I have been living abroad for about ten years. During that period, I met a lot of interesting people. One of them is a trophy hunter.
After his trip to Africa in 2016, I politely asked if he wanted to do an interview with me to put on this blog. Four years later we finally made it happen. But he had one very clear condition: he HAD TO be anonymous. All I can say is that he comes from Northern Europe, is in his mid-20`s and has always had a strong passion for hunting.
If you want to hear about killing large African animals and “the joy of killing”, feel free to read the interview below.
Disclaimer: I do not support trophy hunting at any level or in any shape or form. However, I find it important that this story gets out as many people want to understand the people who keep this industry alive.
Disclaimer 2: My friend showed me a lot of pictures of him and his “crew” shooting animals, including a giraffe and a rhino. However, I was “not under any circumstances” allowed to publish any of the photos – even though I was putting something in front of their head in order to become anonymous. I guess they know what they are doing is sort of frawned upon.
In the end of this article, I have included several Youtube videos featuring people that have the guts to show their face and full name in support of trophy hunting. That is definitely something to look at as well.
Disclaimer 3: The interview has been translated from Norwegian/Danish to English, which is why some spelling errors might occur.
The big exclusive interview with a Trophy Hunter
Sustainability Matters: Thanks for meeting up with me. Just to be very clear: many people will hate you for this interview. First of all: why are you anonymous?
Hunter: An awful lot of people get angry when they hear the words “trophy hunting”. In order to protect myself, my family and my professional career, I decided to stay anonymous.
Do you remember the guy who was a dentist?
Sustainability Matters: You are talking about Walter Palmer that killed Cecil the Lion? [source: National Geographic]
Hunter: Yep. Him. People uploaded pictures of him and his kids, begged people to “take care of him” outside his dental clinic and he was in no position to defend himself. With Twitter and Instagram being around, a picture of a trophy hunter can go viral and destroy someones’ life within minutes.
(the interview continues below the video)
Sustainability Matters: Why do you think so many people get angry about trophy hunting?
Hunter: Because people are emotional. I am doing quite a lot of hunting in Sweden and Denmark as well. No people complain when I shoot a moose, but everyone seems to be extremely angry about shooting a lion or an elephant.
Sustainability Matters: I guess the difference between shooting a moose in Sweden and a lion in Africa is quite significant. The lion will not be eaten? Also, the moose population in Sweden is increasing so much every year that hunting is required to keep the ecosystem balanced.
Hunter: OK, that might be a difference. However, I still believe people are too emotional about this.
Sustainability Matters: From an environmental perspective, do you see any problems in flying across the world to kill animals just to fly back again? The CO2 emissions are huge!
Hunter: I am not very concerned about that.
Sustainability Matters: A topic that trophy hunters seem to love is conservation. This is very often used as an excuse to say that trophy hunting might even help the wild animals. Do you share that thought?
Hunter: When we went to South Africa, we met a gentleman who literally owned a mountain. On this mountain, he had several different species. And I mean: his business is to have enough animals to offer this type of service. If all his exotic animals were wiped out, there would be no people going to Africa for trophy hunting..?
In other words: the people offering trophy hunting services are just as much into biodiversity as the people who criticize them.
Sustainability Matters: What drives you? Why do you want to continue this activity?
Hunter: First of all, I love to kill. That might sound harsh to some, but you do not understand the feeling of killing a big animal before you’ve done it.
I am going to continue being a trophy hunter. You can quote me on that when you publish this interview on a website. There are loads of people who know the “conservation game” better than me, which makes me uncomfortable to talk about it. However, people should do their research about trophy hunting before they criticize. All they see are cute lions being killed. They do not see the hard work behind the results.
Sustainability Matters: Allright, I think we will wrap it up. I am sure there will be a couple of comments in the comment section with quite strong reactions.
Hunter: I am sure there will be. Will also promise to answer them if I see them flowing in! 🙂
Other interviews with proud trophy hunters
Youtube is my go-to platform when I want to find something controversial. I was therefore able to find a couple of interviews with trophy hunters that can be seen. And these people actually show their face!
#1: Trophy Hunter Who Has Killed 100 Species Claims She Is Helping Animals
#2: Piers Morgan Argues With Trophy-Hunting 12-Year-Old Girl And Her Father
#3: Piers Challenges Hunter Who Is Responsible for Killing Over 5000 Elephants
Something tells me that Piers Morgan is not a huge fan of trophy hunting! 🙂