CONFESSIONS OF A TROPHY HUNTER
I confess that I am a trophy hunter. No, I haven't killed any lions with British names lately. But deer season is quickly approaching and I know of at least two good bucks (I haven't named) I will be trying my damnedest to put on the ground. I didn't used to be a trophy hunter. When I first re-started my hunting "practice" I was more than happy to take any legal animal. If I had a doe permit I shot a doe. If it was spring I took a jake turkey. I didn't worry much about big racks or long beards. All I cared about was putting meat in the freezer. But that was 20 years ago.
Years went by. I got better at reading sign, hunting the wind, keeping my scent down. Unlike my ability to get a show of my art, the art I was doing with gun and bow was getting easier. There is nothing so boring as an easy activity. This is what pushed me to the pursuit of the mature buck and turkey. This was a challenge. There was nothing easy about it. What drew me back to the hunt in general was the difficulty level of actually bagging a legal animal, as well as contextualizing this activity in my overall art work. You think the internet is against guns and hunting? Try convincing the ultra-PC art world that killing one of God's beautiful creatures is a valid action. That difficulty remains.
And now we are in the age of "internet shaming". If Bambi was released today deer hunters would be as scarce as that big buck. So my confession to chasing the trophy must be further defined. I DO NOT hunt for trophies only. I hunt mature animals and ALWAYS butcher and eat them.The taking of Africa's big cats has always seemed wrong to me. There is no sharing of meat with community and the fees mostly remain with the PHs and outfitters that are throw backs to the colonial days, catering to the ultra-rich. So when a rich mid-western dentist books a lion hunt he depends on his hosts to do it legally. I can't believe that this dentist wanted to target an iconic, easily identified, black maned male lion with a GPS collar. But I may be wrong. Maybe he's that stupid and evil. What I do know is CNN, BBC, and every other news outlet, big or small, is calling for blood, without due process. We all know who Cecil was now. He joins Bambi's mom in the anthropomorphic heaven. We also know Dr. Palmer's name, who remains in hiding. Good move doc. Your head may be on some crackpot's wall very soon.