Most Unlikely Trophy Hunting Victims, Children

The next generation will pay the price as trophy, canned and sport hunting are becoming increasingly more bizarre with hunters engaging children at earlier ages.

African Lioness and cub 645x

Do we need ratings for family activities?

In the USA there are ratings for movies, games and television shows. These ratings are to safeguard children from excessive and premature adult content, such as violence, language and sex.

Responsible parents pay attention to these when they make decisions about what’s appropriate for their children to watch and play. As children mature they are able to monitor themselves… or at least know when they are knowingly crossing the line.

Would you as a parent purposefully sit your elementary school age child down in front of an R rated movie full of killing and violence? Probably not.

Then you like me you will be shocked by this appalling trend among some parents who participate in sport and trophy hunting… getting their children involved in the killing.

Children are becoming today’s most unlikely victims of the cruel practice of canned hunting.

Families with children hunting African wildlife?

The first image of a family smiling over a dead giraffe had me shaking my head to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Then recently Jonas with the International Animal Rescue Foundation World Action South Africa posted images of young children posing with dead animals. Again, I was taken aback.

Then of course there are the female teen hunters that have sought to gain popularity by killing and smiling sweetly.

Are children who are exposed to violence more likely to become the abuser, more prone to mental illness or experience a dysfunctional family later on in life?

Jonas was researching the issue of children exposed to violence way before he founded their environmental company.

Here is what he found over the years (we share it verbatim with his permission)…

Chilling Report on Children and Violence

This exposure to violence can be in the form of constant bullying, domestic violence even non-physical abuse such as shouting or belittling someone time and time again. Hunting was the main trait that I observed. I found (as strange it may read) – parents that subjected their children to “trophy hunting” were more likely to abuse or become violent within the seven years I studied this theory.

Children from the age of 10-18 were observed and closely monitored using a wide range of questionnaires aimed at themselves and their parents. The majority of parents agreed to be part of this study. In brief the conclusion showed that children exposed to “uncontrolled non-educative sport hunting” were more abusive, enacted more ASB’s traits with 8/15 sport hunting children committing acts of crime, showed signs of depressive illness, bullied, hit out out their own parents, vandalised, and were more likely to abuse narcotics and alcohol.

Strangely children that hunted for food of which their parents were present during most if not all hunts, were educated, and knew more about “conservation” compared to the trophy hunter showed little if any sign of such traits as the trophy hunter did.

Many of you may agree or disagree with these findings of which I still have yet to fully document on with my co-partner Dr Adrienne Ball forensic psychiatrist.

Sustainable hunting:

Sustainability of hunting means that the use of these natural resources must be assured not only in the present but also to future generations.

Trophy hunting:

Trophy hunting is the selective hunting of wild game animals. Although parts of the slain animal may be kept as a hunting trophy or memorial (usually the skin, antlers and/or head), the carcass itself is sometimes used as food.

Please note:  This article does not in any way shape or form change our stance on hunting.

Third party documentation

More than 60% of the children surveyed in the Comprehensive National Survey were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly, and 46.3% were assaulted at least once in the past year. A little more than 25% of children witnessed a violent act and 9.8% saw a family member assault another.

Children may be exposed to violence at home, in the community, and in the media. This exposure can have significant effects on children as they develop and as they form their own intimate relationships throughout childhood and adulthood. Risk factors are cumulative; the risks for negative outcomes multiply, placing some children in “double jeopardy” (e.g., the child exposed to domestic and community violence). Children who are victims of direct assault or who witness repeated episodes of violence are more likely to have significant negative outcomes compared with children who are exposed to a single instance of violence.

Violence in the Home

Kennedy and colleagues found that children frequently observe or hear the abuse of domestic violence, as well as the aftermath of physical injuries and psychological pain. In a sizable percentage of cases, the children are actually physically involved in their parent’s partner violence and may themselves be injured.

