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Canned Hunting Needs To Stop

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Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” If this is true, the proliferation of canned hunting facilities is a glaring example of our nation’s moral regress.

Canned hunting facilities, also known as hunting ranches or trophy ranches, are acreages enclosed by high, game-proof fences. For a fee, “hunters” can kill the animals held captive there. The facilities range in size from ten acres to several hundred acres. It is estimated that there are currently over 4,000 hunting ranches in the United States.

Many of these facilities offer a “no-kill, no-fee” policy. Animals in these facilities range from domestic species of game birds, deer and elk, to exotic species such as Russian boar, wildebeest, and zebra. Hunters of all skill levels are welcome and offered a choice of weapons; guns, bow and arrow, and in some cases, spears.

Some facilities offer guides who will go out on ATVs, find the quarry, and drive the animals into the line-of-sight of the hunters. In other cases, tree stands or blinds are set up near feeding stations-you simply wait for the species of your choice to walk by. In some facilities, the animals are drugged.

Undercover video shot on an exotic game ranch in Oklahoma illustrates this practice in all of its gory detail. The video shows a hunter surrounded by a group of friends with leashed dogs. A truck comes into view pulling a trailer. A cage sits on the bed of the trailer and in the cage, a black leopard.

The truck stops about 15 feet in front of the hunter and the driver releases the black leopard. It is obviously sedated and has to be poked and prodded out of the cage. As soon as it hits the ground, the hunting party releases the dogs and the leopard takes refuge under the trailer. The hunter, who paid thousands of dollars for the opportunity to kill this “ferocious” beast, actually lies on his belly and shoots the trembling leopard as it tries to hide.

Canned hunting facilities have rightly outraged the animal protection community. How can this possibly be called hunting when there is no chance for the animal to escape? How can the phases “fair chase” and “guaranteed kill” be used in the same brochure? It is the reward of the hunt without doing the work. It is decadence brought to a new and grisly height.

There are reasonable voices leading the movement to end canned hunting. Wayne Pacelle, executive director of the Humane Society of the United States, along with the Fund for Animals, has worked tirelessly to educate the public of the atrocities associated with canned hunting. These groups have sponsored and supported legislation that would eliminate the interstate transport of exotic animals for the purpose of hunting in enclosed areas. Strong lobbies for groups such as Safari Club International have been effective in stopping these legislative efforts. Safari Club International is a trophy-hunting club which boasts over 40,000 members. They have a detailed and macabre accounting system that allows them to track all of the animals their members kill and to award them accordingly. (The records now fill seven volumes.)

For example, to win the Africa Big Five award, a member must have killed an elephant, a rhinoceros, a leopard, a Cape buffalo, and a lion. Initially, the Club required a member to go to Africa to bag their game. The rules have changed, allowing members to take the Cape buffalo and the lion in the United States. They have also introduced new categories that reward members for “introduced exotics.” Where better to work toward that reward than at a posh trophy ranch, where you could kill members of ten or twelve different species in one weekend?

Pineywoods Trophy Ranch might be just the place. Their website boasts, “We are extremely proud of the exotics we have to offer and we welcome hunters any time of year. While staying with us, you will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of our luxurious lodge, complete with big-screen television and warm fireplace. Exotics can be hunted at your convenience.” Never mind that many of these exotic animals were purchased at sales, or from zoos, or bred on the premises. A kill is a kill.

SCI gained its legislative clout from its close association with George Herbert Walker Bush. Bush is a regular speaker at Safari Club’s annual convention and there are many SCI members in the Republican ranks. As President, Bush appointed Safari Club’s former Government Affairs Manager, Matthew J. Hogan, as a deputy director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. One of the functions of USFWS is to regulate the importation of hunting trophies.

Unfortunately, in this age when rational civil discourse has degenerated into all-or-nothing shouting matches, the efforts to stop canned hunting by the animal protection community have been largely misrepresented. They have been portrayed as Bambi-loving, tree-hugging, dope-smoking leftist extremists who want to outlaw all hunting. The loudest voice shouting this message comes from has-been rocker Ted Nugent.

