Trophy Hunting; A National Problem

Ashlyn Hoffmann, Staff Writer

Trophy hunting. This is a sport in which hunters search for, shoot, and kill animals in the wild. There is a big difference between hunting for necessities versus hunting as a sport. When an animal is killed in ethical hunting, the animal is used for the resources it can provide, whereas when an animal is killed in trophy hunting, the animal is taken as a “trophy” or just taken a picture with. Even though trophy hunting is doing a lot of harm and no good, it is currently legal in the United States. 

Although trophy hunting happens all over the world, statistics have shown that here in the United States, we  have the biggest problem with trophy hunting. According to World Animal Protection US, America has 260,000 trophies imported each year; the highest amount in the world. The main animals hunted, known as the big five, are elephants, leopards, rhinoceroses, Cape buffalo and lions. These are the most prized animals to hunt and have as trophies because they are the most dangerous and hardest to find. Most of the animals on this list are endangered and near extinction because we kill so many of them just to have our trophies. Americans hunt mainly in Africa, even though Africa is working on protecting their animals.  It is our responsibility to join with the rest of the world to help protect these animals instead of hunting them, or by the year 2045, many more incredible species will go extinct. 

Canned hunting is a version of trophy hunting that many people are unaware of. This type of hunting is the process of going to an enclosure where animals are bred and then paying big money to shoot the animal of your choosing. If you think about it, they are making and raising endangered animals. Then, they make money off of them by letting people shoot them when they have no way of protecting themselves. 26 of the 50 U.S states have banned or are in the process of banning  canned hunting, including Maryland, but it’s still present in a lot of the states. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) America has about 1,000 ranches still offering canned hunting.

So what can Dulaney students do to help? Many students think that there is nothing they can do to help ban trophy hunting but that isn’t true. One thing teenagers can do is spread awareness. You can do this by simply telling family and friends about the issue along with posting about it on social media. If you are not comfortable speaking up, just changing your own mindset helps. If you follow or support trophy hunting, take a moment to think about how wrong it is. 

There is a lot Dulaney students and other teenagers can do to help, so let’s work together. Let’s put an end to trophy hunting all over and bring hunting back to a respectful practice that uses our resources wisely.