idiot.

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    • Yeah, I understand that sentiment. Unfortunately, trophy hunting is technically an industry on its own provided by some of the unlikeliest organisations out there. So long as these organisations manage and endorse it behind valid points and the lack of a feasible alternate solution, there isn't likely to be much change to that.

  • I'm completely against the industry entirely, and against sport killing. But hunting in general is different.

    I'm on the fence. I'm the type to believe that all life is sacred, but then other animals eat meat, so I eat meat. So there are some cases where it doesn't really bother me at all.

    If the animal is a predator, and killing people, then it should probably be taken down. But if it's just a nuisance, try to relocate it. It's humans who are overpopulated to the point where we can barely sustain ourselves as a species. (and it's not because of a lack of food, we have an overabundance of that)

    If it's not an endangered species, and it's being farmed, then I see no harm in it, so long as nearly every part of the animal can be used in some productive way, and little as possible is wasted.

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  • I'm a vegetarian so you can guess how I feel about this. But factory farming is more gruesome and most people love their meat for tortured animals.

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    • Animals have sadly been both misused and mistreated in our history of humanity. It's not just factory farming or trophy hunting that's been an issue for animals. Even renewable energy sources like wind farms had an effect against animals or introducing an animal to a new area had set up disaster for the ecosystem.

  • It's Horton!

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  • Interesting take. I don't know the solution to this problem. I don't understand the mind of trophy hunters. What exactly are they proud of? It's not like they killed those animals like Leo DiCaprio killed that bear in that movie. Those animals are even so huge that they can't even boast with their precise shooting skills. All they can be 'proud' of is that their hobby is so expensive and disgusting that only few people do it.

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  • You are a pathetic person if you have nothing to be proud of except for the innocent animals you killed

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    • Are you accusing me of something? I never mentioned in the take that animal-killing is a pride worthy action. I only made the point that killing animals is only viable if it is only the solution when all others are either exhausted or currently impossible.

    • No. I mean as an answer to the title. Killing isn't something to be proud of. I said you as in general context, I didn't mean you specifically

    • Fair enough, I did say in the take, I find the action very questionable at best even with the supposed benefits of it.

  • it is bad to do it just for fun

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  • Trophy hunting makes my stomach hurt. Look, I’m going to keep this short and simple. I’m in no way a vegetarian. I’m all for hunting deer, rabbits, turkeys, etc. I believe that if you kill an animal just to have as a trophy is disgusting. If you’re not going to eat the animal or use it for what god put it on this earth for then I believe it’s wrong. Seeing the smiles on these guys faces as they stand by these dead wild animals eith pride is just unfathomable to me.

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    • That's a fair opinion and I'm not going to fault you for what you think. But you have to remember that regardless of what trophy hunters do or not, animals are exploitable (poachers for example, sell elephant tusks). What people argue for trophy hunting is the fact that trophy hunters have to pay exorbitant amount of money just to hunt one animal. That money is used to employ guards to stop poachers whom are more likely to kill indiscriminately so long as it is profitable.

      Another thing is that a lot of animals have been introduced to an area by humans and that resulted in a dangerous event on shaping that ecosystem for the worse. Think Lionfishes in the Atlantic ocean or Cane toads in north east Australia. Those animals had dire effect and put a huge number of species native to the area at risk, though its not the animal's fault itself.

    • But I agree with the fact that having an animal as a trophy is disgusting, no matter how you see it. For what it seems, organisations simply took that problem and used it as a solution that could help overall. It's frankly not something I'm comfortable with, but I can't think of any alternative to that solution for now.

  • It's ------- bad and ------- unnecessary.

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    • I agree to an extent, hopefully there will be a viable solution when trophy hunting will become redundant.

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    • Yep, I've already referenced it, though not directly. Trump, from what I recall, reversed Obama's trophy hunting on two countries, one of them being Zimbabwe. From what I recall Obama's reason for banning trophy hunting in those countries is that the organisations or government there failed to produce evidence or documents that shows that trophy hunting in that region is beneficial to the growth of a particular species. Not surprising when you consider Zimbabwe's political situation.

    • Obama's Trophy Hunting ban

What Guys Said 14

  • I'd like to see it banned. I can see that there can be economic benefits to the countries though. I guess I favor the idea of killing due to necessity rather than for sport. If a person wants to try and kill a lion or rhino with their hands and whatever they can find naturally on the ground, I think that's okay if they want to try.

    Also most of these animals are endangered and living in their natural habitats unlike lionfish. Lionfish are leading to reduction of native species so I think it's justifiable to remove them and is really not related to game hunting in Africa.

