Jake's Outdoors » Blog Archive » Real Hunting?

Real Hunting?

February 16th, 2009

One of the first posts that I ever did here on Jake’s Outdoors was about the World Hunt Organization. Back in 2006, this company started a “catch and release” deer hunting campaign. They were trying to start a tournament like environment, comparing it to the Bass Pro fishing type circuits. The idea was that the deer would be darted with tranquilizers instead of being shot with a bow or gun.

At that time, there was a huge uproar over this concept.  In fact, it was so problematic that outdoorsmen were calling for sponsors to withdraw their support of anything that had to do with the WHO.  These anti catch and release campaigns were quite successful, causing most if not all of the sponsors to withdraw their support of the project.  Of course, with no financial support, the whole project crashed.

I thought that the whole idea of “catch and release” hunting was terrible.  I was very happy to see the whole thing crash and burn.  So, imagine my surprise as I was watching the Outdoor Channel (one of my favorite channels, of course) last night only to see a relatively new show showcasing a hunt that was very similar to this idea from 2006.  Only now, it was called a “green hunt”.  She Safari’s Beyond the Lodge featured a White Rhino hunt that was a dart hunt, rather than a true hunt.  The justification was that the huntress would be followed by a veterinary crew, who would collect some scientific data off of the rhino, before waking it up and sending it on its way.

Quite frankly, I do not see any difference in this than the original idea 3 years ago.  This makes it a sport to dart animals for fun.  I believe that the scientific data is important, but if we are truly going to be conservationists, I think that we need to distinguish between the conservation efforts and our sport of hunting.  I realize that there is an element of conservation in our hunting.  However, when we are going to fight for animals, especially those who are truly endangered, we need to make sure that people see us as being a true element of the conservation.  Think about it.  Making the darting and scientific collection of data a sport makes it appear that there is nothing more important to us than getting an animal on the ground.  Perhaps that is true for some, but I hope for the bulk of us hunting is much deeper than that.

Maybe I am wrong on this.  But, how could this cause such outrage 3 years ago, and be virtually overlooked now?  Are the subtle differences enough to get a pass on it this time around?  Is doing it in Africa on endangered animals more acceptable than doing it in the US on the common white tailed deer?

One of the things that aggravated me about the show was that they made a point of saying that they were going to do it in the most difficult, and potentially dangerous way.  They were going to put the dart on the end of an arrow and attempt to shoot the rhino from close range.  So, what was the point here?  Scientific data collection?  Then why not use the typical dart gun?  Sport?  Then why endanger both the hunting party, the medical crew and the rhino?  This was all about exciting TV (which is understandable).   However, I’m not sure what this type of “green hunt” does for the image of hunting in general.

I must admit, as I watched the show last night, I had a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I see this as an opportunity for anti-hunters to jump on those of us who are ethical hunters.  After all, if they can hunt like this in Africa, why not here?  Why not hunt like this all of the time?  Just dart an animal, take a few pics, and send the animal on its happy way.

I’m anxious to hear your input on this subject.  I have a feeling there may be some disagreement here.  That is ok.  If I’m being too harsh, feel free to let me know.  If I’m missing something here, as to why this is so drastically different than the original WHO proposals, show me why.  Are you for this type of “green hunt” or not?

13 Responses to “Real Hunting?”

  1. Real hunting? NOT! I find the same distain and anti-hunting potential as you. It seems like anything goes for the TV audience these days.

  2. To be honest, Kris, this is the first time I’ve ever heard of such a thing. And quite frankly it troubles me. This is surely going to be an avenue for the anti-hunters to go screeching down, and can surely do no good for our hunting heritage as a whole.

    I agree with you. I think this is only going to show that us “blood thirsty” hunters will do anything to put an animal on the ground.

    I think we should keep science as science, and hunting as hunting.

  3. It’s not real hunting to me, and I wouldn’t do it.

    However, I can see an argument if favor of it: if “hunters” were willing to pay high dollar to hunt like this in Africa, a portion of the proceeds could go toward conservation efforts in whatever country the hunt took place. The rest would go to the guide and in turn into that country’s economy.

    I definitely don’t like the idea of doing it in the “most difficult and potentially dangerous way.” I also wouldn’t watch the show.

  4. You are definitely not being too harsh. This has a very sour and distinctive ordor to it, I am surprized the Outdoor Channel showed it, makes you wonder who is making decisions for them. Appears they are letting the wolf in the back door.

  5. I think the difference between WHO and this is that it’s not a tournament, and I think tournament killing is always going to have a really bad smell to it.

    But that said, I’m not a fan of catch-and-release ANYTHING. I don’t even know why people have managed to make themselves feel so good about doing it with fish. I mean, seriously, being hooked in the mouth and yanked out of your proper breathing environment can’t be fun.

  6. (Correction: tournament killing OR DARTING)

  7. Hey NorCal, I think you make a good point. You could be opening a can of worms with the catch and release fishing idea 🙂 I’d love to see some thoughts on that aspect, and see if there is a different opinion on fishing and hunting.

    for the record, I do release fish that I don’t plan on eating, but do not try to force others to practice Catch and Release under any circumstances (with the exception being on waters that are designated as C and R).

    I’d love to see some posts on this subject, if anyone is up to it!

  8. This sounds completely stupid to me… and I’m with NorCal on the catch and release fishing thing – I just don’t get it, why go fishing if I’m not planning on bringing anything back? I also agree with Arthur – we should keep science as science and hunting as hunting.

  9. I can see it now PETA running around and telling everyone to hunt this way. They will start calling Deer Hooved Kittens. It just plain scares me.

    I agree with Arthur we should keep sience as science, and hunting as hunting.

  10. Just curious, but how many of you guys (like me) watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom as kids? Didn’t they do pretty much the same thing, only we had Marlin Perkins and Jim doing the “hunting” and capturing of animals… as opposed to TV Hunters (or huntresses)?

    The big difference I see between this and the WHO hunts is that it’s not a “competition” or professional hunting contest. I don’t like that it’s being advertised as a “hunting” program, but I don’t think it’s the same as the WHO at all.

    To me, the biggest problem with this is the marketing. Put it on the Discovery Channel and call it “eco-adventure”, and you’ll have 20million viewers for every episode.

    Just my opinion, and it’s submitted for free. You got what you paid for.

  11. Rabbits are getting slowly demolished due to hunting and it sickens me as i run a Rabbits caging business and work with the lovely animals on a day-to-day basis.

  12. Actually, Rabbit Cages, wild rabbits are not being “demolished” due to hunting. Wild rabbit populations are down in many places because of overpopulation of predators. With fur prices down, many people are not hunting or trapping foxes and coyotes, which can decimate rabbit populations in no time. MORE hunting would help the rabbit populations!

    btw, I also raise these “lovely animals” with my son. He and I enjoy it very much.

  13. I agree Kris, it’s important to ensure the health of wild rabbits by containing their numbers, too many wild rabbits means destroyed vegetation and destruction of other natural resources. I am an active rabbit owner for many years now and involved in the pet industry as well, but I also hunt. Without humans ensuring the correct ‘number’ of wild animals, those animals will overpopulate, have less food and be less healthier than if we help limit their population.

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