A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Nov 5, 2010

Where is the Sport in Hunting-Canned Hunt Video Finally Released

In 2004 a country music singer Gentry, of the group Montgomery Gentry, killed a bear during a canned hunt. A canned hunt is the practice of confining "wild" animals in a relatively small space, and, for a hefty fee, allows "hunters" to hunt and kill them. Of course, the "wild" animals are often former circus or zoo animals that are tame,  or privately bred animals that usually come up to a human expecting a treat or a hug, and instead are killed at point blank range. The "hunters" are often wealthy businessmen who are too terrified to try this in the wild but want to pretend that they did and have a trophy to prove it. It is one of the most inhumane, unjust, and despicable displays of cowardice and animal cruelty. There were illegalities associated with this event and Gentry and the owner of the property pleaded guilty in 2006 for those violations. (Canned hunts are legal in some states and not others.) SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) sued the U.S. department of Fish and Wildlife for the commemorative video of the actual event and, after several years, got it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNcBaLzVuBQ

However, I submit to you that a lot of "sport hunting" endowed with advances in technology and a surplus of cowardice is neither better nor different than a canned hunt. We need to look no further than California bear hunting. The hunters first spray a bear attractant on their hounds. Then they attach a GPS device and tip switch to the dog's collar. The human hunters relax in the forest while the dogs hunt the bears, often at their own peril.  When the tip switch alerts the humans that the dogs treed a bear, the hunter follows the GPS signal directly to the bear and shoots him or her at point blank range. 

This practice is neither hunting nor sport, but rather, nothing more than a canned hunt with two differences. The first is technical. Dogs and technology confine the animal instead of a fence. The second is in the consciousness of the targeted animal.  One, knows there is danger and tries to save his or her life. The other, trusts the humans and never sees it coming.

Both are shameful, cowardly and cruel. Neither has anything to do with sport or sportsmanship.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot agree more. This is nonsense, and bears as much resemblance to an actual hunt, as practiced by our ancestors, as the yolk of an egg does to the sun. My grandfather grew up in northern Wisconsin, and when he married in 1912, and had children, it was his practice to hunt deer to supplement the family diet. He took two to three deer each year, and every piece of the animal was used and appreciated. My mother, who died in 2006, at the age of 90, still had in her possession a deerskin shirt made by her mother in the 1920s. Grandpa, who lived until 1976, scorned the idiots who could only find deer by putting out salt, or by "shining" them, with lights, at night. It was his view, and is one I share, that anyone who takes a "trophy" without doing the honest labor involved, and USING the carcase, is a sinner. Thanks for this discussion of a heartbreaking and inane practice. Jean Nolan, Seaside, Ca