"Trophy Hunting" - The Phrase

PHOENIX PHIL

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So I didn't really know which forum to post this in, figured Articles would be the best place. This isn't an article, just a story about a recent conversation I had.

So I was having a cigar at my local favorite cigar lounge last week. Sat next to a gent doing the same. We strike up a conversation about what we do, how we like the lounge, etc. Well after a bit of this, somehow the subject of Las Vegas comes up. I mentioned how I go there frequently for a convention (not naming it) and how in reality I don't care for LV very much and he doesn't either in response. Well then he asked me what the convention was that I attend. Having noticed that he had a shirt on that was definitely pro-gun, I figured he may be ok with hunting. But the fact is in our conversation he mentioned he grew up in New York City. The hunter demographic generally speaking isn't comprised of folks from NYC and this gave me pause.

Well in the end I decided to tell him it was a hunting convention and more discussion continued. He mentioned how he has no issue with hunting so long as the meat is used. But he did have a problem with "Trophy Hunters" who simply hunt for the horns and let the meat go to waste. Well that left the door open to me to let him know that there's laws in at least this country against waste of meat. I also informed him how the meat is used in the African hunts that I've been on. He was receptive to this and appreciated the education.

My point in my little rant here is that I'm sure there are lots of people who think like this gentleman did about trophy hunting. And it's driven by using the word trophy. I began disliking using that word sometime ago in conjunction with hunting and that has only grown worse. I think we as a hunting community should stop using that phrase. It seems to me we're probably losing people to the anti crowd who otherwise we would not have were it not for this misconception. We can't do anything about the anti's and the lies they tell, but I think we can certainly do our part to stop propagating this mistaken image that we're just blood thirsty killers with no respect for the wildlife we hunt.

Please don't make the mistake of thinking this post is directed at anyone here on AH. In fact as I think about it, I can't even recall a moment where anyone uses the phrase "trophy hunting" its just the word hunting.

Okay...rant over.
 

Daktari

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Excellent write up! The food in Africa is going to people who need it very badly.
 

375Fox

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I guess my question would be would do we call it? It’s always strange to me that trophy hunting/hunting mature animals (and utilizing the meat) is frowned upon but meat hunting/hunting any animal young, old, anywhere in between is more socially acceptable. I think we just need to inform as many people as we can what trophy hunting really is.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I guess my question would be would do we call it? It’s always strange to me that trophy hunting/hunting mature animals (and utilizing the meat) is frowned upon but meat hunting/hunting any animal young, old, anywhere in between is more socially acceptable. I think we just need to inform as many people as we can what trophy hunting really is.

You can still call it hunting, it's just that you target older mature animals who are now outside of their prime breeding years. That changes the whole perspective and adds a conservation tone to it.
 

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Great thought and discussion. I have started using the term conservation hunting. Not much real difference but it gets people to ask about it and how that works. I don't think any one or two word phrase will ever be perfect but as long as it opens a dialogue its good with me.
 

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You can still call it hunting, it's just that you target older mature animals who are now outside of their prime breeding years. That changes the whole perspective and adds a conservation tone to it.
I guess when I speak of it, that’s really all I do call it. On my flight back from Zimbabwe, the lady next to me asked me what I was doing in Africa. I hesitated but told her I was hunting and the benefits it had to the area. I’m not sure she was convinced, but she wasn’t anti-hunting. I asked her to watch the Ted talk YouTube video on lion hunting. She said she would. She was on a photo safari from Israel.
 

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You can still call it hunting, it's just that you target older mature animals who are now outside of their prime breeding years. That changes the whole perspective and adds a conservation tone to it.

I just call my trips "hunting trips" or "my next adventure" or similar. The entire trip for me is more about the experience than anything else. Any trophy is just the snapshot, not the object for me anyways. I suppose if you were targeting specific types of species for the display then it is accurate to say "trophy hunting". Perhaps the terminology could change depending on the objective?
 

JimP

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People have asked me about "trophy hunting " also, but what do most of us do when we head over to Africa? Are we not trophy hunting?

Now I I know that some go on cull hunts but when all that you can bring home is the head, hide, claws, skull, or just pictures of our dead animals what else is it.

