3 Common Misconceptions of Trophy Hunting
As I drove back from my morning run today, I saw a post come through my Facebook news feed from Daymond John, a well-known entrepreneur and Shark Tank TV show co-host. The post is an article highlighting Jimmy John’s founder and CEO Jimmy John Liautaud and his past “trophy hunts” in Africa. The ironic thing about this, is that I just saw Daymond post a video recently of him bass fishing. Oh, the hypocrisy of people, especially with all the recent talk about #CecilTheLion via social media. I could do a whole article just about that. But, I won’t today.
Daymond comments back to someone below his post saying, “I have no problem with hunters that consume the meat. I have a problem with Big Game Trophy hunting of animals that are facing extinction.”
This quickly sparked hurt in me. I like watching Shark Tank on TV and I enjoy what I’ve seen and know about Daymond John because of the show and from following him on Facebook.
“How can someone so smart and successful totally bypass the truth about trophy hunting in Africa,” I wonder? “As hunters, are we not doing a good enough job informing people of the truth?” Yeah, that’s the only logical thing that I can think of.
So, in this post, I will talk about 3 common misconceptions about trophy hunting and explain the truth to those of you who are not informed.
1. Hunting and Eating Meat
I hear people say that they don’t like any kind of hunting where people don’t eat the meat. Well, I have news for you, it’s ILLEGAL not to take and consume the meat from any kind of hunt.
This doesn’t mean you have to consume it yourself. Most hunters do hunt because they love to know where their meat comes from, but, there are many hunters who don’t like to eat game meat and instead, they donate it to their friends, family and those that are less fortunate.
In Africa, it’s part of the hunting laws that you have to give a LARGE portion of the meat to the local communities and villages. Trophy hunting is all about eating the meat.
2. Hunting Animals That Are Going Extinct
“Why would you hunt animals that are going extinct?” This is probably the biggest misconception I hear about trophy hunting.
It’s important to understand that if a hunter is hunting an animal legally, that animal is NOT going extinct. Again, it’s totally ILLEGAL to hunt animals that are going extinct. There are laws in place preventing this, everywhere.
If you hear about “hunters” killing animals that are going extinct, you are being misinformed by the media. You’re hearing about poachers, not hunters.
Poachers are not the same as hunters. Hunters want to help improve and sustain animal numbers, so that we can continue the tradition of hunting for the rest of time. That’s what my dad taught me at a young age. On the other hand, poachers only care about killing an animal for the value in it’s horns or antlers, where they will sell them on the black market.
It costs A LOT of money to go on a trophy hunt in Africa. It’s common for these hunts to cost from $15,000 to $100,000+, depending on where and what you’re hunting.
A large portion of this money goes directly into conservation efforts and to the local African communities, to help improve their economy. It also makes it possible for them to hire people that will help in the prevention of poaching.
3. Hunting Just For A Trophy Mount To Hang On Your Wall
“Trophy hunters just hunt so that they can hang another trophy mount on their wall at home.” Again, this is another misconception that I hear often.
As a hunter myself, it’s awesome to come home and see that “trophy mount” hanging on your wall each day. We look at that mount as a memory of a great experience, where we had to be mentally and physically prepared to kill an animal in its own habitat. No matter what you want to think, it’s not easy to kill any animal, whether you’re using a gun or bow, in its own “home.” Animals are really smart. If you try hunting, you will find this out right away.
When I kill an animal, it’s not just a feeling of excitement, I also have a feeling of sadness. I mean, I did just kill a living animal — it’s not alive anymore, it’s dead. But, that sadness quickly turns to excitement, because I remember how hard I worked to prepare myself for the moment that I killed that animal.
A trophy is more of a memorial for that animal. A remembrance of that animals life, when and how I killed it and the food it provided to me, my friends and family. A hunter will remember that animal forever, and in my opinion, this provides more value to that animal than it being killed by another wild predator, that was only looking for its next “quick” meal.