Ted Nugent will gladly display his “whack-em-and-stack-em” histrionics on any media outlet that will let him. His misty-eyed defense of hunting revolves around property rights, the Second Amendment, and sustained use (the idea being that hunters will protect habitats and be good stewards because they want to make sure that there are enough animals around for them to kill). He never speaks of the fate of the animal hunted. Nugent (a self-avowed draft dodger and NRA Board member) is a ridiculous parody of the men and women who are real hunters and true sportsmen.

Field and Stream, America’s number one sportsman’s magazine, conducted a national hunting survey in 2003. The results showed that sixty-five per cent of its readers disapproved of canned hunting. These traditional hunters and sportsmen can provide a powerful voice in the fight to end this barbaric and cruel practice. It is time to drag the dirty little secret that is canned hunting in to the light of day.

Jim Posewitz, retired wildlife biologist and founder of Orion -The Hunter’s Institute, said of those who operate trophy ranches, “There is an evil seed buried here. By selling these facsimiles of real wild animals, these people degrade the whole reality of hunting.”

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About Bill George, Jr.

  • John P.

    If you ask the men and women who are real hunters and true sportsmen what Nugent is I think nearly all would say they feel he’s a hunters ideal and that they are proud to have him as a spokesman. I doubt they’d say he’s a ridiculous parody.

  • Craig J

    Nugent is the hunter’s hunter. Anyone who pays attention to what he says knows this.

    The so called “high fence” operations I’ve seen are huge and present the same difficulty as hunting in the surrounding public lands except without all the yahoos potentially shooting at you.

    This “blog”, if the blogger is a so called “sportsman” and not an anti, is just another example of hunters canibalizing their own. It’s time to stand together and defend the tradition of conservation that is managed hunting in the U.S.

  • While I believe men like Jim Posewitz and others are absolute true conservationists and great men they are just that men. Ted Nugent is just a man as well and both of them have opposing opinions and both of those opinions need to be heard by the public. While I am not a proponent of Canned Hunting, I understand the draw and as long as people continue to put money towards it, it is going to exist.


    1st of all most ranches are so large that an animal born on one side will never know there is a fence on the other side.

    2nd Ted is great spokesman for hunters, he does not compromise and always tells the truth, unlike some anti’s.

    3rd If you don’t think hunters are the ultimate conservationist please do some research. Compare the Wild Turkey and the California Condor, one’s conservation was taken over by hunters the by GORP eating tree huggers. Which one is doing better?

  • TrueNorth

    Hunters should wake up and realize that Stooge Nugent is no more fit of a spokesmen for hunting than he is family values. He doesn’t represent me.

  • “There are reasonable voices leading the movement to end canned hunting. Wayne Pacelle, executive director of the Humane Society of the United States…….”

    Sorry, there is nothing reasonable about the Humane Society of the United States. Their long term goals are likely to ban hunting completely and they are working towards that via incremental steps, such as first banning so called “canned hunting”, targeting bear hunters, the “evil” encouragement of youth to hunt (i.e. passing on hunting traditions to your kids) etc. These people are ridiculous. As typical with these organizations they use the exception to the norm for all of their examples.

  • Canned Hunting is Game Management on private lands.

    If you don’t like it, don’t participate in it.

    The Humane Society of the United States is a Joke.

    When we care more about animals than other humans, that makes us a joke.

    Ride it like you stole it

  • Patrick Cossel

    Although I wrote an article about a hunting ranch, I am not truly a fan on canned hunting.
    With that in mind however, I understand the desire for it. It is a guaranteed chance to shoot-not kill- shoot at something.
    In some cases the ranchs are not able to keep all the birds within the boandaries of the ranch. Those are then out in the “wild”.
    Sorry, Canned hunting isn’t going anywhere,

  • Walter

    Why don’t we legalize canned hunting? I’m all for it. Of course, in my legislation is a provision that only allows the hunter three modes of hunting, and -only- these three modes:
    1) airborne [using cluster bombs]
    2) land mines [bouncing bettys or the venerable Claymore mine]
    3) the Barrett M-107

    If it’s good enough for humans, it’s good enough for animals. Plus: you can’t actually call it hunting. If your idea of fun is to end the life of an animal in a shockingly brutal way, I say: go all the way. Turn the place into a slaughterhouse.

