Nov 19, 2013, 1:00 AM EDT
Winchester Deadly Passion host Melissa Bachman is the target of anti hunters, but the troubling aspect is that she legally and ethically hunted lion following all South African laws. At the time of this writing there were 205,000 supporters on a petition on Change.org demanding South Africa deny future entry to Melissa -just who do they think they are? Check out this clip from USA Today of what’s going on.
What you must understand is that there is a stigma attached to hunting lion in South Africa because the majority of hunting takes place under high-fence. Some claim that it’s a ‘canned hunt’ assuming lions are bred, released and immediately killed in an unethical manner. However, based on the National Draft Policy, Norms and Standards for Large Predators there are serious restrictions in place that outfitters in South Africa are required to follow. No lion may be hunted without authorization, no human-imprinted lion may be hunted, the lion may not be artificially lured by sound, scent, visual stimuli, feeding, bait, etc., no dogs may be used except if an animal is wounded, lion cannot be hunted under the influence of any tranquilizer, it is illegal to hunt at night, all hunting must be done on foot and at least 200 metres from the vehicle, it cannot be hunted in a pride situation and the list goes on. Needless to say, the restrictions are intense to avoid scrutinizing. The fact of the matter is that lion numbers in South Africa are strong enough to support hunting and so it continues.
We hunters are small in numbers and the antis, with obnoxiously loud voices, are like fleas that attack in incredible numbers. Unless we can rally support, we will remain a target even where legal and ethical hunting takes place. Personally, I don’t think they’ll succeed in getting South Africa to deny Melissa future entry, however, I am fearful that such harassment could create enough pressure to make law makers rethink allowing such hunts to take place. What can we do about this?