Tag Archives: Trophy Hunting

The Difference Between Poaching & Trophy Hunting

An argument can be made that poaching and trophy hunting is the same thing; however, it’s simply not true. Still, people debate about both types of hunting. Learn about the difference between poaching and trophy hunting.

Poaching Vs. Trophy Hunting

Poaching is hunting without legal permission from whoever owns that land. Trophy hunting requires a license or getting a permit that contains regulations that hunters must abide by for certain animals. For instance, in Africa, you must follow particular rules to hunt there. The government gives hunters permits to kill a specific animal, and they can’t straw away from the animal. It’s a significant revenue stream for African governments with big game hunting. They allow hunting, but on their terms, dictating where and what you can hunt, as well as with what weapon.

Hunters must be escorted by a licensed professional hunter and tour operator at all times. An American dentist thought he had a legal permit to hunt and kill Cecil, the lion, but was accused of poaching instead. He paid $50,000 to kill him. 

Cause and Effect of Poaching

There are several reasons why someone poaches, such as people wanting to stop animals from encroaching on farms; it’s also used as a sport. For years, poaching has been a severe problem because it directly affects animals living in the wild. Many species, once very common, are becoming extinct due to poaching. It affects local communities, wildlife populations, and the environment. 

In 2011, the IUINC (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) declared the Western Black Rhino as extinct. Unfortunately, poaching is a lucrative business, more than other jobs available in places like South Africa and China. The poaching of animals has a devastating effect on a community’s tourism industry.

Environmental effects from poaching include the North American grey wolf. When it was near extinction, the elk, which grew in population, ate almost all of the aspen trees to extinction since they had no natural predator.

Why Trophy Hunting is Good

Unlike poaching, hunting is good for wildlife. Legally regulated trophy hunting never threatens species, only enhances wildlife populations, since hunters typically hunt old, diseased, or dying animals. Hunters do the most to preserve the species they hunt, acting as conservationists that practice sustainable use of wildlife resources.

Trophy hunting plays a crucial and irreplaceable role in land and wildlife conservation. Millions of dollars go into the economies of African communities, offering compelling incentives to both governments and private landholders, enabling the preservation of land for wildlife. The IUCN reports that:

  • The Black Rhino recovered from near extinction from about 1,000 in the 1890s to over 3,500 today.
  • White Rhinos made up only 100 in 1895; today, there are between 19,600 and 21,000 white rhinos.
  • Cape buffalo herds were extinct in the early 1900s to now having more than a million.
  • The Bontebok population was 126 in 1925, with over 8,000 today.

Without conservation hunting, the human-wildlife conflict would increase in these African nations.

Contact R&K Hunting

If you’re looking for that perfect hunt or need the right guide for hunting, please contact R&K Hunting today. We have experienced hunting guides who can show you the best hunting habitats in Utah and Wyoming.

An Introduction To Trophy Hunting

You see on social media, your uncle or brother/sister just scored at hunting. They proudly photograph themselves with a lion or bear and plan on mounting the head in their den or family room. This type of hunting is called trophy hunting.

Learn more about what trophy hunting is and statistics on this highly controversial subject.

What is Trophy Hunting?

Trophy hunting is the act of shooting carefully selected animals, such as lions, bears, pumas, rhinos, and elephants, under formal government license for pleasure. Usually, the trophy is a part of the animal (its head, antlers, horns, or skin) you display in your home or business. It’s a souvenir, hunters keep after a kill and is a booming industry. Taxidermists clean and dress trophies for museums, hotels, restaurants, and residential homes.

Trophy hunting does have restrictions, so you can’t just go anywhere and hunt any game. You also can’t use any weapon for hunting trophy animals. Hunters usually spend large sums of money on killing the animals and taking particular pride in their experience. They may do it for the thrill of the hunt or as bragging rights; some even do it for competition, to see if they can get into the record books. Many hunters would preserve them as a memento of the hunt, mainly if it were a family experience, such as with father and son or daughter.

History of Trophy Hunting

Over the last few centuries, sportsmen took to regulating hunting activity throughout the U.S., developing rules and conventions. As wildlife populations dwindled in the 1800s, hunters started targeting mature male specimens, instead of females. Hunters now mainly argue the selective process helps in conservation efforts, making trophy hunting a useful component. 

When trophy hunting took off in the 20th century, critics of it sought to restrict or ban the practice. The revenue generated by hunting tourism extends across the world, with Africa establishing its first game ranches in the 1960s. Fast forward to 2000’ and approximately 7000 fame farms and reservations operate within South Africa on about sixteen million hectares (a measurement of land). 

Trophy Hunting Statistics

In the U.S., trophy hunters imported over 1.26 million trophies from 2005-2014, with Canada the leading source of imported trophies. The top ten species imported were:

  • Snow goose
  • Mallard duck
  • Canada goose
  • American black bear
  • Impala
  • Common wildebeest
  • Greater kudu
  • Gemsbok
  • Springbok
  • Bontebok

According to the National Geographic News, the five most prominent trophy species imported into the U.S for the years 2005-2014 were lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo, and leopards for a combined total of 32,500. From Africa, it was the lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, with the Southern White Rhino. Mexico boasts of a hunting industry valued at around $200 million, with approximately 4000 hunting ranches.

Frequently, trophy hunters target the oldest animals past their breeding age or who wouldn’t survive past another winter or dry season or would die from exposure or starvation. A quote from the great hunter Elgin Gates said it best:

“The true trophy hunter is a self-disciplined perfectionist seeking a single animal, the ancient patriarch well past his prime that is often an outcast from his own kind… If successful, he will enshrine the trophy in a place of honor. This is a more noble and fitting end than dying on some lost and lonely ledge where the scavengers will pick his bones, and his magnificent horns will weather away and be lost forever.”

Contact R&K Hunting

For the best-guided hunts or to book a hunting trip, contact R&K Hunting Co. today. Our experienced staff can direct you to the best trophy hunting areas in Utah & Wyoming.