Is such hunting sport?
I am very dismayed. I read today in a newspaper of a so-called ‘sportsman’ who patiently laid out bait for a magnificent 800+ lb black bear who came to his rural land holding sometimes. When he had earned the trust of the bear by these unsportsman-like nefarious deeds, he shot it dead. Like spearing fish in a barrel. He had himself photographed with the now-dead animal. Even in death, the bear is magnificent. The hunter, on the contrary, looks ridiculous to me.
He does not allege that the bear posed any threat. No, he just wanted the thrill of killing it. The bear had lots of roaming space. Before he baited it, the bear was shy, not often to be seen, and unthreatening. He does say, as if this is any mitigation at all, that he will eat bear meat for a while. This man can eat well from his food market; he does not have to senselessly kill, and especially murder in cold blood, such a magnificent animal. And there is no skill involved in such killing, either.
‘Was it for this the flesh grew tall?’ Wilfred Owen
I am left with nausea and an overwhelming contempt for this self-described ‘sportsman’. I think him very unsporting.
I receive catalogues from a firm which caters to hunters, and also to ski-ers and other sportspeople. The fall catalogues nauseate me, literally: full of grinning sub-human morons holding up the heads of gorgeous animals they have killed, at distance, with their guns. Most of these animals were lured to their deaths.
There used to be a very macho firm called ‘Herters’ who filled their catalogue with killed animals with wild and woolly claims such as ‘Here is Jacques Herter on safari with a prize insert type of huge game he has killed at some huge distance with a single insert model Herter’s bullet. Notice the jealous African native admiring the kill.’
*’And after the kill, be sure to try some Herter’s after-shave lotion. Nothing but gun cotton in alcohol. Doesn’t make you smell like a ginger-hearted fairy!’*
‘Man, proud Man,
Dressed in a little brief authority;
Most ignorant of which he’s most asssur’d;
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before
As makes the angels weep.
-Alexander Pope, ‘An Essay On Man’