Monday, November 18, 2013

Big Game Hunters

Now I know that animals need to be culled from a herd to keep it healthy. But during the last several months I've seen photos of US Olympic Champion Cory Cogdell and young hunter Regis Giles and
Melissa Bachman posing with trophy animals: Zebras, lions, boars, elephants. Now I'm gonna say right now that I think nature has its own methods of culling a herd. And I think it's a good, if cruel, system. And while I'm not against hunting to eat--hell, I had a duck yesterday and am having a sausage/veggie pasta tonight and I didn't even kill the damned duck or sausage or pasta but let someone else do that dirty work for me--and I respect people who respect the animals, I've got a wrong feeling about people who hire someone to fly out in a helicopter to find you a herd, and once found, report to your driver/professional spotter, who drives to the herd's spot and then points out which animal would be the best trophy for you to kill. Then they drive you close enough and you shoot and down goes the animal--unless of course you're Sarah Palin and have to shoot at a moose that's tied down six times before you can hit the thing.
     Old lions get culled when they starve to death because they're not strong enough to hunt any longer. Old zebras get eaten by young lions. Old elephants are left to wander by themselves to die. But these hunters are not going after that gimpy old elephant or that rhino who can hardly carry themselves. They're going after prime males, the ones that keep the herd strong. And I just see that as something terribly wrong, terribly cowardly. Those are the same people who jump into a fight as kids after the kid has been beaten up by five people and is prone on the ground and then hits him a few times and brags he beat up so and so.
     I'll put my position in perspective. I've had people ask me to take them jaguar hunting in the Amazon. I've always put this condition on it: We outfit your gun barrel with a mounted camera and  eliminate the firing pin. Then, you shoot a picture of the jaguar and leave the jaguar for another day. Not one of the people willing to pay $10,000 to actually kill a jaguar ever had the balls to get close enough to "fire" a photo without having a gun backup.
    Now the person who finally does hire me to do that, well, that's someone with balls, whether a man or a woman. Because getting within 20 yards of a jaguar without a weapon to stop it if it attacks is a very very frightening thing. And doing that on purpose takes a great great deal of courage. Which the guys/gals with the fancy rifles, fancy scopes, helicopter spotters and hunting advisors in the cars either don't have or don't need to use. Cause there is nothing courageous about blowing three ducks away with a shotgun. Or shooting a lion or tiger or elephant or rhino at 200 yards with the protection of a jeep to run away if need be.
    The PS Is that while some people might eat an elephant or rhino, no one eats a lion or tiger.

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