Educating myself about hunting
This is a discussion on Educating myself about hunting within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the Hunting Forums - Hunting in Africa category; Greetings! To start off, I'm not really the hunting type, but I am obsessive compulsive about being ignorant about certain ...
04-24-2011, 04:09 AM #1
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Educating myself about hunting
To start off, I'm not really the hunting type, but I am obsessive compulsive about being ignorant about certain things. I just don't like not knowing answers to questions I have, it really does wind me up. I used to be anti-hunting, but one day I decided to question my preconceptions about hunting and research it in-depth (I'm obsessive compulsive about animal welfare issues in particular, and don't like thinking something is cruel if it might not be). To my delight, I have found out a great deal about hunting that shows it is far from the cruel sport I used to think it was (I don't really think of it as a sport, really - it's all wildlife conservation in the end, regardless of whatever personal reasons someone engages in it for). I am very happy that animal welfare is not compromised, and is actually furthered, by hunting. I know there are people out there who use hunting to do some nasty things, but I won't let a few bad apples colour my view of the majority.
I hope I don't cause any offense, because that is something I don't want to do. I have become a very objective person, framing animal welfare issues in a scientific way, since I started my research. I find it helps to distance myself from emotion, as it can easily trip anyone up and blind them from the truth of a matter. It can cause them to constantly fear the worst and oppose things out of that fear. I decided to challenge that fear.
Although I am mostly happy with what I have discovered about hunting, I still get ideas in my head that I have to find the answers about to stop myself worrying. It can be anything, even the stupidest of things, and sometimes I can deter myself from obsessing about all the little things, but sometimes I cannot. I have been able to use what I've learnt to avoid picking a new thing to worry about needlessly, even. However, most of my searching has been through internet search engines, and that can only take me so far before I have to ask someone directly. I have done it once before, and it worked out great, so I'm trying it out again.
I recently found out about the infanticide side of the lion's existence. Obviously, with my obsessing, it immediately got me worrying. How do hunters deal with the issue? I have done some research already, and it is a known issue that is being dealt with (I found out through some of the Safari Club Foundation website documents on their work in the regional conservation of lions, although to get my exact answer I had to look at some of their references, as it wasn't directly mentioned in their main documents). Namely, I found out from the "Impacts of Trophy Hunting on Lions in East and Southern Africa: Recent offtake and future recommendations" paper. Interesting read.
It certainly calmed most of my fears, but true to my obsessing, I'm still worrying about any infanticide being caused by hunting. How is it dealt with at large? Are certain lions passed over by default if they have young with them to avoid their death leading to infanticide? I'd imagine that limiting infanticide is desirable, regardless of the age of the male lion. The paper suggests a minimum age of 6 - maybe a little later in some areas - before a male lion can be hunted, to increase the chances of a complete breeding cycle (with the cubs being old enough at 2 to escape the threat of infanticide, where 4 is found to be the age where a male can first gain entrance to a pride). Certainly hunting the male lion would aid conservation in all sorts of ways, but losing the cubs at the same time...I'd think (I stress that I'd think - I'm only guessing here) that their removal would be pointless, as they can no longer contribute to their species fullstop, and won't be harvested themselves. Wouldn't it be considered wasteful, whether or not it impacted on the population as a whole? Of course, feel free to enlighten me on this, as that's why I'm posting here, to find out facts and not worry any more. I should probably also be applying what I've already learnt about hunting and hunters to stop myself worrying, but I feel it's better to ask. I know that this is all probably a very simplistic view, that there's a great deal of complexity to how hunting is worked out to ensure best results for conservation.
I do hope I didn't cause any offense. It's hard for me to post here, since as I worry about upsetting people by asking questions. It's probably a stupid worry, as asking questions is what made me stop being anti-hunting in the first place, and if no one ever asked anything, nothing would be sorted out. Asking questions is the first step to ending my own ignorance.
Thanks for reading.
04-24-2011, 05:55 AM #2
- Member of NRA, ATA, PITA, NAHC, NAFC, DU, TU, DSC, SCI, RMEF
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Welcome to the Forum
You could start by reading "how to become a professional Hunter in Africa" By Steve Robinson
I like the reading of Jack O'Connor...one of the very best if not the best.
Craig Bottington has some very good material to read.
I am sure that there are others.
I suggest that you Request a brochure from Safari Press 800-451-4788James Grage - New Mexico
Hold a steady Eye & Rifle...
"Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded...they shout you down and won't let you speak if you disagree with them." John Wayne
04-24-2011, 06:03 AM #3
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Kaidonni, first let me say welcome to the forum. Second, let me say I don't think anyone on this forum will take offense to your question. In fact I would think it will be quite the contrary. I for one appreciate the fact that you have actually done research and are trying to form your own opinion on a topic - to me this is the first sign of common sense in most people, and I applaud it.