    I am -not- opposed to real hunting, where an animal is taken for food or for skinning [or for whatever traditional useful purpose]. We have hunted since before we have been cave men and ever since. It is something we have always done. Criminalizing hunting is full-on stupidity. I’m not a hunter but if I had to I most certainly would and I’d have 0 qualms about it.

    Drugging an animal [and then especially a true killer] so that it has to be chased from a cage, and then putting bullets into it just so a kill can be claimed, has nothing to do with hunting and it is an insult to a species that doesn’t have very much decency left at this point. People who use animals this way will not treat humans any better. George Herbert Walker Bush has been mentioned in this respect. What further proof does one need?

  • REMF

    “Nugent is the hunter’s hunter. Anyone who pays attention to what he says knows this.”

    Uh-huh. Just like he’s the draft-dodger’s draft-dodger.

  • aphansen

    Another “hunter” with the “I don’t hunt that way, therefore it’s wrong” mindset. He’s misrepresenting most game ranches.

  • duane

    Ya know, this crap about tradition and our caveman heritage and conservation are lame justifications for some other, much deeper, motivation to slaughter animals. Cavemen killed sabre-toothed cats so they wouldn’t get eaten.

    Do any of you tough guy man’s man hunters have the guts to explain why shooting a cowering leopard would make you happy?

  • I’m all for caged hunting, but only if more aging Republicans get shot in the face by Vice-Presidents.

  • Mooja

    From a deer stand I have watched a grey fox eat the face and eyes off a chipmunk then proceed to play with it for approx ½ hour. The chipmunk blindly crawling for cover.

    There is no human alive that can match the inventive, inherit cruelty of nature.

    For as long as we live on Earth we will be a part of nature. Though they may deny it and believe themselves above it, even the most primped up socialite tucked away deep within the concrete walls of “civilization” is a part of nature.

    Nature isn’t cruel. Nature isn’t kind. Nature does not care either way. Nature moves on. Nature is.

    But then there’s human emotion. So cruel, to kill, how sad. We must do something. We must do something. Lets change nature and make it right. Write another law. Strangle off a bit more freedom.

    Then a millionaire is sent to jail, paid for by every taxpayer, for 2 years for letting dogs fight. A human male in jail, behind bars for two years because dogs fought. The chipmunk blindly crawling for cover.

  • That ranks among the most retarded statements, I’ve ever read, moojah. Humans supposedly are the only creatures with the ability to reason (though that’s debateable, given comments like yours.)

    The dogs didn’t merely fight– they were trainde by humans to kill for humans’ amusement.

    Hunting is one thing– lining up ducks in a row to be killed is another. There is no “sport” there–only little boys playing big tough guys.

  • Mooja

    The beat goes on…

  • I am reluctant to wade into this discussion, because hunting partisans can be as nutty as Ron Paul automatons. But I have to say this: canned hunting is offensive to all that is civilized about humanity. I can’t think of too many things that are more reprehensible, short of human slavery and concentration camps. How there can even be an argument about this is beyond me. Legally, I can see it being a grey area in the violence-minded US, but morally it is utterly repugnant.

  • Far too many people know far too little about hunting to even pretend to offer “educated” comments. That much is evident.

    True “canned” hunts, such as the video of the leopard that has been trotted out in this argument for as long as I can remember, are, thankfully, the extreme exception. This activity is also illegal in most states… a status guaranteed by sport hunters who see this type of savagery for what it is.

    On the other hand, game ranches are exactly as they are described, usually well managed for healthy animals. Conditions are often better than most zoos, and the animals tend to do very well on the whole, even though individuals are killed by paying hunters.

    There are plenty of folks who don’t like the idea of ranch “hunting”, and that’s OK. It’s not for everyone. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. But don’t try to make it out to be any more or less than it is. It’s a profit-making business, no different from running a cattle ranch or pig farm. There is no “fair chase” for cattle or hogs. Why this insistence on this abitrary ethical construct for farmed game animals?

  • duane

    Phillip says: Far too many people know far too little about hunting to even pretend to offer “educated” comments.

    Fair enough. Many of us who don’t hunt don’t get it. I’m not an animal rights activist, so I’m ignorant of the issues from both sides. Here you have a forum where you can explain your side to us.

