I posted this question on a smaller forum a while back, would be interested in SD members views.
It got me thinking after reading an article in sporting rifle a while back in which a chap had paid to go and shoot a polar bear. The letters of response in the next issue were very critical re the ethics of shooting an animal like that, etc. It is not something I would choose to do but I wouldnt critiscise someone else for doing it either(as long as it was under the right circumstances-which the article inferred it was).
With deer sometimes people can also be critical of people shooting trophy heads.This is a little more complex as there are so many different management situations where deer are involved. I currently manage red deer on the hill and we never shoot a good head unless there is a good reason, (i.e old beast going back/injured, etc) trying to leave the best looking beasts with nice heads to breed-which I think for hill deer is the right policy(even although some research would indicate that doing so does not neccessarily guarantee success). A trophy off the hill for me would be a ten year old switch that I had never seen before. However, if I was managing deer in an area that was capable of consistently producing good numbers of quality heads I would quite happily(personally and professionally) take the odd one if it was sustainable. I cannot condone anyone, however who would go out solely with the purpose of shooting the biggest and best they can get regardless of the situation.
I think, actually there is a little bit of the trophy hunter in us all, which, in my opinion is natural and healthy, and nothing to be ashamed of.
I also think if we are too judgemental of each other we weaken ourselves as a community. Ultimately it was the prejudiced views of others(and politics) which saw fox hunting banned.