Problem is Scott Olmstead, the North American model of conservation does not apply to Africa. And unfortunately when all of us intervene in Africa (conservationists as well), we all influence the management of Africa’s resources. That means you and me and there is much debate about that and much to consider in our efforts.
I believe every hunter has the right to hunt. What needs to be considered is reverence for a dwindling and endangered species. To be examined at this time are the repercussions for hunting an animal such as the elephant.
You say you fed a village in Namibia, that every part of the elephant was used. This is a fortunate account as the outcome is not often how you describe.
Also critical is that the tusks of that animal went into a government stockpile which can be sold without guarantee of funds supporting conservation. This also fuels demand of an illegal industry responsible for critical number reductions of the species currently in multiple African Range States. This is the long-term “animal” much larger than any one you would find on a typical hunting day experience. Something you and many other hunters need to examine and perhaps consider when visiting key safari operations who are primarily interested in feeding a short term demand for an “experience” or “bucket list” that generates income for their own pockets.
No matter who we are – hunter, conservationist, government or non-government authority, safari reserve – we all have a stake in the game. And if we don’t come together somehow and agree on some common ground of how to best protect these creatures for the future, we’ll all lose.
On a final note, I really must ask. If it wasn’t about the money and just about the thrill of the hunt, what might you tell your children and other children when perhaps the elephants are no longer here? It may be in that moment you realize you participated at some level in a process that removed these creatures from the earth because you wanted to have what was and is rightfully yours to experience.
The question right now is, is it right?
“I killed an own/use elephant bull in Namibia. It was owned and used by the people of the village in the conservancy where I hunted. Within 24 hours, it was reduced to a grease spot—every scrap of it cut up, butchered and carried off for use by indigenous folks. The tusks went to a Namibian government warehouse. I got nothing but an experience (a helluva one, I might add), and some photos. And I fed a village.”