Hunting and Conservation go hand in hand
An old kudu bull roams the African bushveld; his horns stand tall, his stripes are starting to fade, and his eyes are now mellowed compared to the days of his youth. He no longer has a herd of females to symbolize his prowess. All he has left is time. The time before winter arrives, for he knows he will not survive its onslaught. His teeth are now a distant memory. His story will end in one of two ways. He can either die a slow and prolonged death due to starvation or his legacy can live on.
The choice is an easy one.
Those who are unfamiliar with the ways of hunting will believe it to be a cruel activity; hunting is not the bloodsport many believe it to be, but rather an appreciation of nature. “But how can you claim to love nature but kill its animals?” You may ask.
Both sides of the hunting debate can agree that no animal should suffer. Both sides can agree that a slow and prolonged death should be avoided at all costs. It is a mercy we can only show towards animals, both wild and domesticated.
Older, fully mature animals are the ideal game to be hunted. Due to the actions of those in the past people believe that a beautiful male in his prime will be shot , butchered and left to rot with only his horns and skull taken as a trophy, but that could not be further from the truth with respect to modern hunting practices. The animals that are hunted have bred; they have left their genetic mark in their species. And to further their involvement in future generations they will supply funds which will be used to maintain all the animals’ safety, provide food and water during droughts. Furthermore the meat from the hunted animals provides sustenance for many rural families who live in the surrounding communities; sometimes for months - depending on the size of the animal. It may not seem that hunting could benefit families in these situations but if that source of food and income was taken away then those hungry will definitely disagree. Animals with these meaningful lives are protected from brutal poaching, illegal trade and corruption. It is in the farmer’s and the local communities best interests that these animals are farmed in a sustainable manner and given the best quality of life, for in death they give life to all in the surrounding area.
The hunt is about being surrounded by trees and hearing birds. It’s about the fresh air and the absence of a modern society. It allows for mercy to be shown to an animal destined to die of starvation, and through that the animal lives forever. Not just as a trophy but as a smile, a memory and a crucial key to the future generations of all species, in the area.
I understand that this reality is something that many will disagree with and disapprove of, but hunting has far reaching benefits, for the wildlife and local communities. I cannot change your mind with a few words but until you’ve lived in Africa you will never truly understand. That one old kudu bull can provide a future for many more than what his breeding right allowed, the species can carry on, only in the African Bushveld.
- Chené Kühn (Mother to Pepper, the Blou Wildebeest)