There has been a surge of discussion recently about hunter and conservation groups getting along better with environmentalists, especially in Western states where they have traditionally been on less-than friendly terms. That’s all well and good, but the rash of poaching big animals to satisfy big egos is about as much the antithesis of environmentalism as you can get. Environmentalists need to step up and condemn this behavior and call for much stricter penalties.
The test for whether the honeymoon between hunters and environmentalists is real is whether hunting groups will also condemn this behavior and support tougher punishment. Reasonable people can disagree about whether it is right or wrong to kill many of these animals at all (even among environmentalists), but killing them simply to satisfy bloodlust and one-upsmanship is wrong and should be stopped.