The Truth About Hunting

CBS News Originals Covers Truth About Hunting

SCI first for hunters logoLast week, CBS News Originals aired a segment titled “Trophy Hunting: Killing or Conservation” featuring a number of hunters and wildlife conservancy managers who detail the crucial role hunters and hunting revenue play in funding antipoaching efforts, conserving land for wildlife and managing animal populations.

Pete Fick, who was interviewed extensively by CBS for this segment, is the wildlife guide in Zimbabwe’s Bubye Wildlife Conservancy and knows that “killing some animals so the rest of them can live is an absolute necessity out here.” As a defined area about the size of Rhode Island, Bubye conservancy has finite resources, so hunting manages the wildlife populations while also providing funding to keep the park open.

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This segment goes on to discuss that the biggest threat to wildlife currently is not big game hunting, but rather habitat loss. By converting what was once a cattle farm into a lush preserve, Bubye stifled human encroachment and has become a sanctuary that is “teeming with wildlife, including several species listed as vulnerable.” Bubye, a park that covers 80 percent of its $2.5 million annual maintenance cost with hunting dollars, stands in stark contrast to the arid land surrounding it, populated by local communities that rely on game meats from hunters to sustain themselves.

To their credit, CBS remained unflinching when confronting the truth that hunting dollars, not only in Bubye but in many conservancies across Africa that are crucial to combating poaching.

Brian Gurney, who is head of the Bubye anti-poaching task force, adamantly states that “hunting allows us to have the funds to protect these animals from poaching” and that “we need more hunting.” When asked if the protected rhino populations in Bubye would decline without the funding from hunting dollars, Gurney said that they would “100 percent dwindle.” When conservancy professionals like Brian Gurney and Pete Fick speak about the importance of hunting dollars in their mission with such certainty, it is puzzling to see why individuals like Kitty Block, the President of the Humane Society, questions why wildlife populations have to be managed “lethally.”

SCI commends CBS News Originals for taking a fair and in-depth look into the world of hunting and the inseparable relationship it has with ensuring the preservation of Africa’s most precious wildlife and invites all other responsible media to follow suit. Follow us online for more details.

Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page, or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.

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