Wednesday, July 29 2015

When it really is “killing for sport”

Mr. Lion is rightfully angry with the Minnesota dentist whose African trophy hunt recently blew up in his face.

It’s possible he’s not a willing criminal, if he really did get all his permits and relied on his well-paid “professionals” to keep him legal. It’s definite that he’s not, as his statement claims, a responsible hunter. Jacklighting for leopards with a crossbow and shooting at a lion that takes the bait is not the act of a “responsible hunter”, especially when it leaves one of Ma Nature’s best killers pissed-off and on the loose for 40 hours.

Setting aside the issue of whether luring an animal to your position and blasting it with spotlights counts as “hunting”, if you’re using a single-shot weapon, you have a responsibility to get a clean kill. Especially at night. Especially large carnivores. If you can’t guarantee that, don’t take the shot.

Not that it matters now, since Cecil is dead, the mob has destroyed Our Villain’s business, and his money is going to be spent on lawyers instead of trophies for quite a while.

I’ve never really understood the trophy-hunter mentality. I’ve read Capstick and Cooper, I’ve known plenty of folks who hunt for meat, and I’ve considered a guided boar hunt to do my part in California Pest Control and fill the freezer with sausage, but trophies? What are you really celebrating, if the animal didn’t have a decent chance of taking you home?