How Do Big Game Hunters Justify Their 'Sport'?

As I am unable to use the search function yet, I was wondering if there were links to any threads discussing this topic anywhere on the board?

Personally, I find it hard to see how anyone killing an animal with a high powered rifle, can describe what they do as “sporting”, by any stretch of the imagination.

Successfully stalking an animal and positioning themselves for a clean kill?

Do it with a spear or a knife, and I’ll be impressed!

You believe that anyone could hunt and kill large game with the aid of a high-powered rifle, but to do it with a spear or knife would be a challenge?

I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but that’s certainly the implication I take from your posts in this thread.

Would it surprise you to discover that if you would attempt to hunt big game, with no particular experience, you’d most likely fail miserably, even if armed with a high-powered rifle?

I think that a lot of those folks have done all the deer/elk/duck/bear/fox hunting they want and need a bigger challenge. While I’m not into big game hunting or even in support of it, I can at least understand the desire to move on to bigger challenges in whatever endeavor.

I hope ivan was being facetious with the comment about a knife or spear - the issue with big game hunting isn’t the lack of challenge, it’s the senseless destruction.

Here in Texas, I know deer would starve to death in the winter if hunters didn’t thin the herd, and a sudden violent death is preferable to a slow death by starvation. So I’m glad there are people who accomplish this task. However, I find it disturbing that people take pleasure in the killing.

No, I’m fully aware of the skills that are involved, I just think they could be put to a better use than killing an animal for a trophy to stick on your wall. If the end result is just to kill the animal, you could just as well use a heat-seeking missile…would that be “sporting” too?

It wouldn’t leave much to use as a trophy…

“Oh, what’s this patch of hide?”
“That’s the rhinoceros I shot…well, the biggest part we found, anyway…”

I’d be surprised if someone who enjoyed big game hunting felt any need or desire to justify it to anyone else.

To the extent they can afford to do it and are complying with all applicable laws, it’s nobody else’s business what they do with their time and money.

(My interpretation of most “excessive consumers’” attitude.)

I’ve long had a fantasy of pitching the idea of a hunting trip identical to the current vogue, but with the rifle replaced with a camera.

The hunter follows, finds, and stalks his prey. He must be quiet, non-disruptive, un-noticed. He finds the animal, gets a clear line of sight, readies and steadies his weapon, aims, hesitates, stares through the sight, and gently, deliberately, pulls his finger.

  • click *

And now he has a trophy to take home, even. He can still fuss over fancy camera equipment like he used to fuss over guns, he can still enjoy the thrill of the chase, the great outdoors, and the camaraderie of his hunting buddies, but he doesn’t leave any casings or spent rounds in the forest to leach metals into the groundwater, and he doesn’t kill anything. And nobody gets hurt in accidental shootings.

I think it’s a great idea, that will never sell. Not macho enough.

Yes, that’s just the sort of reaction I’d expect from someone selfish enough to think animals are on this planet to provide them with entertainment. I’m just waiting for a few to come and confirm it! :wink:

OK, your example is just silly. There’s no animal with a heat signature great enough to attract a heat seeking missle. And, I don’t know about you, but I can easily get my hands on a high powered rifle - not so much with a heat seeking missle.

The purpose of the big game hunt is not just to kill something. Hanging the trophy on your wall is proof that you were able to use your skill and stealth to get within range of the animal.

I’m pretty sure that this is one of those things that if you have to ask, your not going to get it. What’s the point of parachuting out of a plane? If it’s just to get to the ground, wouldn’t you be better off not getting in the plane in the first place?

Taking big game requires attention to a long list of items.

Habits of the game in question
feeding cycles
breeding cycles
where they feed
where they seek shelter
what routes they take in between
how the weather affects all of the above

For the hunter himself
his smell / which way the wind is blowing that day
how he will approach the hunting area to minimize alerting game
what impact other humans (hunters or otherwise) nearby will have
how previous hunting will have affected the game patterns
where to avoid being seen
getting close enough for a clean shot, but far enough away to remain hidden
his own level of ability with his gun
his level of control over his emotions when game presents itself
It is a fascinating sport. Very rewarding whether you take an animal or not. But your chances of success on any given day are very small, and you’ll usually not know which of the above factors specifically kept you from your goal.

Pitting your intelligence, understanding and discipline against an animal who can outmatch you tenfold with its sense of sight, hearing, smell, strength and speed is a very rewarding endeavor.


Have you ever fired a gun, Ivan? If you haven’t, it might be a little hard to explain the point of Big Game Hunting. And firing a .22 once when you were at your cousin’s farm as a kid doesn’t really count, unfortunately.

I’m torn on the issue myself. The Great White Hunter in me wants to travel to India and Africa and America and shoot Elephants and Lions and Tigers and Moose, and have a trophies on the wall and as rugs in my study that I can use as a conversation points with my other hunting friends as we all stand around wearing Pith Helmets and drinking Brandy and smoking Cigars. The realist in me, however, says that those animals aren’t bothering anyone (Except for Elephants in some places, and man-eating tigers and lions, which are a bit on the rare side these days) and they should be left alone to do their… whatever it is that they do, until such time as they become a nuisance, and then all bets are off.

Fortunately, I’m not rich enough to travel to Africa for a Safari, so the Lions and Elephants and Rhinos and Stoats and Weasels of the Serengeti are all quite safe from me…

It’s still not exactly a “sport” though, if your ‘opponent’ is unaware of the rules!

I would guess that the camera safari has pretty much replaced the actual shooting safari in market share in certain places, considering the wildlife conservation laws that some African countries have put in place. So I don’t know about “never sell”, considering that they’ve been around for several decades now.

Works for Calvinball…

I’m not a vegetarian.

If I’m willing to eat it, then I should be willing to kill it.

I do this often in my own backyard. I just got back from 2 weeks in the rockies and did the same thing. It was wonderful. :slight_smile:

What rules? That they should be afraid of people and avoid them at all cost? They are aware of that. Otherwise you could just stroll up to an Elk or Caribou or whatever big game you’re after.

They use their keen senses to avoid hunters. And the hunters planning and prepartion to try to avoid their keen senses. Sounds like sport to me.