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A tale of the umpires who 'pit man against beast

Posted 02/12/2010 by Christina

….in a fair fight’. Well that’s the story we’re told about on professional trophy hunters in next months GQ magazine anyway.

The article which appears in January’s edition explores the world of the professional hunter and asks questions about whether it is right and ethical for rich tourists to fly over to Africa to shoot big game for sport. Erm….. no, it is not.

Our professional hunter under the microscope is Craig Doria and he at least admits that he cannot easily justify his profession as there are too many contradictions. He gives it a good go though, citing the same old arguments about ‘bunny huggers’ not understanding that in Africa all wildlife has to have an economic value. If it doesn’t then it goes in the pot. He describes how it’s only the animals in areas where their population numbers are too low for tourism who are at risk from the gun. He talks about numbers being too high to sustain subsistence farming and gives the impression that it’s all done for the benefit of Africa and of the various game species that he goes out shooting.

Doria is certainly well practiced in justifying his grim profession; at least he seems to convince himself. I’m not too sure however if he’ll manage to convince the majority of people who feel appalled and disgusted that it is still perfectly legal for someone to pay an inordinate amount of money to go and shoot whatever animal you can find.

The article while essentially being an advertisement for Doria’s services does detail the darker side of trophy hunting, budget trophy hunting holidays offering the chance to kill big game at a knock down price.

On these kinds of hunting adventures the customer can expect to shoot animals which have been bred on a ranch, fed and watered in particular points to ensure ease of finding, sometimes having only been released before the shooter arrives and in some extreme cases killed by injection and laid out to look alive to ensure a really easy kill and all for just a few thousand pounds, oh and don’t worry if you’re so drunk you can barely stand. Of the 1,000 Lions which are killed each year, a third are hunted in this way and we’re supposed to accept that it’s all about conservation?

The pro hunting brigade will continue to come up with reason after reason for why stalking and hunting one animal for one or possibly two days is the most sustainable and economical way of maintaining a balanced population. The truth is that they enjoy the kill and ensuring that they can continue to hunt is all the reason they need to completely ignore any more humane options.

In Doria’s own words it’s all about the ‘right trophy’.


Find out more about our .
 for highlighting the horrors of trophy hunting.

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