Unfortunately, I live in the United States and am probably not the best person to answer your question, and will leave it to some of the more African conservation savvy people on this forum to answer. I hope they can help you.
Thank you for asking as I think this will be an interesting discussion topic to follow.
04-24-2011, 08:38 AM #4
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Welcome to the forum Kaidonni.
I am a hunter with some experience, but certainly no expert on lion.
So we ll wait for an expert on the matter to give you a straight answer.
04-24-2011, 08:39 AM #5
Welcome and thanks for having an open mind.
The hardest thing to explain to non-hunters is that actual killing of an animal is a very small part of hunting. Some of my best hunting tales do not involve the taking of an animal at all.
I have done quite a bit of reading on the lion subject. I still believe that disease, loss of habitat and conflict with local farmers/herdsman are the biggest threat to lion populations.
Now that the hunting community is becoming more aware of the plight of africas lions we will do what ever it takes to ensure there survival. If you look back thru history you will see the sport hunter is responsible for brining back many species to todays sustainable populations.I have walked in the tracks of the elephant, heard the lion roar and met the buffalo on his terms. I shall never be the same.
04-24-2011, 11:10 AM #6
Welcome to AH Kaidonni! You will find lots of articles on AH pertaining to conservation, if you are interested, here is the link: Conservation.
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04-25-2011, 07:15 AM #7
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Thank you for the replies so far, and for the links provided.
I find that asking usually helps me stop worrying, because there's only so much you can find out searching the internet. I generally try to avoid forums for sensitive issues as I anticipate train wrecks of arguments breaking out (not to mention unless I am specifically looking for a forum in a search, then the ones that pop up seem to be strongly animal rights based, and I don't want to touch those with a 100-foot barge pole!). My worrying usually gets me to ask specific questions with possibly specific answers, anyway - something a general search on Google might just not pick up if there is anything out there already.
Another question, if I may. The only place I've read it is on Wikipedia, but there's something about older elephants teaching the young what they need to know to survive, and it implies there being less older elephants, therefore less available teachers for the young (but it says the consequences are unknown). I'd like to know a little more about this, if it is a known issue (if there is any substance to what Wikipedia says in any way, shape or form), and how hunting deals with it specifically. Naturally, from what I've learnt from all my research, it's useful to know as much about a species as possible to ensure it's conservation, so if there were any potential negative impacts, I assume hunters would want to know. Elephant hunting is something I know very little about, haven't really covered it, so...I have no idea how it is worked out.
Again, no offense intended whatsoever. If I ask, I can become further informed. I just don't like not knowing things. I'm trying to avoid lengthy searches over the internet, though, as it has eaten up a lot of my free time in the past. I usually end up re-reading articles over and over to make sure I didn't misinterpret something (the bit that takes all the time up, as I become obsessive I've mis-read something).
04-25-2011, 08:30 AM #8
How do we learn if not by asking questions?
04-25-2011, 09:42 AM #9
- Member of Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
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Welcome to the Forums,
I would say due to the Ivory sales ban, elephant population have increased greatly in Africa! I think there are plenty of older elephants to teach younger elephants.
If anything I would say the greatest enemy to elephants, is fragmentation of wildlife habitat and the ever growing population in Africa lacking the necessary protein in their regular diet. And growing crops....because elephants love crops. There just isn't as much space as there use to be for elephants.
And I think the CITES committee has done a poor job managing the elephants and the lions!
04-26-2011, 11:45 AM #10
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I'm probably going to have to stop asking questions soon, because my obsessing is getting a bit out of hand. I do appreciate the replies so far. I am absolutely obsessive about knowing everything and not being concerned...not the healthiest thing for me. Once one thing is resolved, another comes along. I think just asking calms me, as if just trying to get rid of my ignorance is enough, not necessarily getting the answers. I am hard on myself for not knowing things, though, and being concerned.
Another question, as in general, searches online throw me in all directions. What about matriarchs of elephant herds? Are they generally hunted, or considered best avoided, due to the roles they play in leading herds, and potential negatives (I say potential, as I don't want to jump to conclusions and say that there are when there might not be) of their loss? I found another paper online about trophy hunting, about elephants this time (instead of lions), and considering it was pro-hunting, I think it's safe to consider what it had to say (if something is anti-hunting or there are whiffs of it, I get out of there quickly). It mentioned that, compared with poaching, trophy hunts (being well-regulated, with quotas, etc - what I already knew ) usually take bull elephants, so it has a lesser impact on the social hierarchy of herds (poaching being entirely indiscriminate).
This will probably be the last question I ask, because like I said...things getting out of hand. I need to force myself to have a time-out.
Once again, though, many thanks for the replies.