    Of course there are going to be people and governments that are okay with taxing people for killing local animals. The concept of gaining at the expense of others has many forms. Many are tried to be outlawed like dumping in a public lake or polluting the air, but we also justify things like releasing CO2, synthetic nitrogen, phosphates and even killing traditional livestock.

    I guess I see killing animals in their natural habitat that are endangered and reproduce slowly for sport as different than eating animals that don't affect their native species for nutrition.

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    • Agreed and I'm afraid that unlike trophy hunting, culling Reindeers due to prions or Lionfish and Cane toads due to their encroaching nature is more justifiable. Trophy hunting does have its benefits but I'm concerned that feasibility of the solution is becoming outdated when a proper solution could be tested without subjecting those animals into trophy hunting.

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    • Well in the end, hopefully there will be better solutions that doesn't require a large amount of animal lives. Humanity already have done enough damage all over the world and I'd like to think that it is on us to figure out solutions where we can at least stabilize ecosystems that's been under constant threat.

    • That'd be wonderful, but realistically we are probably going to constantly cause more problems.

  • good take!

    controlled hunting i'm fine with so long as you aren't hunting endangered or vulnerable species.

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    • Haha, thanks for the compliment. It has been an interesting topic to me and hopefully somewhere down the line there will be a solution for all of this.

    • That's the real issue. I agree with you. Hunting elephants is terrible. Hunting coyotes not so much in my opinion.

    • i'm from pennsylvania and we have controlled hunts of various animals. for example we have crazy deer populations. it leads to car accidents and also is really hard on the deer population as the overabundance of deer leads to depleted food resources for them and fewer habitations. i remember times driving in my neighborhood and having to drive about 5mphs because i could literally see deer everywhere (like 40 deer in people's yards). i also have a daughter who likes to play outside and there have been some days when i've had to keep her in because the deer are so pervasive

      so the controlled hunts really serve the various entities.

      but trophy hunting of endangered, vulnerable, etc species is irresponsible.

  • It is bad.

    If you are killing an animal because it is a detriment to it's own species (the case of the prions) that isn't trophy hunting. I'd say that trophy hunting is the exclusive intention to kill an animal that may or may not be problematic solely for the cause of enjoyment.

    Governments will put bounties on animals and humans alike but note that the only economic advantage is for humans. The animals do not benefit in any way. In fact not only do the animals not benefit but the notion of using the proceeds to chase away poachers, which is actually just another brand of human economics encroaching on the lives of others, doesn't even make sense.

    To put it into human terms:

    If you were to be paid by the government to kill a man, a bounty, and you completed this, the logic suggests that now that you've killed him all the other individuals who want to murder people outright and sell their organs on the black market will just snap their fingers and go "Awe man!" and give up.

    ...

    Yeah, no. No that doesn't even compute.

    The culling of a population for the good of that population is really not equivalent because it is true that deer, at least here, will eat themselves into starvation but also harm other species in the process so I understand that but that's really because humans basically hunted the wolves who lived out here to extinction!

    So basically it's full-circle and it is in fact self-rectifying where humans do not need to intervene because species have done this for millennia where they either die off due to overpopulation or adapt to a new hunter in the midst regardless of how it was introduced.

    And wolves weren't hunted to death because they were a nuisance. They were hunted because the fur trade was very cost effective. So here we are with endangered species being lumped together with overpopulated areas of mule deer called the same thing (trophy hunting) and then the only species that is the cause is the human and the only species that actually benefits is the human.

    It's wrong not because of the act of killing itself but because the only benefactor no matter how it turns out is the human.

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    • That's very true, hence my concern with how easily corruptible Trophy hunting is in general. It basically turned into an industry and many would argue its under the guise of 'protecting the animals!'. Hell even the first picture outlines the issues with what trophy hunting has.

  • I read somewhere that generations of trophy hunting actually decreases the size of the trophies. Let's face it, the hunter wants to bag the big alpha male bull with the biggest horns, tusks, or whatever. In doing so, that leaves the beta males with smaller EVERYTHING to carry on the species. You can see where that's going. African elephants on average have shorter tusks than they had 200 years ago.

    It's not even a fair fight anyway. I'm not a hunter, but if I were, I'd take far greater pride in killing some big dangerous animal with a spear, or bow-and-arrow, rather than some high-powered rifle from a safe distance. As far as displaying a head on a wall, I think that's kind of creepy. It always looks like the animal is staring back at me.

