Hunting is Actually in Far Deeper Trouble Than Shooting

For all the talk from “Fudds” and of “Fudds,” I think hunting is in far greater danger, both politically and culturally, than target shooting is. I offer you exhibit A in making that case. And for those of you who think people will always be OK with killing Bambi, all it takes is a new series on Animal Planet and you guys are screwed too. At least one person in the comments seems to get it:

By the way, one of my guides in Zimbabwe said this: “Well, now Botswana has made all hunting illegal. That means that there will be no one hunting the poachers. They will get in and decimate the animals in the National Parks. There will be so little wildlife left that the eco-tourism will completely bottom out — and they won’t have any money to try to combat poachers.”

Hunting in Africa is what pays for conservation in Africa, but there’s real passion in “saving” the animals. It’s a religion for them, and people will go to great lengths over religion.

UPDATE: Fate of the Western Black Rhino, driven not to extinction my managed and legal hunting, but driven to extinction by poachers whose demand was fed by maoist policy in Communist China.

14 thoughts on “Hunting is Actually in Far Deeper Trouble Than Shooting”

  1. A few years ago, the Mrs & I went to a ‘giraffe rescue ranch’ not too far from where I live. It was a neat tour, you got to feed giraffes and see all kinds of exotic animals up close (plus I got to hand feed LEMURS!!!) so I thought it’d be worth sitting through a 2 hour lecture by the owners on how to ‘save the animals’ and all the feel good horseshit you expect from those types.

    Daaaaamn was I wrong.

    We passed a small pen with some really cool looking antlered things. The owner was saying how there were more of those things in that pen than in all of Africa combined. It had become illegal to hunt them.

    Guess what animal suddenly became endangered?

    He went on for a good 5 minute rant on how PETA et. al. are worthless and that if you want to save an animal, hunt the damned thing. He praised hunters as conservationists more than ANY other group and that human’s have a ingrained sense for the hunt anyway, why not make it useful?

    The rest of the tour was even more delightful after that.

  2. Watch California, as it may be a canary the the coal mine: lead ammunition has been banned for hunting state wide, effective in 2019.

    I do believe that the California DFG gets most of its budget for habitat conservation from fishing licenses and hunting tags, so after 2019 look at what happens to the DFG budget. It will go down as hunting becomes more difficult and expensive, but how much will it go down? Nobody knows.

    Also, the “animal rights” crowd are really ignorant when it comes to science, and they fail to understand that there are fewer predators now than before people moved into the state, so look for populations of prey animals to explode: deer, pigs, and coyotes especially.

    Pigs are already a problem, and they are non-native, invasive species that are HIGHLY destructive to the habitat. But just suggesting hunting as a control measure, and the anti-hunting crowd goes ballistic.

    I am not a hunter, but i am a fisherman, and I predict that there will be less budget for riparian, marine, and lake conservation as well.

  3. People who use emotion rather than reason can’t comprehend that the life of any given individual animal can’t be given priority over the health of the species. That an animal is allowed to be hunted can lead to all sorts of benefits for the species and its environment.

    But no, every bunny must be hugged and the anti-hunting folks only hug Lenny style.

  4. My son, who is now 41, used to do some target shooting with me when he was a kid however I did not take the time to go hunting with him when he was growing up. I grew up in a small town hunting all of the time but raising a family I became too busy. My boy went to college in Colorado and ended up in the ski industry and skiing along with bicycles was what he did outside until about eight years ago when I gave him one of my nicer shotguns, an O/U 12 ga. Beretta. He shoot sporting clays and skeet some with me and friends and then one of my friends told him how much fun we had on our annual dove hunt here in Texas every year. Son was a shooter but he was not sure if he ever wanted actually shoot live birds and animals.

    The first year hunting my son came down from Colorado and joined us and shot two doves and he loved the experience. Now a some years later he has taken over as the organizer of our 18 man group, as a group we hunt doves in Texas in September and join in a European Pheasant shoot in Oklahoma in January and my son loves every minute of it.

    My point is that sometimes a little patience and encouragement and exposure to a good hunting experience can bring a new hunter into the fold. I also make sure that grand children do get the time to enjoy hunting and shooting and they have been on dove hunts since they were old enough to walk and help pick up birds.

    So please, try to take the time to pass the experience on to your youngsters when they are younger and hunting be part of the normal family experience. We have wonderful meals where everyone gets to enjoy eating venison, quail, doves, partridge, pheasant and turkeys and any other edible critters you might bring home.

    Heck we are now doing a better job of gathering the family for wild game dinners than those red necks in Louisiana and that’s saying a lot. My son has also surpassed me as an excellent wild game cook and due to my inattention in his youth as a hunter he almost slipped away.


  5. I guess I should be glad that my state recently included a right to hunt in the state constitution.

  6. Good post, Sebastian! At the IDPA Back-Up Nationals, Paul Erhardt and I had a serious conversation about this very subject. Paul and I (and Bitter as well, if I recall) early on shined a light on the divergence in the hunting and shooting markets. I’ve been working on a white paper for my employers suggesting that the trend lines have reversed, largely because of different attitudes in the emerging Gun Culture Ver. 2.0.

    Whether it is too little too late remains to be seen. The UNDER WILD SKIES elephant debacle is instructive.

    On a positive side, look at Andrew Zimmern’s BIZARRE FOODS AMERICA or even Anthony Bourdain’s CNN show, where hunting is seen as an integral part of eating. I understand there’s a History Channel series in the words that integrates hunting with a survival show.

    As you probably agree, I think its a clear messaging issue. The hunting side of our market sort of assumed they were bulletproof, and that’s proving not too be the case.

    Funny (and stupid) aside…I didn’t realize how thoroughly Namibia had cell coverage, so I didn’t bother turning off messaging. Our Bushman were tracking a big bull eland when I felt a vibration in my pocket, pulled out the phone and say the text, “Remember, Bambi cried when the hunters killed his Mom…”

    Michael B

  7. CNN is actually covering this right now. Very good coverage. Presenters, who are british, keep taling about shocking pictures. But point out that this is 1) limited to social media, 2) mostly upset animal rights activists trying to make a point, 3) that she was hunting legally in a place where people hunt, 4) that hunting brings in many many many millions of dollars to this area, 5) that hunting brings in the vast majority of conservation dollars, 6) that conservationists want people to calm down, and that 7) while in some places animals are threatened in other places like where she shot her lion they aren’t endangered at all.

    Color me surprised.

  8. The Oatmeal is all over this on facebook, he’s always pretty belittling to whoever is the subject of his comedy but he hasn’t addressed any of the counter arguments in his comments with anything but name calling and denial, kinda disappointed he is just denying facts instead of having a conversation……………..

    1. What do you expect?

      “The Oatmeal” is committed leftist who applies as much critical thinking to what he publishes as any serving of hot breakfast cereal can (read: none).

  9. Wild animals don’t live forever. Few die of old age.

    Only the ignorant believe that legal hunting endangers wildlife. Unfortunately, there are lots of ignoramuses in the world.

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