Hunting Legends has a great and important message here, I think, overall (though it could use some editing for typos, etc.—I’m volunteering, contact me Hunting Legends! waylon at elephantjournal.com).
In any case, ignorance is bliss. It’s easy to be righteous about these photos (Trump holds severed trunk, etc), but knowledge and perspective is what we’re trying to grow here, in the elephant community. So in that spirit, here’s Hunting Legends’ message~ ed.
PS: Holy Shit.
- Why do so called pure conservationists blame ethical hunting so much?
- Is it due to facts or mostly ignorance?
- Are hunters indeed the scum of the earth as conservationist so easily criticize?
- How many hunters are found criticizing conservationists publicly?
This is the topic of this FORUM and we invite you to participate in a sensible and responsible manner please. Use your common sense please and refrain from being vulgar or abusive as this wont be tolerated on our website.
This is an important topic and perhaps humanity and mankind will be best served if we can understand each others view points and enter into logic and sensible debate, which can contribute towards a better understanding of each persons opinion.
- Why do many so called pure conservationists blame ethical hunting so much?The reason is quite simple in our opinion:You have killers and you have ethical hunters!We agree on one thing already – there are many animal killers who don’t deserve the right to even call themselves hunters. They are nothing else than mere butchers and there only interest is to kill and gloat alongside their trophies. Unfortunately the world is still full of these people. They will go to all extremes and pay any amount of money just to have their quarry, irrespective of the consequences.
These are animal killers (like the worst rhino poachers) who don’t have any ethics and could care less if they shoot the last living member of a specie. They are willing to shoot canned and drugged animals. They could care less about conservation and only care for killing what’s in front of them. They don’t even practice the art of fair chase and getting to experience and cherish nature, all they care for is pulling the trigger and boasting their accomplished shot.
WHEN CONSERVATION IS NOT THE LONG TERM GOAL – THEN IT IS MERELY KILLING
There are undoubtedly many such cases in history and unfortunately many co-called legends in the hunting industry boast their accomplishments in history of how many animals (elephants as an example) they have shot merely for their ivory.
Do we or any other ethical hunter condone or approve of the mass killing of animals?
Of course not?
Fortunately, the industry is not just made up of butchering killers and these people in fact, are only a small portion of the industry at large. If this was not the case, we ourselves would vote to stop the hunting of all animals and support conservation at large to rid the world from all hunters.
However, there is a different story to this whole controversial scenario. Please allow us to explain.
From the moment mankind put up the first fence in this world, we as humanity have taken the responsibility on us to manage and govern wildlife from that day going forward.
Animals used to have the freedom to roam about this earth and fend for themselves. They had the freedom to move when necessary and find water and food wherever they could. The moment the first fence was erected that obligation to feed and sustain was left to mankind. We suddenly found ourselves as self appointed custodians of nature.
We all developed cities, industry, agricultural farms and towns alike. Not the hunters, all of mankind was responsible for this. Why, in order to sustain ourselves!
Wildlife as it was known, was changed for ever and man infringed on land which wildlife at large used to roam on freely.
Quite technically we are all to blame and our own growth in numbers has caused the world to change and we encroached on land which was free for all, man and animals alike.
Fortunately some of our ancestors had the foresight to see this and a number of national parks were created all over the world, to serve as sanctuaries for wildlife. Was this enough though? Could a few national parks in every country suddenly be sufficient to protect previous vast herds of animals from every imaginable specie?
No of course not.
Private game parks and game sanctuaries followed as did game farms or areas for hunting purposes. Unfortunately somebody has to pay for these sanctuaries as we are entrusted to manage these sanctuaries. Even the large sanctuaries need to be managed and kept, and all of this costs money. Some of these reserves are well visited by tourists and others are not. Some of these sanctuaries are well funded and others are not. A very small amount of all these sanctuaries are indeed financially self sustainable and in fact most are not. Most rely on hand outs, grants, donations and financial support from elsewhere.
People talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
Sure, everybody wants to see wildlife protected for generations to come and easily voice their opinions publicly about this, however, not enough people in this world dig into their own pockets and spend enough money visiting these sanctuaries themselves or donating to them.
Not enough money is raised to sustain these sanctuaries and thus most border on the verge of bankruptcy and maintain a below needed existence.