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    • Agreed, that's some of the concerns I've had with trophy hunting in general. But more on a grander social scale. Animals, not only elephants, have a system where the older generations are responsible for making sure their young are capable of living throughout the future, e. g. lionesses teaching their cubs to hunt. If trophy hunting were ever to become beneficial, very strict regulations needs to be put in place.

      But say we ban trophy hunting completely and the market falls off, then what about the other issues? Poachers aren't exactly an easy threat to stave off and there would be less incentive for local villages to protect the animals (especially if those animals directly threaten their homes). There are a large amount of variables that differs country to country which makes the solution that we all want far more difficult to realise.

    • Animal herds have an ingrained instinct that tells them where to go to find water, food, etc. The oldest animals in the herd know best how to use this instinct. If you kill off the biggest and oldest animals, the leadership of the herd falls to the adolescents, who are still trying to figure out what they're doing.

      The more human beings you have on this planet, the more they encroach on the animal world. What motivates the poachers the most is cultures that think that a certain kind of animal has something that makes an incredible aphrodisiac (like humans don't get enough sex already. LOL!), and will pay big money for it.

  • Animals are my friends

    In saying this there is a hypocrisy for I am an avid fisherman and have often gone on big game fishing

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  • Its fucking disgusting. I have no problem legally hunting overpopulated species and eating them like deer. But, don't go mount its head on the wall like you accomplished something remarkable. You put deer piss on you, dressed in camo, hung out in a deer stand for hours and snipered a deer with a high powered rifle. Now, enjoy your venison chili. Don't put its head on the wall because I'm not impressed. Want to impress me? Hand out in the tree and ambush the deer bare handed. Choke it out with your legs. Now I'm impressed.

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    • Its arguably worse for those animals in terms of morality. They are 'sold' to the trophy hunters to be hunted. When you think about it, its just downright deplorable.

  • interesting take

    generally I don't believe in trophy hunting, its cruel and unnecessary

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  • Its going to be an idiot following the rules and paying a fuck ton of money or poachers makeing money till there's nothing left. Maybe if everyone that crys over the animal 100 bucks could save everything but that won't happen. Its the least of many evils.

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  • Very bad. I am 100% against that. It really tear's me apart to see this happening. I would never allow this.

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    • I understand, unfortunately culling of animal life is a solution that is deceptively beneficial in very specific circumstances. Funnily enough, all these issues have been influenced or directly established by humanity in some form or another.

      In other words, 'We are forced to clean up our own mess through less than stellar means'

  • Okay hunter, go ahead and shoot that rhino so you can mount its head on a wall. Now, hunter, here's a knife and fork. You must eat the rest of the rhino's carcass or else be thrown naked into a lion den. Killing for food is the way of nature. Killing to decorate your den is the way of a douche bag.

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    • Actually majority of that carcass is donated as food to local villages. But regardless, the solution in my belief is outdated and under threat of corruption (in my take I've mentioned issues with Zimbabwe and possibilities that other countries may be suspect to it). But you are right, Trophy hunters are generally douches, but frankly they are endorsed so long as they play by the organisation's rules.

    • the solution of trophy hunting is outdated in my view*

  • It's bad, and while we all expect the vegetarians and vegans of the world to be against it, real hunters are too. There's no honor in killing something just to show it off.

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    • While I did touch on that, I was questioning the practicality on a macro scale for countries and micro scale for animals.

      I don't think morals is a necessary ground to rebut trophy hunting even when it is sanctioned. There are enough concerns against trophy hunting on economical, practical and social grounds. Even though so far, it seems to be the best solution yet.

  • Bad unless changed. Currently there are a lot of organizations that say they put money back into helping the animals but that is not the case. Most often it is used for nefarious purposes.
    Trophy hunting should be allowed but at much steeper prices than it is now. They also should look towards farming rhinos for horns, sedating them and removing those horns so that free-market capitalism can rid the black market of killing endangered species.

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    • Yeah, that's what I'm pretty wary about, the possible corruption among these organisation and the lack in-country parties that can check those organisations as well. It makes it a pretty difficult thing to validate overall.

  • The fuck kind of question is this? As in, I'm amazed it even has to be asked. It's fucking evil, and people who do it deserve to be publicly tarred and feathered, or be trampled to death by the animals they're hunting.

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    • It's not a question, it's a take. But a lot of people have justified trophy hunting through statistics and evidence. What I've written here if you read it carefully, is that I'm questioning its feasibility not because its just amoral, but its practicality as well.

    • Yes. Correct. What else is there to say?

    • You got it.

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