Like a lot of people these days, I’m currently reading parts of several books at the same time. One of the books I’ve been whittling away at is Anne Rule’s autobiographical, The Stranger Beside Me, about the years she spent struggling to accept that her friend, Ted Bundy, was actually an avid serial killer. Much of it is almost unreadable, as she spends an inordinate amount of time doubting her suspicions, long after the reader is convinced of Bundy’s guilt.
For anyone wondering what this has to do with hunting, I’ll get to the point. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve no doubt picked up on the established similarities between the way sport hunters and serial killers think…and behave. Finally, by the end of the book, Rule is willing to accept the fact that someone she thought so highly of is really as low as they come. In the book’s last chapter, she does a good job of describing the self-centered perspective of a psychopathic serial killer:
“As an antisocial personality, he could feel no guilt. He had only taken what he wanted, what he needed to feel whole. He was incapable of understanding that one cannot fulfill his own desires at the expense of others.”
Like serial killing, sport hunting is all about fulfilling one’s desires at the expense of others. It’s interesting how much Rule’s quote above mirrors the last lines in the chapter, “Inside the Hunter’s Mind,” of my book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport.
“The reason the sportsman hunts is ridiculously simple: because he wants to. It makes him feel good about himself. No one really matters but him anyhow. And for some, there’s nothing quite as stimulating as the thrill of the kill itself. In the mind of the sport hunter, animals are nothing more than pawns in their big game.”