What makes a sport hunter?

I believe that all of us, both animal lovers and sport hunters have within us the ability to kill. We have the ability to kill humans and animals. It is a deeply embedded part of our psyche which comes from our ancient roots as hunter gatherers hundreds of thousands of years ago.

At heart, we are still Neanderthal Man. That part of us is deep inside us. Although it is normally dormant and almost impossible to revive, in some people due to certain circumstances it is revived. These people become sport hunters and trophy collectors. For them it is the most natural thing in the world to hunt animals and kill animals. It feels right. To others on the other side of a massive divide it seems mad and bad; you have to mental to be a sport hunter, they believe.

The truth is you don’t have to be mental, mad and bad to be a sport hunter, you just have to reawaken your ancient roots and drives. This is achieved if you live in a place where there are lots of guns that need to be used. Guns facilitate the killing of any creature. They oil the works and make it possible. They awaken the possibility of killing.

Add to that element the idea that humans are superior to animals and have ‘dominion over them’ as taught in the Bible and you are a step nearer to becoming a sport hunter.

The final ingredient is your Dad. He loves sport hunting. He loves to kill animals and sees nothing wrong in it. He teaches you from an early age; right from the beginning of your life that hunting for pleasure is as natural as a walk in the park. You join him on hunts and learn to love it because you are with your dad and you love him and believe in everything he says and does.

Then you grow up having shot and killed many animals and in doing so you have hardened your insensitivity towards this cruel act which is so unnecessary in the modern world. You are indoctrinated totally and have an implacable belief in killing animals for the fun of it. You see animal lovers as people who have distanced themselves, unnaturally, from their roots because they live in the urban environment.

And thus we have the vastly polarised viewpoints of those who detest sport hunting and those who love it.

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7 thoughts on “What makes a sport hunter?”

  1. As much as I hate saying this…
    I believe that sports hunters are 10 times worse than Woody.

    At least Woody, and all the Woody’s in the world, have the delusion that they are somehow making the world a better place. And, they may have a decent insanity defense for their missions.

    Sports hunters have no defense. Their only explanation is the “thrill”.
    It may be an addiction really because, regardless of already having a felony conviction for killing a bear in Wisconsin, Palmer continued on the same bloody path.

    I wonder how a convicted felon was allowed to, continually, practice dentistry. The Board for physicians and nurses would snatch licenses in a fast heartbeat.

  2. Copy of my FB comment:

    Michael, Thank you for this description of the sport hunter. We are all affected by our early childhood experiences, such as being born into a hunting family. However, some children reject this indoctrination, and may even be punished for it. My interest lies in discovering the difference in the perspectives of the children in these situations.

    If a child is raised in a family that kills for food, whether hunted or grown such as cattle, chickens, etc. they learn that their survival is dependent on that activity. But later in life, when that situation no longer exists, they may reject meat and become vegetarian or vegan.
    The reasons vary for this decision.

    Many of us continue the patterns of our early childhood, and never question if those patterns represent who we have become as adults.
    I recall a time in my early twenties when I had made a statement that I immediately realized was “parroting” my father’s words, and not something that I had consciously decided was true for me. That was the beginning of a life of decisions made from inside, rather than outsdie of myself.

    My father was mentally disturbed and violent. His cruelty extended beyond me, to animals, mostly cats that I brought home. I first witnessed this when I was 6, and one cat had kittens. My father took those babies, and threw them in the streeet, where I found them the next morning, all dead. It deeply saddened me, and I couldn’t understand.

    As the years went on, I decided that my father was “crazy”, and that I
    wouldn’t survive if I stayed. So, I left home at 12, and was blessed to be put in an institution for girls from dysfunctional families. Twenty years later my father was arrested for shooting a gun in a hotel where
    he was staying. He was confined to an instituion for the “criminally insane”, and died there after a short time.

    I know people who have never questioned the behavior of their parents or guardians, and continue to live a life that perpetuates those patterns. And others like myself, who knew at a deep level that my father’s behavior was out of balance.

    Killing a living being for sport seems very close to the mentality of those who pre-meditate the murder of human beings. My perception is that something is extremely out of balance.

  3. In the inner city I’ve seen several up close instances of boys who were given BB guns and who decided that squirrels, pigeons, dogs and cats were fair game. As far as I know, they didn’t collect trophies, but they enjoyed killing. Many parts of your article fit them, Michael.

    • Serbella, you mention that these boys were “given” BB guns. I think this was a common practice in families. More than likely, it was the father who initiated it, but not always.

      Aggressive behaviors that show “domination” have been considered desirable in males, since caveman days. If not expressed with a BB gun or bow and arrow towards a vulnerable being, then shown by bullying, usually with a “pack” of kids, but not always.

      The reality that this behavior is still prized, and awarded shows how far we have yet to go in transforming the ego which is a carry over from our human beginnings.

      What may have been a survival tool then, is no longer needed, unless we live in an area such as Africa where wild animals do threaten human life to survive themselves. This is not the same as sport hunting.

      • Sandra, I’m pretty narrow-minded when it comes to this. The idea of killing an animal just because, not for hunger or defense but just because the animal is alive is totally foreign to me. I lump all of them together in the same group, so to me, it is the same. I’ve the ones with BB guns decimate neighborhood wildlife and I’ve seen groups of kids in the city, male and female, band together and go after stray dogs or kittens with bricks and spears made from sharpened street signs. Looked like a “Lord of the Flies” hunting party. Doesn’t matter if it’s a street kid or a rich dentist or a bow-hunting female veterinarian. They’re ALL psychos to me. That might not be fair for me to demonize them all like that, but I don’t care.

        • Defining these people as “psycho” is totally understandable. They may be smart mentally, as a dentist or lawyer, but it seems there is an emotional detachment or instability. I would imagine that would show up early on. There seems to be a disconnect and inability to know right from wrong. Other factors may be learned behavior passed on, and even praised. It may also be an outlet of repressed rage from uncontrolled childhood conditions where violence was a part of the daily routine.

          I’m sure studies have been done on psychopaths, but I haven’t done research in that area. One definition of a psychopath is:

          a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.

          I don’t know if all sport hunters are psychopaths. If so, they may have found an acceptance with their peers, and there seem to be a large number of them. So, within that arena, they are seen in a different light than the one that you and I put them in.

          We notice that Walter Palmer didn’t discuss his hunting with his patients, knowing that this would possibly create dissonance. So, in a way, he was living two lives, one hidden from the other because of his fear that it would not be socially acceptable to his patients, and the consequence of that would be a loss of income.

          So, at some level he knew that his sport hunting was not widely accepted social behavior. That unspoken feedback, caused him to hide, living as a “spilt personality” which takes the psychosis to a whole other level.

      • One more thing: the ones in the city may not take their trophies home and mount them on the wall, but they get the same sense of satisfaction from making the kill and seeing the dead animal.


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