Preface: I don’t have any objections to hunting on general principle. Don’t hunt purely for sport, don’t hunt to excess and use what you kill. I don’t think those are unreasonable standards. However, nestled in the depth of cable television is a channel called OLN (Outdoor Life Network). To put it lightly the name is ironic and misleading. ODFTRWGN (Outdoor Death For Thrilling Rich White Guys Network), is probably more appropriate.
In the episode that inspired me to make this post, I watched a guy who has the nerve to call himself a hunter work himself into a giddy, almost breathless schoolboy frenzy over the “thrill of the game”. You see, this mighty hunter had hired a guide to tote him and the show’s camera crew into the wilderness to a spot where a grizzly made its daily wanderings. The guide was obviously very experienced in the area and the habits of this particular grizzly. He knew the coming and goings of this bear and seemed to have concise idea of where the bear would be throughout its regular day.
So, in a feat of epic outdoor prowess and skill, the hunter pitched himself against nature. So noble, so daring, so many hundred yards away with a large bore rifle and a powerful scope. Yes sir, the danger must have been palpable… if the bear had a pair and binoculars or even the vaguest idea that a quarter of a mile away a supersonic round was about to shred his heart.
The bear was a magnificient but for all his might, for all the winters he had seasoned, for all the attacks of wolves and other bears he might have endured, he could only managed a dozen or so yards before collapsing into a bloody heap in the snow.
After a lengthy camera cut, probably to let the bear bleed out or plunk a few more round in him just to be sure, the mighty hunter posed with his quarry. Manhandling the bear’s thoroughly limp body, he made a few idle comments about bears and their habits. Hail the brave hero. Nice job, you’ve really shown your mastery over nature.
I accept hunting for food, even for supplmental food. I even acknowledge that culling is necesssary (generally in areas where man has really screwed up the predator/prey relationship), but as far as I could, tell this was a licensed thrill hunt. Just what practical use is shooting a bear in the middle of nowhere as far as could be told? As I understand it, predator meat generally isn’t that great and from the looks of this grinning gortex princess, I’m not even sure he’d trouble to drag the corpse back to a taxidermist or furrier.
What a disgusting waste to satisfy nothing more than a feeble ego.