Ernest Hemingway posing with two trophy kudu | Africa, 1934 |
Contemporary British & American newspapers regularly get hold of a photo of a Big Game hunter posing happily with a trophy, and write up him or her as a malevolent monster who sadistically murdered the beautiful, noble, and happy wild critter, who is invariably personalized with a cutsey personal name like “Cecil the Lion.”
Their gullible urban-based readership, who characteristically think that meat grows on supermarket shelves, and that wild animals normally die peaceful deaths in retirement homes, eat up this nonsense and invariably enthusiastically participate in two-minutes of hate. Too many of these people then write checks to phony-baloney Animal Protection Societies (whose officers draw princely salaries and which devote 90% of their budgets to fund-raising) as well as to Anti-Hunting Extremist Organizations.
Hunters are not actually sadists. The hunter appreciates, understands, and cares far more for the hunted animal than the sentimental television watcher or the Animal Rights crackpot. The hunter understands how Nature actually works, and finds powerful emotional and spiritual reward in personal participation in its basic and fundamental process, the contest between the hunter and the game.
“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 edge where the scavengers will pick his bones and his magnificent horns will weather away and be lost forever.”
French hunting is different. They call their hunts “Rallyes” or “Equipages.” Their hunt uniforms are more complicated. They use circular horns and lots of people carry horns where for us only the huntsman has a horn, and where our huntsman only blows a handful of conventional signals, they play fanfares. We hunt foxes and coyotes. They hunt hare, wild boar, roe deer, and even red deer. People too old to ride car follow over here. In France, they have a load of bicycle followers.
Tess Talley, an American trophy hunter who went viral in 2018 after posting a picture of a giraffe sheâ€™d killed, spoke out for the first time since the controversy in an interview with CBS aired this week.
The image, which showed Talley posing next to a dead giraffe sheâ€™d bagged during a trip to South Africa in 2017, sparked widespread backlash.
Talley spoke to â€œCBS This Morningâ€ on Friday and revealed that the worldwide outcry hadnâ€™t dulled her passion for hunting.
â€œItâ€™s a hobby, itâ€™s something that I love to do,â€ she said and explained that the 2017 kill was part of a conservation effort to manage the wildlife population in the area.
â€œHe was delicious,â€ Talley told CBS Newsâ€™ Adam Yamaguchi when he asked about the particular kill that made her one of the worldâ€™s most infamous hunters.
She also revealed that sheâ€™d made a gun case and decorative pillows out of the old black giraffe.
â€œI am proud to hunt. And I am proud of that giraffe,â€ Talley told a â€œCBS This Morningâ€ studio panel.
Co-host Tony Dokoupil pressed her on the seeming â€œpleasureâ€ and â€œjoyâ€ she got out of hunting.
Talley was unapologetic.
â€œYou do what you love to do. Itâ€™s joy,â€ she said. â€œIf you donâ€™t love what you do, youâ€™re not gonna continue to do it.â€
â€œCBS This Morningâ€ co-host Dana Jacobson alluded to previous comments Talley made, in which she said she felt â€œremorseâ€ after killing an animal.
â€œIf thereâ€™s remorse, why do it?â€ Jacobson asked.
â€œEverybody thinks that the easiest part is pulling the trigger. And itâ€™s not,â€ Talley replied. â€œThatâ€™s the hardest part. But you gain so much respect, and so much appreciation for that animal because you know what that animal is going through. They are put here for us. We harvest them, we eat them.â€
Talley said she was â€œsurprisedâ€ by the reaction to the photo she posted to social media showing off her kill.
Members of the urban community of fashion tend to think that guilt-free meat is simply grown on supermarket shelves.
