Fair enough. But I understand it has had great benefits too. Bontebuck are back from the edge of extinction. Mountain zebra is another success story. And the disease resistant strain of buffalo from Kruger that are now farmed in South Africa have proved to be a great help in reintroducing them to areas where they were exterminated. Too bad the game farmers in SA couldn't get to the giant sable before Angola melted down. From what I'm reading it's doubtful any are left.For me, feeding, ear tags, veterinary checks, close management and the other aspects that follow a breeding operation would ruin the experience for me. I think this is all a path to domestication. For now, they still have wild characteristics but i question what it will look like in 25 years or 50 years. I don’t like how close farming and hunting are in South Africa.
I think as long as hunters want to keep the "danger" in dangerous game and pay for it dearly, the game farmers will choose to keep the dangerous genetics going. I agree, this new generation of trophy hunters is too much about quality of horns, not quality of hunt. Look at the longstanding controversy over measuring soft boss bulls for the record books.
I shot a management cow that yielded a memorable hunt and respectable set of horns, even without bosses (though I know we could have built some). I paid to have the skull sent over and she's up on the wall. She deserves it. I am pleased to have helped with that breeding operation's restocking program. They have genetically sound stock and obviously they are preserving the wild nature of this still dangerous animal.
Like you, I have concerns for the future. I think it could go both ways. As ethical hunters on forums like this one, we need to let the game farm business know what direction they should be headed. The place I hunted was at best borderline for me going in. A little less so when the day was done.