The anti-hunter argument claiming hunting for a trophy is morally corrupt, wrong and has nothing to do with obtaining food is sensationalized, mischaracterized and greatly exaggerated.
There is a perception by some that so-called “trophy hunting” or shooting an animal just for the antlers and leaving the meat to waste is both an accepted and common practice.
Truth be told…it is against the law. Penalties range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the state where the violation takes place. Additional penalties may include fines, jail time and a loss of future hunting privileges.
Hunters know this to be true and abide by it. Those who do not abide by the regulations, called poachers, are more often than not identified by hunters who themselves are in the field seeking to fill their freezers.
There is another faction of anti-hunter thinking that claims removing wolves, bears, mountain lions or other predators from the landscape equates to corrupt and unnecessary trophy hunting.
It is not trophy hunting but predator management. Such activity is fully in line with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model that spells out the importance of management in balancing all wildlife populations so they may be sustained and continue to thrive. Hunting and trapping are key tools used by biologists and wildlife managers in that effort.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a staunch advocate of ethical, fair chase hunting and maintains that hunting greatly benefits wildlife management and conservation.
The latest data accumulated by the research firm Responsive Management shows 80 percent of Americans approve of legal, regulated hunting, and 84 percent approve of hunting for meat.
Hunting has a proven place on the landscape. It assists biologists in managing wildlife populations, provides key funding for nationwide conservation work, spurs the economy and fills the freezer.
What’s the bottom line? When you take a step back and look at the big picture, it’s more than evident that Hunting Is Conservation.