Saint Hubertus was born (probably in Toulouse) about the year 656. He was the eldest son of Bertrand, Duke of Aquitaine. As a youth, Hubert was sent to the Neustrian court of Theuderic III at Paris, where his charm and agreeable address led to his investment with the dignity of “count of the palace”. Like many nobles of the time, Hubert was addicted to the chase. Meanwhile, the tyrannical conduct of Ebroin, mayor of the Neustrian palace, caused a general emigration of the nobles and others to the court of Austrasia at Metz. Hubert soon followed them and was warmly welcomed by Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the palace, who created him almost immediately grand-master of the household. About this time (682) Hubert married Floribanne, daughter of Dagobert, Count of Leuven.Their son Floribert of LiÃ¨ge would later become bishop of LiÃ¨ge, for bishoprics were all but accounted fiefs heritable in the great families of the Merovingian kingdoms. He nearly died at the age of 10 from “fever”.
His wife died giving birth to their son and Hubert retreated from the court, withdrew into the forested Ardennes, and gave himself up entirely to hunting. However, a great spiritual revolution was imminent. On Good Friday morning, when the faithful were crowding the churches, Hubert sallied forth to the chase. As he was pursuing a magnificent stag or hart, the animal turned and, as the pious legend narrates, he was astounded at perceiving a crucifix standing between its antlers, while he heard a voice saying: “Hubert, unless thou turnest to the Lord, and leadest an holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into hell”. Hubert dismounted, prostrated himself and said, “Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?” He received the answer, “Go and seek Lambert, and he will instruct you.”…
Saint Hubertus (German) is honored among sport-hunters as the originator of ethical hunting behavior.
During Hubert’s religious vision, the Hirsch (German: deer) is said to have lectured Hubertus into holding animals in higher regard and having compassion for them as God’s creatures with a value in their own right. For example, the hunter ought to only shoot when a humane, clean and quick kill is assured. He ought shoot only old stags past their prime breeding years and to relinquish a much anticipated shot on a trophy to instead euthanize a sick or injured animal that might appear on the scene. Further, one ought never shoot a female with young in tow to assure the young deer have a mother to guide them to food during the winter. Such is the legacy of Hubert who still today is taught and held in high regard in the extensive and rigorous German and Austrian hunter education courses.
The legacy is also followed by the French chasse Ã courre masters, huntsmen and followers, who hunt deer, boar and roe on horseback and are the last direct heirs of Saint Hubert in Europe. Chasse Ã courre is currently enjoying a revival in France. The Hunts apply a specific set of ethics, rituals, rules and tactics dating back to the early Middle-Ages. Saint Hubert is venerated every year by the Hunts in formal ceremonies.
There is, at the root of all this, a passion. For years I pondered the question of why I, and others, become emotional about firearms, new and old. Almost always, the passion is directed at finer guns. They could be the largely hand-fitted, hand-finished Winchesters of 1900, or the Colts of the same era, or the best bespoke Purdys and Lancasters. Or, they could be medium-quality boxlocks of the years before 1914. Different guns appeal to different people, but there are common threads.
The common thread here is hand labor –the skill and knowledge that flows from a craftsman’s head through his fingers, into the gun that he is making. That magical quality stays throughout its life, and that life can be very long — virtually infinite, in fact. These guns are made with steel and wood, crafted in a vise with a file, tempered by fire. A thousand years from now, that gun can still be shooting, or made to shoot once again, provided a man exists with the skill and the knowledge and the vise and the file and a piece of steel.
The magic simply does not exist with a gun fashioned from polymer, stamped out by a machine. No matter how well it functions in the short term, it is still a product of a disposable age. Fine guns are not disposable. They are made to last forever.
A man and his dog go out to hunt grouse, and he takes with him a hundred-year-old English shotgun. He may be the gun’s sixth or seventh owner. Each of these participants –dog, man, gun, bird — is an essential element in a timeless ballet, but each participates within its own cycle. A grouse may live for three seasons, a dog may hunt for ten; the man will hunt for 50, but the guncan go a-birding for a century, and the grouse as a species outlasts them all.
This metaphysical reality of hunting is one of the things that intrigues serious bird hunters so much, and gives us all a feeling of participating in something much larger, and older, and more important than ourselves. There is an element of immortality about it.