    The quick retort, “If you don’t like it, don’t do it,” works for, oh, let’s say, gambling, or buying porn, you know, victimless actions, and we grant humans, to an extent, the right to decide for themselves. It’s a bit different when you’re shooting up “game” animals for “sport” because, let’s face it, there is a victim who is not part of the decision-making process.

    …no different from running a cattle ranch or pig farm.

    We’ll have to grant you that domesticated animals are kept in captivity, then routinely slaughtered. I doubt that the people who work in slaughterhouses compete for trophies. I doubt that they acquire a manly feeling of pride and accomplishment for killing chickens. I doubt that they get an adrenaline-pumped thrill.

    All I’m asking you to do is explain why you like shooting animals. An answer, without the usual cliched and rhetorical comebacks — the tradition, the conservation excuse, the Bill of Rights, etc. — would be nice for a change.

  • Duane, I wouldn’t typically rise to the challenge you’ve tossed out here, but I’m kinda bored. You’re falling into a real old rhetorical trap here. You counter ever potential argument before it can be made, tipping your own hand and negating the value of discussion. Sorta removes the incentive for response.

    But I’ll do it anyway, so first things first…

    It really IS as simple as, “if you don’t like it, don’t do it.”

    The choice to hunt or not is an emotion-based decision of “right and wrong”. Because it’s based on emotion rather than logic, folks who are against hunting will never understand the reasons that hunters participate in this sport. If you feel that animals are “victims” and subject to some kinds of rules of fairness, then in your mind it will never be right to hunt them. No explanation I can offer will change that because it is a very fundamental difference of opinion. May as well have a Baptist try to convert a Jew.

    Whether it’s “fair chase” hunting or hunting a high-fence ranch, there is no victimization in hunting. That’s a poor, anthropomorphic construct that really means nothing in nature.

    Predation is predation, whether it’s perpetrated by a human, a mountain lion, or a spider. It’s one of the few constants of nature, although far too many people are so removed from the natural experience (not to mention our very own animal nature)to appreciate that fact for what it means.

    There is, in nature, no “decision making process” that determines a creature’s role in the food chain. Somehow humans have deemed ourselves the arbiters of reason though, and through it many of you have decided that you’ve somehow evolved above the need to be a part of the natural cycle. Let someone else kill for you… at the abattoir and in the factory fields. You’re better than that, right? And we see where that’s got us in our relationship with nature.

    It’s actually pretty damned arrogant, this position some people take that we’re somehow “above” the natural order. It’s arrogant and it’s sad… because we’ve lost an awful lot as a species.

    As a hunter, I choose to embrace the animal in myself. It’s as close to wildness as we can get in this modern age of factory farms and self-contained, climate controlled habitats. Maybe some folks don’t like that, but I’ll not apologize.

    I choose to spend as much time as I can in an element where I’m not in total control of the outcome. Like most hunters, I often come away with nothing except the chase itself. It’s not all about “shooting up” animals. It’s about hunting them.

    I don’t have to hunt to feed my family, but I do like knowing where the meat in my freezer came from. I like knowing that, in my household, better than half of the red meat we eat and a good part of the fish and poultry come from natural, wild stocks. They are not hormone injected, irradiated, styrofoam packed food products. It is a good feeling to me, to know that I have delivered meat to our table by my own hand. I take a personal pride in the ability to find, kill, process, and cook my own meat… skills that far too few modern people possess. I recognize that it’s a survival skill that’s probably never going to be put to the real test, but I’m glad to have it just the same.

    I don’t hunt to manage wildlife populations. That’s an unintentional benefit of the sport. We point it out when hunting is challenged, not because it’s a reason that we hunt, but to demonstrate that hunting is often a necessary tool in wildlife management. We serve a purpose. If we don’t do it, someone will have to be paid to do it for us.

    I don’t hunt to carry on any tradition, although the hunting tradition is a big part of my heritage. It’s a tradition I value, because it includes clear definitions of responsibility and ethical behavior. It lets us understand the power that we hold in our hands, and to make the hard decision to kill or not to kill. That’s not a small deal, despite the way it may look on video games or the evening news. And when hunters speak lightly of it, it usually belies the greater emotional chaos that comes with the power of life and death. I think there’s an awful lot of value in passing along that knowledge and understanding, but it’s not the main reason I hunt.