EVEN WITH ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD – THESE SANCTUARIES FACE ANOTHER COMMON CHALLENGE –
When animals could roam about freely, there numbers were kept in check by nature itself. Nature took care of over population, through droughts, diseases, carnivores, hunters and over population was naturally in balance. Then came man and then came fences. Entrusted to protect and care for these animals, man ensured that diseases were eliminated, drought and fire was eliminated to great extent as man started interfering and managing nature himself. Hunters were banned and water wells were sunken.
With no more natural enemy, animals started to flourish and grow in numbers beyond imagination. All was good for man, or so we thought!
Over population of animals, resulted in less natural food, habitats being destroyed and a bigger problem appeared. An over population of just one specie – ELEPHANTS, saw natural forests in Botswana disappear. The very same animals we are protecting are destroying their own habitat – after all they don’t have a choice and nowhere to go!
What now? Massive over population of elephants exists in many countries such as Botswana, the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Zimbabwe and nowhere to go? They are destroying their own habitat.
Do we now get into planes and shoot and kill whole elephant herds (families) just to protect them, or what do we do. This is being done as we speak!!! Elephants are being culled, big and small, defenseless and unnecessary and why? Because we decided to protect them in the first place and fenced them in! They have nowhere to go, no natural enemies and simply outgrow the carrying capacity of the areas they live in.
Is this humane and what is called conservation?
National Parks rangers having to shoot and cull the very animals they so love and cared for? The horrible truth is, they have no choice or the elephants would soon destroy themselves, so these animals are shot by the hundreds and culled mercilessly and its done in utmost privacy so that radical conservationists don’t find out about this. It is kept quiet to prevent public outcries but it is nevertheless done, they have no choice!!
- Is the hate against hunters based on facts or mostly ignorance?It is our opinion that many people who simply criticize and even verbally abuse hunters are mostly ignorant and not even willing to listen to our story.If you are not one of them and if you are a true conservationist, please allow us to explain!Yes, we are hunters. Yes, we shoot animals! Yes, we love our sport.
But are we all butchers and murderous killers? Are we threatening the very existence of the species we hunt?
Not by a long chance and only if you allow us the opportunity to explain, will you get a glimpse into reality and start to understand the real truth and how much hunting actually has helped and continues to help conservation at large.
Many of the game reserves we hunt on and own today, is land which had many years ago been used by settlers as land for farming cattle and crops. These settlers had to fight nature in order to make their own living. Many of these settlers have records indicating existence of thousands of wild animals on their farms when they first arrived there. But to make room for civilization, these farms were cleaned and rid of almost all animals, as wildlife was a threat to domestic animals and of very little value to the old people.
Millions of acres was rid from wildlife and animals altogether, simply killed to make room for domestic animals and crops. Trees were bulldozed to make room for crops and nature was destroyed to make room for what we refer to as growth and civilization.
Ironically, radical conservationists do not talk about these old people, the settlers who destroyed millions of acres of nature and also everything that moved or lived on these lands.
They are heralded in history books alike as being the pioneers! Pioneers which carved their existence into harsh and dangerous landscapes, making room for civilization and people to follow.
As little as 80 years ago most of these lands or areas abounded with wildlife and nature flourished, however, nature and wildlife was of little financial reward to these old people and posed more threat than benefit, hence man fenced, killed, built and developed what he afterwards proudly showed as his farm.
Gone was nature, gone were all the wild animals and gone was conservation. All replaced by cows, pigs, goats, horses, sheep, chickens, maize, crops and tractors.
These were pioneering farmers – the heart of our countries and the people who fed all in the cities – and still do, to this day!
Can we justifiably criticize them, can we all look on these farmers today and dare bad mouth them? I guess not, because the very food in your mouth comes from these same farms, the very same farms which were home to all the animals of this earth?
Now we come along – the hunters.
We buy up these farms, which have all seen better days, as technology has changed and many of these generations of pioneering farmers have disappeared from the scene. We rebuild the farms from scratch and change them back into private game sanctuaries. We take down the cattle fences, we demolish all the shacks, old sheds and cattle pens, we replace cattle, pigs, sheep and goats with all the wildlife which used to roam here before.
Through proper management we rid the farm of alien plants, we re-establish the land as it was before and we now have more than 4000 wild animals roaming about freely on 25000 acres of unspoilt nature again – just in one of our private reserves.