Hamlet, it turns out, is really all about hunting.
Shakespeare repudiates two fundamental tenets of humanist culture. First, the core belief that history is a repository of wisdom from which human societies can and should learnâ€¦. Second, the conviction that the true value of human life could best be understood by a return ad fontesâ€”to the origins of things, be they historical, textual, moral, poetic, philosophical, or religious (Protestant and Roman Catholic alike). For Shakespeare, this is a shamâ€¦. Like the past in general, origins are pliableâ€”whatever the competing or complementary urges of appetite, honour, virtue, and expediency need them to be.
The fruitless search for absolutes by which to act or judge is doomed to failure: â€œHamlet turns to moral philosophy, love, sexual desire, filial bonds, friendship, introversion, poetry, realpolitik, and religion in the search for meaning or fixity. In each case, it discovers nothing of significance.â€
The absence of any moral certainties means that itâ€™s a â€œkill or be killedâ€ world, and the most impressive chapter in Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness establishes how the language of predation saturates the play. Lewisâ€™s brilliant analysis here gives fresh meaning to long-familiar if half-understood phrases, including the â€œenseamedâ€ marital bed, â€œBait of falsehood,â€ â€œA cry of players,â€ â€œWe coted them on the way,â€ â€œStart not so wildly,â€ â€œI am tame, sir,â€ â€œWeâ€™ll eâ€™en to it like French falconers,â€ and â€œWhen the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.â€ Thirty years ago this analysis might have been the basis of an important, if localized, studyâ€”but that sort of book could never find a major publisher today. Here, it becomes a clever way of establishing what for Lewis is the playâ€™s bass line:
Whatever an individual might strive to believe, he always and only exists as a participant in a form of huntingâ€”one in which he, like everyone else, is both predator and prey.
You have to go down five Google pages to find an objective account, not sensationalistically identifying the young lady’s death as a fearful response to threats from animal activists or as an expression of guilt for hunting.
A hunter and well-known Spanish blogger died in an apparent suicide this week, amid claims she was the target of online abuse from animal rights activists.
Melania Capitan, 27, was found dead at a farm in Huesca on Wednesday, the Guardia Civil said. She reportedly shot herself with a rifle, and left a suicide note, el Mundo reports.
Capitan was known for sharing her hunting lifestyle with her 36,000 Facebook and 8,700 Instagram followers.
She was a passionate hunter, and defended her actions online, posting pictures to Instagram of her posing with guns beside dead deer. Her controversial lifestyle reportedly garnered abuse and threats from animal rights activists.
Since her death, a number of people have posted cruel comments on her Facebook page, with one saying she â€œthankfully she killed herself, the only good thing sheâ€™s done lately.â€
El Mundo quotes a close friend of Capitanâ€™s saying she died by suicide, and that it was not related to the threats she received online. â€œFor personal problems, not for the insults she received in social networks,â€ the unnamed friend is cited as saying.
â€œIt is a lie that has been said that she committed suicide because of the threats because she was a very brave woman, very strong, a fighter,â€ she said, adding, â€œin all social networks, people have done a lot of harm to her and they continue to do so. Take action on this, this should be punished.â€
Roy Tingle for the Dail Mail typically milks the threats from Animal Rights Activists angle.
A female hunter has been found dead after apparently committing suicide weeks after she was reportedly threatened on social media by animal rights activists.
Melania Capitan, 27, was a well-known blogger and hunter with thousands of online followers.
She rose to fame due to her posts in which she explained hunting tactics as well as showing glimpses into her every day life.
Hunting magazine Jara y Sedal reported Melania, who was from Catalonia and had lived for the last three years in Huesca, had apparently killed herself.
She had also reportedly left a suicide note addressed to her friends.
This comes after it was reported that the internet star was threatened online.
Her posts caused much controversy across the internet, especially with animal rights activists who widely criticised her.