Home Truths and Opinions About Hunting

I would like to share a few home truths with the readers of TGA’s website, Facebook and Twitter platforms.  I must tell them that there are just as many people who love hunting (because it allows them to commune with nature as man did in years gone by; and to obtain meat uncontaminated with hormones and other medications) as there are people who abhor hunting (because they grew up in a modern and developed world that has detached them from the realities of nature).  This is not casting aspersions on anyone.  It is merely a fact of modern life.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinions about hunting but whether you are pro-hunting or anti-hunting you are NOT entitled to force your opinions on other people.  THAT IS WRONG.  It is also wrong that certain people in society find it necessary to constantly find fault with others – people whose beliefs and actions differ from their own.  I suppose that is what is called human nature!

This state of affairs is not new.  Teddy Roosevelt makes mention of it over a hundred years ago in America – when America’s wide open spaces were being used by America’s people in various ways, for recreation.  Hunting was one of those recreations.  And there were people, then, who objected to hunting.  Roosevelt told his people, however, that if it wasn’t for the hunter – who wanted to perpetuate the hunting opportunities that the hunters enjoyed at that time, for the enjoyment of people not then yet born – the “total protectionists” would long ago have rendered America’s big game animals extinct.  Nothing has changed.  The same situations pertain – except that there are now more “total protectionists” – also totally uninformed – than there are hunters; and their incredible lack of intelligent understanding is worse now than it was then.

I am not even going to try to answer all the objections that our animal rightist readers have made – towards hunting – but I have to comment on their unsolicited opinions that are so very far from the truth.  I will, by the end of this year, have spent 58 years of my life in the service of Africa’s wildlife and in managing some of Africa’s most prestigious national parks.  I have, therefore, devoted my entire life to Africa’s wildlife and I have no desire to abandon these services at this stage. My experience in this field is profound; and I am sure that most intelligent and responsible people will understand that – because of my background – I will NOT advocate any management strategy that is not beneficial to Africa’s wildlife resource in general.
I would like to ask the TGA’s detractors just what kind of comparable expertise they can “bring to the party” to substantiate their anti-hunting and anti-sustainable wildlife use rhetoric – but I wont.  I will save them that embarrassment. Suffice it to say that I support the regulated hunting of Africa’s wildlife on four conditions: (1) that the rate of off-take is sustainable; (2) that the hunting methods are acceptable (to the organisations that oversee hunting ethics); (3) that it does not detract from the well-being of the animal populations from which the animals were taken; and (4) that the benefits devolve to wildlife and/or to mankind.
So unless the TGA’s detractors can substantiate their qualifications to pass negative judgements on the science-based wildlife management practices that we support, I suggest that they reserve their opinions for other forums that will find their unqualified and emotion-charged remarks more acceptable. Tell us WHY we should sit up and take notice of your remarks!  Or we will ignore them!   On the other hand, if you would like to know why we consider OUR opinions to be justified, take the trouble to ask us for more information – and we will take the trouble to properly inform you.

Most of this information is located on our website – in “opinion papers” that carefully explain many of the subjects that are in dispute – here – at the moment.  And over the years we intend to built on this encyclopaedia as and when we have to time to expand on the subjects that the public want and need to be informed about.  One of these papers explains the TGA’s opinion about the animal rights doctrine.   And THAT paper will explain to the anti-anti-hunters just why our objectors are so mentally programmed to oppose our every utterance.

Ron Thomson

I am NOT a ‘trophy hunter’ - and never have been. I am not involved in the trophy hunting safari business. I am also not a game rancher. But I have ‘administratively controlled’ professional hunters and safari outfitters in my capacity as a government game warden. I am an 80 year old ex-game warden with 60 years of continuous experience in hands-on wildlife management, and national park management, in Africa (1959 to 2019). In breakdown, I have 24 years experience in the management of national parks in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe - and in the management of the wild animal populations that lived inside those national parks; one year as the Chief Nature Conservation of the Ciskei in South Africa; three years as Director of the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board in South Africa; and I worked for three years as a professional hunter in the South African Great Karoo (taking foreign hunters on quests for plains game trophies). I discovered, however, that professional hunting was not my forte. I worked as an investigative wildlife journalist for 30 years in South Africa. I have written fifteen books and hundreds of magazine articles on the subject of wildlife management and big game hunting in Africa. Five of my books are university-level text books on wildlife management. I am a university-trained ecologist; was a member of the Institute of Biology (London) for 20 years; and was a registered chartered biologist for the European Union for 20 years. I have VAST experience in the “management hunting” of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and hippos (as part of my official national park work in the control of problem animals); and I pioneered the capture of black rhino in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley (1964 - 1970). My university thesis was entitled: “The Factors Affecting the Survival and Distribution of Black Rhinos in Rhodesia”. Look at my personal website if you want any further details about my experience: www.ronthomsonshuntingbooks.co.za.

Ron Thomson has 159 posts and counting. See all posts by Ron Thomson

2 thoughts on “Home Truths and Opinions About Hunting

  • June 18, 2017 at 12:19 am
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    The sad truth is that far too many people choose to argue based upon their emotions instead of using facts gathered by people with their boots on the ground.
    Also so many people try and impart Western values and thinking upon a nation that does not and likely will not ever look at wildlife in the same way.
    Keep it up. I enjoy seeing fact based articles from people that are there everyday with a stake in the game.

    Reply
    • July 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm
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      Dear Daryl,

      Thank for this very positive response.
      Your comment: “Also so many people try and impart Western values and thinking upon a nation that does not and likely will not ever look at wildlife in the same way.” needs a more specific response. What you say is exactly right and the reasons WHY this is so, reflects upon the importance of differing “wildlife cultures” – which is a very important subject that cannot be fobbed off with a short reply. You have prompted me, therefore, to provide our Facebook and Website readers with another “opinion paper” on “WILDLIFE CULTURES”. Look out for it! Everybody needs to understand reality!
      We need people like you to become members of the True Green Alliance. Please join us! And get your friends to join us, too. Your membership fee will cost you less than one night on the town with your wife or girl friend!!!!!! And your financial contribution will be much better spent on enabling us to continue to put out these common sense releases that counteract the poisonous rhetoric of the animal rights movement.
      With kind regards

      Ron

      Reply

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