Children exposed to intimate partner violence are subjected to the risks for neglect, abuse, exposure to trauma, and the loss of one or both of their parents. These traumas can lead to negative outcomes for children and may affect their well-being, safety, and stability. Childhood problems associated with exposure to domestic violence fall into 3 primary categories:

Psychological: fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, withdrawal, depression; problematic relationships; higher levels of aggression, anger, hostility, oppositional behavior, and disobedience.

Cognitive: lower cognitive functioning, poor school performance, lack of conflict-resolution skills, limited problem-solving skills, pro-violence attitudes, belief in rigid gender stereotypes and male dominance.

Long-term: higher levels of depression and trauma symptoms, increased tolerance for and use of violence in adult relationships.

Reaction and risk exist on a continuum. Some children demonstrate resiliency, while others show signs of maladaptive adjustment. Protective factors can help shield children from the adverse effects of exposure to domestic violence. These include social competence, intelligence, high self-esteem, outgoing temperament, strong sibling and peer relationships, and a supportive relationship with an adult.

Violence in the Community

In urban communities of the United States, children commonly witness violence, and most of these children report witnessing relatively less severe forms of violence, such as an arrest or assault. Exposure to community violence in suburban or rural communities has been explored less thoroughly.

Community violence, with its associated mental health problems, may affect a child’s ability to function effectively at school. Research demonstrates that increased levels of community violence are associated with decreased academic performance, as measured by grades, standardized test scores, and attendance. Psychological distress secondary to community violence exposure may be one explanation for these findings. However, few studies have examined mental health symptoms as a mechanism through which community violence exposure influences a child’s functioning at school.

Violence in the Media

Children in the United States age 8-18 years spend an average of 6 hours and 21 minutes each day using entertainment media (television, commercial or self-recorded video, movies, video games, print, radio, recorded music, computers, or the Internet), and children between 0 and 6 years of age spend an average of nearly 2 hours each day using screen media (television, movies, computers).[5-8]

Variances in population sampling, measuring criteria, and even the types of media have resulted in different outcomes in studies that addressed the relationship between media violence and human violence. Much of the literature on media violence was written in the post-Columbine era, and suggested both immediate and long-term effects on children. In 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its report on violent television programming and its effects on children, noting that there is “strong evidence” that exposure to media violence can increase aggressive behavior in children.[9] More recently, Ferguson and Kilburn conducted a meta-analytic review of studies that examined the impact of violent media on aggressive behavior to determine whether this effect could be explained through methodological problems inherent in this research field. The results from their analysis did not support the conclusion that media violence leads to aggressive behavior, and they noted that it cannot be concluded at this time that media violence presents a significant public health risk.

While the effects of media violence may remain under debate, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that research has associated exposure to media violence with a variety of physical and mental health problems for youth, including aggressive and violent behavior, bullying, desensitization to violence, fear, depression, nightmares, and sleep disturbances. The AAP further stresses that the strength of the association between media violence and aggressive behavior found in meta-analyses is greater than the association between calcium intake and bone mass, lead ingestion and lower IQ, and nonuse of condoms and sexually acquired HIV infection, and that it is nearly as strong as the association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

Violence exposure can have devastating effects on children and adolescents. However, nurse practitioners can use their prevention skills to minimize these effects.

Children’s exposure to violence typically refers to children who “witness or are victimized by violence” that can be domestic violence, bullying, sexual violence (rape) and/or trophy hunting. Violent traits also includes physical assault, peer victimization, sexual victimization, child abuse and maltreatment, as well as witnessing (seeing or hearing) in the home, school, or community. Exposure to violence, particularly multiple exposures, can interfere with a child’s physical, emotional, and intellectual development.

Children more at risk are those suffering already from NDD’s Neuropsychiatric illness or disorders such as ADHD, ADD, OCD, OCB or Conduct Disorder.

So bottom-line… parents stop it!

Get a grip and grow up. You may as well be sitting your child down in front of R rated movies.