I always get asked about the meat and what am I going to do with all of it. Then comes the long explanation of what happens to it and that due to regulations I am not able to bring any of it home. So in other words I am hunting for the trophy and in a way the meat doesn't concern me.

But what does surprise me is the amount of misinformation there is out there concerning hunting in Africa. A lot of people think that you have a few dozen porters packing your equipment and walking miles through wilderness with thousands of animals about you. That is except for elephants and then they think that there are only a dozen or so of them left on the continent.

Lions, leopards, cheetahs, and any other cat is a whole different subject.

For me the above post only is relative to Africa since most of what I hunt and shoot here in the US ends up in my freezer and perhaps on the wall.
P9130022.jpg
 

lwaters

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I've found more people seem to be against African hunting. When they slam trophy hunting they seem to direct it at Africa. They all see the deer and the auto accidents so they don't care much about them. I guess hunters like us that hunt other countries are the target. Maybe they don't like my money leaving the country.
 

thi9elsp

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I call it hunting and always have. The meat is always used and the horns, hide, etc. are a tactile way for me relive the experience. I have many friends and neighbors that see the taxidermy in my den and are taken aback. I explain that I provided jobs for > 2 dozen people on each trip, fed them and their village, eliminated their need to poach, paid for anti-poaching and protected wild areas from clear cutting and burning. The usual responses is "Wow, I never thought of all of that." And, then they nod with a knowing look on their faces and are supportive for the most part. Maybe 10-20% are still not 'for' hunting but understand I have a den not a trophy room.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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People have asked me about "trophy hunting " also, but what do most of us do when we head over to Africa? Are we not trophy hunting?

Now I I know that some go on cull hunts but when all that you can bring home is the head, hide, claws, skull, or just pictures of our dead animals what else is it.

I always get asked about the meat and what am I going to do with all of it. Then comes the long explanation of what happens to it and that due to regulations I am not able to bring any of it home. So in other words I am hunting for the trophy and in a way the meat doesn't concern me.

Very good point Jim and I get the conundrum. For me personally, if I thought the meat was going to waste and not being utilized to someone's benefit, I'd have a very tough time justifying the hunt. I really don't think I would do it.

When asked or even before so when discussing hunting in Africa, I always work in that the meat is either donated, used by the staff or is sold at a discount compared to domestic meat.
 

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Certainly a great conversation. More to the PC world of what can/can’t be said in fear of being ostracized or labeled…. Slandered/libeled. It’s a sad day, but that is the world we live in. Are we to get he point it’s acceptable to take a young animal far from its prime for meat, or only animal that presents itself; rather than holding out for an animal that is at its prime (trophy) or past for not only its meat & greater good for conservation. It’s delicate with particular audiences. So sensitive, that one care rarely “win”. Hence the frustration & hesitation to engage in the frey.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Certainly a great conversation. More to the PC world of what can/can’t be said in fear of being ostracized or labeled…. Slandered/libeled. It’s a sad day, but that is the world we live in. Are we to get he point it’s acceptable to take a young animal far from its prime for meat, or only animal that presents itself; rather than holding out for an animal that is at its prime (trophy) or past for not only its meat & greater good for conservation. It’s delicate with particular audiences. So sensitive, that one care rarely “win”. Hence the frustration & hesitation to engage in the frey.

I think it's situational Brad. If we're talking about Texas hill country whitetails, I'd bet there's more than a few proclaiming they're anti-hunting that would be challenged to argue there's no need for population control. I once drove in the middle of the night from Austin thru Fredricksburg an onto I-10. Lost count of how many whitetail we saw, probably gave up after reaching 100. And that's just the ones we could see on/near the road. Taking out younger animals and does makes plenty of sense there.

For other areas where say elk populations are below normal levels, it may be good conservation practice to have size restrictions that promote leaving younger animals alone.
 

Randy F

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The phrase “Trophy Hunting” has never seemed to be one that has ever been looked upon with high regard for as long as I can remember, even among all the hunters that I’ve known. For much the same reason then as now…it’s not what we really do. It’s not who we really are. It’s too easily misunderstood. So I don’t think it’s anything new although as of late, probably more pronounced as antis spread their crap.
That’s why I never use the term unless I use it with someone I know will actually understand what I’m referring too. Like here for instance. Here, when I read a hunting report and see their great pics, I will congratulate them on their “trophies” knowing full well that everyone here knows what I mean by that. Besides, sometimes when I see those pics I can’t think of anything else to call them. ;)

IMHO, used in the right context with those who understand it, as here, I think it’s probably fine. Used in any other way with anyone else, it’s an insult.
 

