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I Just Don’t Get It

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, File

I’m ready to make a lot of you mad, and I’m ok with that….

I’m not against hunting, it helps control animal populations that otherwise would grow too large and starve a lot of them. It also feeds people. I’m not even really “against” what I’m going to talk about here, I’m just saying that I simply do not get it. I’m talking about trophy hunting. 


I get that in a lot of cases trophy hunting helps support the animals and keeps populations alive – an animal that provides incomes to tribes and/or governments will be protected and less likely to go extinct. I get all of that. 

What I don’t get is the desire to kill an animal so you can say you did. So you can take a picture next to its dead body. So you can mount its head on your wall. 

I will never understand the mentality of watching television, seeing some majestic creature in Africa and thinking, “My God, such a beautiful creature – I must kill one.” More than that, you have to drop a huge sum of money for the privilege. 

What brought this up? This story from the UK Daily Mail about a man who paid $50,000 to kill a rare big tusker elephant. The weirdo, in my opinion, said after, “You know, there's more to it than shooting a bull, taking a photograph, becoming a hero and all this other nonsense.”

The hunter is a guy named Leon Kachelhoffer, who paid $50,000 to shoot the animal, which was more than 50 years old. They say he killed it “with a single shot.”

Excuse my (clean) language when I say, no feces. 

The elephant didn’t know Kachelhoffer was out there, so lining up your shot has to be pretty damn simple. But how diluted do you have to be to view yourself as a “hero” or the act of doing it “heroic”? 

“When you take a bull like that, there's a lot of remorse, there's a lot of sadness, you think about the great life that this elephant has led,” Kachelhoffer said. Then why do it? 


In my mind, it takes a special kind of delusion to think this way. 

I’ll never understand people talking about “the thrill of the hunt.” What thrill? These animals, no matter what they are – tigers, lions, elephants, whatever – aren’t in on it; they don’t know they’re being hunted. You’re a football field or more away with a rifle, possibly a scope, and you shoot it while it rests or eats, it’s not a real “man vs beast” struggle. It’s just some d-bag wanting a new Facebook profile picture. 

If you want to make it into to something, some life and death struggle, go after these animals with your bare hands. That is, of course, absurd because they’d be killed. So take a knife. If you take down a lion with a knife, good for you. That will impress me. If you make it slowly bleed to death after hours of excruciating pain as you follow along a trail of blood because you need a story for your friends, you’ve lost me.

Again, I’m not saying it should be outlawed, though I’d probably vote for that if we had trophy animals here like there are in Africa. I’m just saying I don’t understand the urge. These people aren’t feeding their families with the meat – given how they dropped tens of thousands of dollars to kill these creatures, they don’t have a problem doing that.

Yes, the meat is eaten, but the willingness to globe-trot to kill something so other people could eat it, something those other people could easily kill themselves, it very, very odd to me. 


Moreover, I don’t want to understand it. 

The former President of Botswana, where the hunt took place, said, “This was one of the largest if not the largest tusker in the country. An elephant that tour operators constantly tried to show tourists as an iconic attraction. Now it is dead. How does it being dead benefit our declining tourism [industry]? Incompetence and poor leadership have almost wiped out the rhino population, and now this!”

He, obviously, has a political agenda, having outlawed trophy hunting during his administration, but he’s also right. The whole thing is kind of gross, at least to me.

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a nationally syndicated daily radio show from 9 till noon eastern time, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter

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