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13 Responses to Most Unlikely Trophy Hunting Victims, Children

  1. Julien July 23, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Excellent article Margrit! I believe that exposing young children to this behaviour is child abuse and will lead to them growing up to be the killers of the future. There is but a small step from killing wildlife to killing people, and many psychopaths started in this way.

    • Wildlife Margrit July 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      Thanks Julien… appreciate your support and comment.

  2. Johnetta Polk July 24, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Margrit when the truth is told people have a deaf ear as they feel it doesn’t mean that when they take their children deer hunting for white tail trophy deer it is okay. They tend to use the excuse that we are hunting for food not the trophy. That is denial. The parent is really saying to his children I am the great hunter for the trophy as well as the provider of food for this family .

    • Wildlife Margrit July 24, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      Johnetta thanks for commentng. Taking children hunting for food is one thing, albeit you question that motive, and probably rightfully so. However, let’s assume for a minute some families truly do hunt to provide for their needs, that seems to come from a psychological different place than let’s go kill and hang the head on our wall for all our neighbors to go “oooh!”. Many cultures, the American Indians included lived in close harmony with nature and reverenced the animals they killed to sustain them. In both cases the animal/bird is dead… so same result for the creature, however, surely the human and the children are impacted differently in these scenarios.

  3. Cheryl Phillips July 24, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    A really well thought out article. I recently ran an online petition asking our local newspaper to stop the trophy hunting photo competition they run annually. I delivered it to the with over 1300 signatures on. I have not even had the courtesy of a reply and many of the photos they are publishing are of children.

    You can have a look at their website. Rustenburg Herald. It would be really good if you could leave a message on their Facebook page.

    • Wildlife Margrit July 24, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks Cheryl, if you could provide a link to that article that would be most helpful

  4. KW July 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    Wow, you’re really grasping now aren’t you. Young men have hunted for thousands of years. This idea that trophy hunters just leave the carcass to rot is a complete fallacy and is in fact illegal. Every animal I have ever harvested has been ate or donated. I started hunting small game at a very young age and have been hunting large game since 12.

    I have no encounters with law enforcement. I’m successful and educated, I never experienced any form of abuse in my childhood. I think some of you need to leave the city to get a grip on reality. Hunting is part of life for many people from a young age, that isn’t going to change, and it has yet to produce this generation of emotionally void, ruthless, murdering children you all fear so much. The hunting families I know have significantly better relationships than many families.

    • Wildlife Margrit July 24, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

      Thanks for commenting KW. Just curious is that also your offline name? There is a common thread among hunters’ feedback on our website, Facebook and other social media… anger.

    • Rudy August 18, 2016 at 7:39 pm #

      harvested. hunting. you can’t even say killed or killing.

      • Wildlife Margrit August 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

        Strange how we avoid the tough words isn’t it?

  5. Rienie Denner January 11, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

    I totally disagree with the article. There’s nothing wrong with parents taking their kids on a hunting trip. All ethical hunters underscore the killing of game animals in the most humane ways possible. How many livestock, cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens etc. are killed annually at abattoirs? Killing remains killing. Or is it somehow ok to kill livestock? I believe that one must accept that death is part of life. One can never shy away from that. And IMHO, it’s in our children’s best interests if we, as adults guide them along ethical paths the understand the necessity of killing and further that killing can be done humanely and ethical with little or no suffering to the animal. No one on earth can avoid death. It’s up to us as responsible adults to help our precious children see the reasons for death and killing in the right perspective. It’s all part of the circle of life. It’s a given. All that differs is what we perceive as acceptable and what not. And should adults teach children that it’s ok to kill and see cattle die to feed their families, but that it’s a curse to kill and see a game animal die in an ethical and humane way, then society has become far divorsed from nature. Then I think it’s time that we as humans must reassess and revisit our twisted thoughts on the matter.

    • Wildlife Margrit January 12, 2017 at 3:07 am #

      Killing for fun is a dangerous thing. Not anything like killing for food.


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