Ethics problem - Trophy hunting video vrs photographs

Is it ethical to film the death of an animal shot for sporting purposes

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Well-Known Member
Hi everyone, just thought I'd float this out to you and ask what you think about recording the moment of truth when it comes to trophy hunting.

My nicknale here tells you what I do, so I'm very familiar with photo's of bold hunters standing over their trophy, but more recently sites like have brought such a diversity that clips of animals being shot, sometimes repeatedly, can be easily accessed and viewed.

I've seen my share of that in real life, so it's not like we're squemish, but I wonder, is it appropriate or in good taste to show the death throws of an animal, whether in the name of entertainment or otherwise?

We have quite a few clips in and I'm increasingly being asked for clips featuring the shot, impact and so on, and I'm not sure that's something I am comfortable with?


I'd appreciate your thoughts please

Bandit Country

Well-Known Member
Blimey, you do like challenging topics don't you? :)

I haven't cast a vote because none of the options reflect my views. In this context I think ethics are a matter of personal values. Personally I dont hunt for trophies, I simply don't 'get it'. However, I think I understand why others do trophy hunt and I neither condone or condemn it. There is a raft of interesting psychological analysis on this sort of behaviour. Power, ego and proving the size of your dick all come into it :lol: I also appreciate that trophy hunting can generate income for local folk and conservation. Therefore my view of filming or photographing the death of an animal or the aftermath is that it is an entirely personal decision.

What I would condemn is the methodology involved. For example, if some people promoted the idea of legalising bow hunting in the UK I would oppose it. One youtube clip shows bow hunting of black bears from a high seat. The 'hunter' puts an arrow into the skull of the beast, which entirely fails to cleanly despatch the animal. At that point you can hear the 'hunter' whooping and yeyhaying with his mate, while the bear spins round and round in obvious distress. The 'ethics' of filming that sort of thing pale into insignificance in comparsion to the lack of ethics in the hunt itself - but I recognise that I am judging that hunt by my ethical values. The fat SPAMs up the tree obviously have differing values - not that I'm judging them, mind.

Bottom line Roo, is that I think you have to make a personal decision about taking the picture or providing the imagery. If the hunt is conducted in a professional, humane manner I think you have nothing to be ashamed of. If the client wants the pics then why not? If it subsequently appears on youtube - and I'm guessing a lot of it will (remember the power, ego and big dick thing? :) ) - is that your responsibility? That is all about the client's ethics - not yours. However, if you aren't entirely sure - don't do it. My experience is that the personal ethics bit comes back to haunt you.


Well-Known Member
I've said no/other.

My option is that its OK as long as the purpose is not to get one's jollies from seeing it die per se - e.g. a video on shot placement, or big game hunting shows the death as incidental but is not the reason for it.


Site Staff
I have no issue with anyone photographing themselves or friends with a well earned trophy or cull animal, that may happen to be their first deer or a much sort after prize Buck or Stag, or even maybe a red letter day in the field. What I do condem is anyone who mocks or thinks its morally and ethically right to film a wounded animal in its death throws for fun or mockery.

Unfortunatly there are some people in this world who have no idea about the ethics of being a hunter/stalker and show very little respect for what they hunt/stalk, and treat them as a living target with little or no respect.

Filming any animal in its death throws and laughing or whopping about it is something to be ashamed of. I have never had anyone hunting/stalking with me yet that has attempted any of this, if they had their hunt would be over with me.

In the many years I have hunted and stalked I have only ever had one piece of film taken of myself shooting something, and that died on the spot with a brain shot.

Keep it ethical, professional, treat your quarry with respect, and the enviroment you are in with respect. That to me is the mark of a true hunter/stalker.


Well-Known Member
I was going to try and put my thoughts down but the ever-erudite Malcolm has captured them perfectly. Exactly right sir!


Well-Known Member
No it is cheap, tacky and shows a lack of respect.

The only reason I could see for doing it would be education


Well-Known Member
Thanks folks, much apreciated!

My concern is that while I love shooting, stalking, hunting and eating the end result, I (personally) shoot for the table first and foremost.

A side-effect of my sporting endeavors is that a beast must die somewhere along the line, and while a short 30m dash on report may be something that we're familiar with, I'm not convinced that the Disney Generation would appreciate or understand what they were watching.

Personally, while I'm probably missing the point myself, a subtle still photo of the trophy with a smiling hunter and perhaps his PH / Guide is one thing, but the detailed memory of the hunt is something personal and not necessarily something I'd choose to share, especially with an unappreciative urban society quick to judge and critisise.

Quick story then - we had a really fat hunter over in Namibia last year who was insistent that he had to shoot a Giraffe. Each to their own, but this guy was totally out of condition and could hardly walk, let alone stalk. so he rarely left the pick-up and shot from a seated position, not even dismounting to see what he'd shot.

After a few days of this, he finally got the chance of a Giraffe, and a fine bull it was too - if you're into shooting Giraffe that is! Anyway, the long and the short of it was that his wife video'd his shots and the resultant death of several creatures, he was a fair shot, but even with the Giraffe he seemed almost disinterested, as if he was going through the motions for whatever reason. His wife told me that he would get more animated and enthusiastic when he got to show his mates his video tape when he got back home to Texas and I was left wondering whether it was he im or me that had missed the point?

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts folks, please keep 'em coming!