    I don’t hunt because of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment has nothing whatsoever to do with hunting, despite the popular misperception that it somehow does. The framers of the Constitution didn’t even consider hunting a question… it was the right to defend ourselves from the rise of tyranny that they were concerned about.

    I hunt because I love hunting. I love everything about it. That’s all the reason I really need, because anything else would simply be justifying my behavior based on a set of beliefs that I don’t share.

    However, I also understand that, of the 20 million-plus hunters in this country, there are many who measure success by the size of the antlers or the number of animals in the bag. There are some who will go out of their way to stack the odds in their favor, whether through the use of baits, fences, or technology… and as long as those hunters are within the bounds of the law, I will not fault their motives or methods.

    Like most hunters, I have no desire to convert anti-hunters to hunting (although I’ll gladly take any interested non-hunter under my tutelage).

    I don’t even really want to change your philosophical stance. If you find killing animals distasteful, consider yourself fortunate to live in a time and society where you have the luxury of letting someone else do it for you. I won’t even challenge the anti-hunting evangelist who wishes to preach his beliefs to the un-converted… as long as the scripture is factual… not propagandistic B.S. like this “canned” hunting thing that uses a few exceptional incidents to broad-brush the entire game ranching industry.

    If the idea of killing animals is not “right” to you, then I can’t fault you for your feelings. I have no right to do so, because I don’t have to walk in your shoes or live in your mind. You’ve drawn your own lines, and as long as you live by them then I can’t see anything wrong with that.

    All I ask is the same consideration for myself and for other hunters. For us, there isn’t anything wrong with killing animals, within certain legal and ethical parameters. This our philosophical position, and you can’t fault us for that either.

    So now I’ve take a lot of time and effort to respond to your challenge, Duane. Here’s one for you.

    Tell me, in terms of logic and empirical data, what’s wrong with sport hunting? Outside of the philosophical and emotional questions, which can never have a definitive answer, how is our sport wrong? What is it hurting?

  • duane

    OK, Phillip, here goes:

    Forgive me, in advance, for lapsing here and there into my smartass mode. Thanks for your responses.

    …but I’m kinda bored.

    Good start. Don’t I feel all special.

    You counter ever potential argument before it can be made…

    Those arguments were already made. That’s why I mentioned them.

    …tipping your own hand ….

    I didn’t realize this was a win/lose proposition. Next time, I’ll be really secretive and sneaky.

    Because it’s based on emotion rather than logic….

    Some people are capable of using both at the same time, like me.

    No explanation I can offer will change that because it is a very fundamental difference of opinion.

    Nah, there’s a broad spectrum of opinions, endless details, many exceptions, blurred lines, the power of persuasion, unformed principles, changing opinions as new knowledge is acquired. Besides, I asked a simple question … that’s all.

    Predation is predation, whether it’s perpetrated by a human, a mountain lion, or a spider….far too many people are so removed from the natural experience….

    Yeah, except mountain lions don’t pick you off at 150 yards with a Remington Model 700. Do you seriously think that you’re playing Nature Boy when you’re packing a rifle?

    Let someone else kill for you….

    Hey, I let a lot of people do things for me … for a price … fix my car, cut my hair, make my clothes, build my house, build the roads, provide internet service, and kill chickens. That’s the nature of civilization — we are specialized. Why are you singling out people who work in an abattoir? It’s a crappy job, and I’m glad I don’t work in one, but it has nothing to do with morality. I love fried chicken.

    And we see where that’s got us in our relationship with nature.

    What does this mean?

    It’s actually pretty damned arrogant, this position some people take that we’re somehow “above” the natural order.

    What is with you guys and this “natural order”? Do you live in a cave? Ever go to a doctor? Ever buy a microwave dinner? Ever rent a DVD? Ever travel by plane? If yes, you’re defying the “natural order” as you, evidently, see it. Suggest you close out your bank account, sell all your unnatural belongings, give your money to charity, lose the high-tech weapons, books, dinnerware, forget about plumbing, no cars, no bicycles, no medications, no sunglasses, no running shoes — it all must go — head for the hills and see how the natural order treats you. Oh, and no cell phones.