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A “trophy” Hunter was once the pinnacle of the ethical hunter. Now the antis have successfully made it another label for a poacher or callous waster of game and life. They say they don’t have a problem with hunting for food. You must realize that they mean subsistence like natives in Alaska and are not referring to the typical hunter and the next logical step is to label “sport” hunters as scum. That’s what most are referring to when they say trophy hunter anyway.
I choose to respond this way. That
I trophy hunt and do it for the passion I feel for the game and the conservation of it and I contribute more to that conservation and abundance of game than any anti I’ve ever encountered. I express my surprise at how people who are so passionate about a topic that they would wish you dead for doing it seem so ignorant about it. Take Africa as an example and remove the Safari industry and watch game disappear from everywhere but the national parks. Ponder how many people earn a living from the Safari industry and the many businesses around it that profit or exist because of it. How there have been multiple studies on how out of whack camera safaris are in economic benefit and ecological impact when compared to hunting safaris.
No, I will respectfully disagree and say when we choose to allow the opposition to take a term that refers to the pinnacle of the ethical sportsman and twist it and relabel it as scum of the earth we are playing into their hands and they are winning with disinformation.
How are you ever going to win the passionate and ignorant over if you have already allowed them to label you as morally devoid murderous scum? Anyone who kills an animal other than to survive falls into that category. Make no mistake, that’s where they are heading with this but I won’t help them do it.
I AM A TROPHY HUNTER.
 

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I describe my trips to Africa as charity hunting. I tell people I pay an overmarket rate so that locals have jobs as trackers, skinners, cooks, camp staff instead of being unemployed and destitute. I also let people know I donate the meat to feed staffs family and local villages. I have never gotten negative feedback when providing this description of hunting.
 

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I describe my trips to Africa as charity hunting. I tell people I pay an overmarket rate so that locals have jobs as trackers, skinners, cooks, camp staff instead of being unemployed and destitute. I also let people know I donate the meat to feed staffs family and local villages. I have never gotten negative feedback when providing this description of hunting.
I tell people that I am a purveyor of fresh meat to the local populace. A lot of them don't get it and it makes for an education for them. When I explain that the money I spend provides jobs, curtails poaching, enhances habitat and helps control animal populations, etc. many are bewildered as they had no idea what hunting is all about. Some reactions are quite hilarious.
 

Velo Dog

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PHOENIX PHIL,

Your post here is spot-on.
I am 100% with you on this topic.

Anti-Hunter types are in my experiences with them, true narcissists and true haters.
If everyone on the entire planet were strictly vegan, those nuts would invent some other reason to hate some category of persons outside their self drawn circle of self worship and smug acceptance.

Perhaps the focus of their hate and constant spewing of mean spirited lies would be against those who do not let their children act like wild animals in restaurants.
Or maybe they would hate and lie about those who attend church on Sundays.
Or, those who drive a car instead of a bicycle made of hemp, etc., etc.
But hate they would, because they love to hate.
That is just who they are, plain and simple.
The anti-hunting mid set is nothing more that a thinly disguised excuse to hate.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is exactly that, a personality disorder and unlike mental illness, cannot be cured.
This is in spite of the fact that narcissism and mental illness share some very strong similarities.
They nonetheless are not the same thing.
The anti-hunters are always going to hate hunting, no matter what.

However, it is the millions, if not billions of non-hunters who, often as not have little to no opinion on hunting whom, we need to not alienate.
Their votes at election time count up fast.
we are fools if we blunder along, like the proverbial bull in a china shop, not caring or maybe not realizing that we are offending the “average person” with our words and / or our behavior.

Using the term “trophy hunting” is misleading and quite offensive to many, many people, not just the haters.
We need to choose our words wisely.

Best Regards,
Velo Dog.
 
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Nyati

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I call it hunting, and if asked to specify, then I will say I look for old animals, past their prime. And of course, I use all the meat.

If the person i´m talking with really wants to know more and seems to have an open mind, then I might go on about how we care about the ecosystem (magic word). Otherwise, I don´t bother any further.
 

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