Is trophy hunting what you think it is?

"Trophy hunting" is a hot-button issue. Yet, the phrase can mean so many things, it is almost undefinable. Proud trophy hunters strive to harvest the oldest, most mature male they can find. These hunters often go home empty-handed, but if successful, they will have taken an animal nearing the end of its productive life. They treasure the challenge and get to enjoy many nutritious meals provided by a large animal. If those hunters chose to display the head or hide, that is only a relic of the experience. The meat is consumed. Friends and families have bonded. The management tool known as hunting has been utilized. For these "trophy hunters," the entire process is ecologically and economically sustainable. 

Most hunters find their trophy in adventure, camaraderie, natural beauty, and memories, which can be memorialized by pictures or perhaps a euro-style antler mount. Again, a regulated hunt is sustainable, and wildlife is supported. 

The funding our wildlife agencies receive through licenses and tag sales is vital to their existence. 

The economic impact of regulated hunting is vital to communities around the world.  

Is trophy hunting equivalent to "chopping the head off, and leaving the rest to rot"? No. Not at all. On a global scale, that type of hunting is poaching. Hunting without purpose is illegal, inconsistent with hunters' ethics, and contrary to our successful system of conservation. If you have an intense negative reaction to "trophy hunting,"  you might have been lied to. If you've heard that meat from mountain lions or bears is inedible, you have been lied to. If you've heard that hunters only want the head or a picture of a dead animal, you have been lied to. Facts are important. Understanding existing law and how long standing systems function (and succeed) is important. Understanding who hunters really are is important. 

We want you to be informed. We know that no one appreciates being misled.