    We are of the natural order. We evolved according to the natural order — to a point. Now, we are technological. We are able to intervene in the natural order. That’s what we do when we bring someone back to life in an ER. That’s what we do when we orbit comm satellites. That’s what we do when we pop a couple of aspirins. That’s what we do when we work 40 hours a week to make some extra money to buy bullets that were manufactured in a factory in Tacoma that are shipped down an interstate highway with a 460 HP Mack E7 so we can drive our Ford F-150 that runs on fuel from 6000 miles away along a highway funded by the federal tax infrastructure to a nice spot in the mountains so we can plug a deer standing in a shaded grove minding its own business.

    You call that natural?

    As a hunter, I choose to embrace the animal in myself.

    Ummm … yeah … .

    It’s not all about “shooting up” animals. It’s about hunting them.

    Likewise, when I’m down at the Safeway, it’s not about eating, it’s about shopping.

    It is a good feeling to me, to know that I have delivered meat to our table by my own hand. I take a personal pride in the ability to find, kill, process, and cook my own meat…

    OK, that’s more like it. You hunt because of the pride you feel in being able to function as a provider to your family. I’ll buy that.

    If you find killing animals distasteful, consider yourself fortunate to live in a time and society where you have the luxury of letting someone else do it for you.

    Well, Phillip, things aren’t as black and white as you guys seem to portray. Again, there are obvious distinctions to be made: (1) killing animals for food (2) killing wild animals for fun (3) killing animals (cats and dogs) because of overpopulation (4) killing animals because they are pests (roaches, ants) (5) killing animals for medical experimentation (6) killing animals for various products (fur, ivory, etc.). I don’t find (1) distasteful. If I did, I would go vegan. (3) and (5) are distasteful, but necessary, (6) is a gray area, and I’m all for (4). But (2) I do find distasteful.

    Your use of the word “luxury” seems to connote something that I think you hunters use to sit up on your high horses. You have the “luxury” of benefitting from my vocation, as well, but that’s just the way it is in modern society. Like I implied, I would work in a slaughterhouse if I had to, but I’m glad I don’t have to. Same as I’m glad I don’t work as a men’s room attendant, or a busboy, or any of a thousand other low-paying jobs. I have the “luxury” of not having to clean restaurant toilets, and I appreciate that, same as I appreciate those guys down at the meat-packing plant. OK? But I don’t see what a group of weekend warriors sneaking around the woods in camouflage shooting at a moose has to do with my “luxury.”

    If the idea of killing animals is not “right” to you, then I can’t fault you for your feelings. I have no right to do so ….

    Oh, nonsense. Of course you have the right to form and voice your opinions of others. You have already stated that “we’ve lost an awful lot as a species” and hinted something negative about “our relationship with nature.”

    …how is our sport wrong? What is it hurting?

    I’m not convinced that it’s wrong. That’s why I asked the question. Again, there is a very broad spectrum. I like to fish, and I have killed thousands of ants. I recently watched the movie Africa Addio, which spends a fair amount of time showing hunters in Africa circa 1960. I think the most disturbing scene I have ever seen in a movie showed a group of hunters armed with spears bringing down a mature male elephant for his tusks. Emotional? You bet. Check it out.

    So, I’m not pushing any definite opinions. Just chatting.

    Thanks for your reply.

  • Duane, nothing I can write at this point illustrates my point any better than your own words.

    You neither understand nor want to understand. You just want to bandy words. Of course, I really expected no less when I began.

    You asked me to explain why I hunt, and I did so. I did not ask you to accept my rationale, and I did not offer it for your rebuttal… but you went ahead and painted it over with your own preconceptions and prejudices anyway.

    You’re pushing some pretty strong opinions, actually, and from your use of rhetoric I’d say you’re perfectly aware of exactly what you’re doing.

    So all the rhetoric aside, the bottom line is that you consider hunting to be “killing for fun”… and, to be brutally honest, that’s what it is. No argument there. It wouldn’t matter if I did it with a sharpened stone or the latest, super-duper magnum rifle… I still do it for recreation.

    The point of contention here is that you think that’s wrong (or “distasteful” as you wrote). I think it’s not.

