Criminal poaching of wildlife resources negates the conservation efforts of Safari Club International members and other hunters to assure sustainable populations of wild things in wild places for now and into the future.
The ugly truth of poaching came to light in Alaska where a father and son pled guilty to poaching a mother black bear and her cubs in their den.
“We hunter-conservationists at Safari Club International abhor wildlife crime and poaching,” said SCI President Paul Babaz. “We fully support the apprehension, prosecution and conviction of wildlife criminals and lend our support to state and federal wildlife management agencies whenever possible.”
Babaz stressed that anti-hunters often deliberately confuse the non-hunting public by lumping trophy hunter-conservationists with criminal poachers. For example, the headline on a New York Times article about this poaching incident stated: “Alaska Hunter Who Killed Cubs in Bear Den Gets 3 Months in Jail.”
“Both poachers involved in the illegal killing of the bears are criminals, not hunters, as the headline states,” Babaz explained. “These sorts of criminals make legal ethical hunters look bad when the radical anti-hunting groups use their heinous acts to paint legal hunters with the same brush.”
The poaching crimes were recorded on a camera last year that was being used as part of a bear study.
Most of the mainstream media and social media have been relatively quiet in reporting this criminal poaching incident, yet they often light-up when legitimate hunters legally harvest game as part of science-based game management efforts that assure healthy populations of wildlife in wild places.
“As both hunters and conservationists, we at SCI want to educate the public about the good things we do, as well as the hideousness of criminal poaching, which in some places of the world literally threatens some species,” Babaz explained. “Science-based conservation that includes trophy hunting as part of comprehensive management has been responsible for bringing some species back and is the best way to make sure that there are sustainable levels of wildlife for future generations. Poachers are the problem. Hunters are the solution.”