New research published this week by Raincoast and colleagues at the University of Victoria and the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that trophy hunting of predators like wolves, grizzly bears, and cougars not only threatens these animals but also the interests of the much larger group of hunters seeking food.
The threat to hunters comes from the public withdrawing the “social license to hunt” large carnivores. A minority of hunters who kill carnivores for trophy can damage the reputation of the food-hunting majority. This could mean a reduction in the public’s general support for hunting and might also limit opportunities for hunters to partner in conservation initiatives.
The study referenced studies ranging from Cecil the Lion, killing of wolves, and the now-banned Grizzly Bear trophy hunt of British Columbia. The scientists explain how the public’s values and attitudes regarding the treatment of animals do not align with the seemingly gratuitous killing involved in trophy hunting.
Raincoast is not opposed to food hunting.