This project was born out of a sense of frustration, that hunters in the UK are so often misunderstood and misrepresented. Hunting is not a 'hobby', nor is it 'killing for fun'. It is a way of life, with its own set of beliefs and ethics rooted deep in human nature and tracing its origins back to the dawn of mankind.
It is worth clarifying here that we are talking about hunting in its broadest sense, of catching and killing wild animals and birds (usually for food), and not the narrow definition of hunting foxes with packs of hounds.
I hope that through these pages we can begin to define what makes an 'Ethical Hunter', help to promote the highest standards of ethics among hunters in the UK, and perhaps explain to non-hunters something of what Ethical Hunting is all about.
This is not a membership organisation. Nor is it a scheme of testing or certification. We will not be issuing certificates to say that Mr or Ms X is an Ethical Hunter.
This is a forum for discussion about hunting ethics and related topics. We hope to develop and agree a written code of ethics that we can all subscribe to, at which point anyone who chooses may declare their support, pledge to uphold the code, etc.
After that, who knows? It's a work in progress. If the idea interests and excites you, then please join in the discussion and help us define what 'Ethical Hunting' means to us.
From the Sun newspaper - a scathing article about two teenage girls whose father runs a gun shop and has taken them trophy hunting in the US, Canada and Africa.
In language similar to what the same paper regularly uses to describe mass-murderers and paedophiles, the article talks of "sick photos" and the family's "grisly trophy room", dubbing the girls "blood thirsty" and "angels of death".
It's easy to see what the paper and its readers find offensive about this one-sided view of trophy hunting, and when the protagonists are two teenage sisters, it's an absolute gift to the tabloids.
Naturally enough, there's no attempt to understand the circumstances of each kill, how the hunting fits (or doesn't) into any conservation programmes in the area, why the girls love hunting so, and what they get out of it. Much easier to write them off as sick perverts.
Trophy hunting is, for me, a tricky one to justify morally. It can cross the invisible line and become simply "killing for fun" - something that, like the general public, I instinctively feel is wrong.
It's not the sort of hunting I would choose to do (even if I could afford it - gunshops in the States must be a lot more profitable than in the UK!). But do I have any right to criticise? I'd want a lot more information before passing judgement on these two girls and their father.