    I can no more defend my position than you can defend yours. There is no logical reason for your distaste of hunting for fun…no quantifiable argument against my choice of sport. It’s just this feeling that you have.

  • duane


    You neither understand …


    … nor want to understand.

    Not true.

    So all the rhetoric aside, the bottom line is that you consider hunting to be “killing for fun”… and, to be brutally honest, that’s what it is. No argument there.

    OK, you at least have the guts to admit it. My so-called “rhetoric” got me an answer. Whew! Thank you.

    I can no more defend my position than you can defend yours. There is no logical reason for your distaste of hunting for fun…no quantifiable argument against my choice of sport. It’s just this feeling that you have.

    Absolutely. I didn’t realize that I was being held responsible to defend my position or to refute yours. Just a little back and forth, ya know? You don’t mind that, do you?

    Thanks again. Peace.

  • Duane, did you really NEED an answer to that one… for someone to admit that “Sport” hunting is hunting for recreation… for fun?

    Some things would seem pretty self-evident.

    Hunters hunt because we enjoy it. It’s fun. And killing something IS the primary goal of the hunt. There is, of course, much more to the experience for most hunters, but there it is in a nutshell. We don’t “have” to hunt to survive. We do it because we want to… because we enjoy it.

    Is that enough confession?

    I’ve got to say I’ve never heard it denied.

    What I have heard is a lot of hunters trying to justify something that shouldn’t need to be justified. I’ve heard a lot of hunters trying to explain the inexplicable… why we enjoy the hunt, the complex and conflicting emotions surrounding the kill, and the rewards that come from “just being out there, hunting”.

    But when challenged to defend the sport’s continued existence, rather than trying to support an emotional position that non-hunters can’t relate to or understand (e.g. “I do it because I enjoy it.”), hunters have taken to pointing out quantifiable benefits such as population and habitat management and the positive economic impact of hunting. Hence, the tired old arguments that you seem to be so sick of hearing.

    But… and this gets back to the topic that started this thread… maybe this “admission” makes it easier for some folks to understand why hunters, who hunt for recreation and not for altruistic and lofty reasons, will sometimes take that recreation on game ranches.

    There are many reasons that some hunters would find this enjoyable, including the increased odds of success, the opportunity to take species that aren’t native to the area, or the inability (age, infirmity, etc.) to participate in “fair chase” hunts outside of a preserve.

    For what it’s worth, and many of you will be glad to know, there’s enough conflict over high-fence hunts within the hunting community, that game ranches will likely go by the boards in most of the country. Texas, of course, is an obvious exception as the game ranches there are a huge industry and growing… but many states are quickly regulating these operations out of business.

    I obviously don’t mind “a little back and forth”, or I wouldn’t be engaged here in the first place. However, if you challenge someone’s explanation for a behavior with which you obviously disagree, you should be prepared to defend your own motives and position.

  • I just recently learned of canned hunts for a computer class project and it angered me to learn how this canned hunt works, its disturbing and wrong. I wrote a blog, feel free to read my insight, I grabbe as much information on it i was able to extract from http://WWW..


  • chase

    Go to that website to see why not to kill animals and if you killed an animal what to do, and my story that i learned from.

  • Michelle

    People like Duane boggle my mind. They have no problem with paying other people to stuff animals like chickens in cages so small they can barely move, chopping off their beaks so they don’t peck each other to death when they go crazy from boredome, supporting the egg industry’s practice of grinding millions of male baby chicks alive, etc.

    Yet people who go out and shoot animals that have lived their lives naturally (or semi-naturally on a ranch) are the evil blood-thirsty meanies.

    The way millions of animals are raised for food in this country inflicts much more animal cruelty than hunting ever will.

    I also wonder if people like Duane think chimps, dolphins and eagles are morally wrong when they use tools or items in their environment to hunt to give them an advantage over their prey.

  • me

    dip your shirt in pig blood slap the tiger or lions cage several times get a five second head start then your prey is released if you beat your prey to the rifle thats five hundred yards away then you can shoot it

  • Cherie

    How can you call hunting a sport when the odds against the animals are so stacked up? Hunters carry weapons.Would you wrestle a bear? Bet not, because you wouldn’t have the advantage.