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.


Monday, 2 August 2010

'Blood thirsty' trophy hunters


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.


  1. Trophy hunting is sport, and I cannot condone it. I hunt for meat for the table, and ferral animals such as cats. That I can justify. But I can't raise a smile like the girl in the photo when I shoot for meat. No way.

  2. That word "sport" keeps cropping up doesn't it. I think it's a red herring. Nowadays sport means football or cricket, but those used to be 'games' and sport meant hunting. It's confusing to test the original 'sports' against our modern definition of the word, with all it's come to mean.

    As a photographer, I know that a millisecond this way or that can produce a totally different expression - the camera never lies, but it certainly misleads.

    But, essentially, that appears to be one very happy girl, with an animal she just killed. Is that right? Depends on the circumstances I think. Rogue bear killing livestock, threatening people, needs to be killed, hunter thrilled and relieved to have killed it stone dead with a single well placed shot... I could live with that. Spoilt brat with canned bear provided by rich daddy... yech! I can't tell from the photo - can you?

  3. Fellows,

    Rather hard to pass judgement now isn't it. We at least have the desency to reserve judgement because we don't assume. Not that it matters one wit to the trash talking, pimps of misinformation at the Sun.

    Hunting is what you make of it. If you are a meat hunter, well then all the more power to you. If your thing is trophy big game hunting, well by golly, good on you too mate! If that young lady is ecstatic at having made a good, ethical shot, I for one would like to see more young people doing the same. That is certainly an accomplishment.

    And that she is fortunate to have the means to travel the world over, should not even enter the conversation! Not everyone is going to be fortunate enough, smart enough, or even tough enough to be wealthy. The fact that her parents may be, has nothing to do with the ethics of hunting.

    Thanks for bringing this up, I may do a post on it myself.

    Best Regards,
    Albert A Rasch
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: High Fence Hunting; Is the Public the Problem?

  4. We are an easy target. It's a universal problem. We get heaps of curry here in Australia. No matter how responsible you are as a hunter you'll still get dirty looks and ignorant attacks. But it's socially acceptable to eat animals farmed in horrific conditions. Go figure.