We sustain ourselves financially by allowing trophy hunters to come to our private wildlife sanctuaries (which we personally bought, paid for, developed and saved from disaster) and hunt our old & mature male animals, which are beyond their prime productive time. We manage our animal population extremely scientifically as it is the backbone to our business. We only shoot a numbered amount of animals every year. We create jobs for local hungry people, we feed them and we look after our own wildlife sanctuaries as if our lives depend on it – because it does!
Yet we are ridiculed and blamed for being murderous cowards.
Cowards, because we put nature first in our lives, rebuilt farms which were destroyed by settlers, re-introduced all the animals which used to roam these lands and protect it for generations to come – yet we are scum?
- THERE ARE ETHICAL HUNTERS OUT HERE – BELIEVE IT OR NOT Yes, we even hunt elephant. Elephant which are destroying their own habitat and killing themselves. If not controlled these very same elephants would have absolutely nothing to eat. They are destroying themselves, only because their are to many of them!What should we do? Allow them to grow in numbers and demolish all the forests which they so desperately depend on? Should we merciless just kill them as Parks do? Or, should we regulate their numbers through controlled and sustainable hunting and at least generate more money for conservation?Should we allow all wildlife animal species to simply flourish beyond control? Should we allow and condone the national park rangers to simply kill and cull whole herds of animals?
Or should we all take note, face the problem and find sustainable solutions to protect and sustain for generations to come.
Almost every proud and ethical hunter I know, will go to the ends of the earth and invest their own money to see that wildlife is protected for all generations to follow.
We are indeed conservationists at heart ourselves and go to extremes to protect the very areas, land and wildlife we hunt on – believe it or not!
HOW CAN WE HELP EACH OTHER
As long as radical conservationists refuse to see both sides of the coin, we will always fight each other instead of fighting for the same cause.
Put nature first – in its entirety – not just the elephant or the lion.
If you love nature as much as we do, then the commando ants, the 200 year old Acasia trees, the little dung beetle, the antelope to the elephant and everything in between, should be as important to you. It takes 5 years to breed and replace a big lion – it takes generations to replace that same old tree.
Look at nature holistically and fight for its existence, no matter where.
If wildlife and nature is flourishing in Public Game Parks, Private Wildlife Sanctuaries or Hunting Reserves, it does not matter – because NATURE IS THE BENEFICIARY AND IS WINNING AGAINST EXTINCTION!
If you succeed in banning hunting at large – YOU WILL DESTROY millions of acres of land, wildlife and nature again!
Think before you criticize and use your money to help fight against corruption, unethical practices and poverty in the world, rather than spending your time and money fighting a perceived threat – the trophy hunter!
The problem is that many innocent people such as you – are victims of corruption yourself!
You are rallied in support of banning hunting, because you are appealed to by so called conservationists trying to ban hunting and in need of your support and money. You are a victim of emotional abuse as they use photos of dead animals to win your heart and not facts to win over your logic.
Most of these people don’t have facts and don’t rely on statistics to sell you into their causes, they use photography and emotional marketing campaigns to solicit support and raise millions & millions of dollars throughout the world.
If you are a true conservationists, open your eyes and your wallet, but not by donating to such so called worthy charities! Take your money and your time and visit these parks, sanctuaries and protected areas yourself.
You will soon realize (especially in Africa) that poverty and corruption is a bigger threat to wildlife and nature, than hunting could ever be!
Millions and millions of dollars are raised for saving some animal specie in Africa every year. (Example – Elephants, Rhino, Lions etc)
These charities seem to be worthy and put the money to some good use, however, if you really want to support your cause, put your mind and time into it and not just your heart:
- Poverty is our biggest threat.
- When people have nothing they will do anything.
- When people do anything you have nothing.
- Take your money and visit our beloved Africa.
- Visit our wonderful parks and spend your well earned money on a vacation, not a charity.
- That is all Africa and all our WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES need – is you!
- Your presence is worth more than your donation.
- Your presence creates Jobs.
- Jobs creates wealth and prosperity.
- NATURE SAVED!!
- This is what Trophy Hunters are doing every year!
- You can do the same in our eco-tourist parks and make a difference – not a noise!
Visit Africa today!
We will support any person who is against the hunting of endangered wildlife species. We will also support and fight any cause against the extinction of our natural forests and wildlife at large, no matter who they are. However, we will also fight any person who does not first hand come and see what we ourselves are doing to protect the very same assets in mention.
Don’t let emotion get the better of your judgement, allow facts and nature to be the winner in this plight – not your heart.