More than 20,000 trophy hunters descend on Las Vegas to join ‘pay to slay’ auctions

by Tom Bawden Environment Editor
The hunts, which will eventually kill about 600 animals in 32 countries, have outraged activists…

More than 20,000 trophy hunters are descending on Las Vegas this week to take part in a series of “pay to slay” auctions that have outraged animal rights activists.

The hunting jamboree, at which delegates will bid for the right to take part in 301 hunts that will eventually kill about 600 animals in 32 countries, is organised by Safari Club International (SCI), whose members include the notorious killer of Cecil the lion.

The four-day extravaganza at the Mandalay Bay hotel and convention centre on the Las Vegas Strip includes live music from country veteran Merle Haggard and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The auction features an array of items including a white gold leopard broach – starting price $39,000 (£27,500) – and bullet gift certificates.

But the centrepiece of the event is unquestionably the auction of packages to hunt – and in some cases stuff – big game. Lots range from Iberian red deer and Pyrenean chamois to Australian water buffalo and African elephants.

The description of the 10-day Alaska Brown Bear and Black Bear hunt, which has a starting price of $75,150, reads: “This all-inclusive hunt is an outstanding option for hunters who want an all-in-one luxury hunting experience…in amazing areas boasting the highest density of bears in the world.”


US dentist Walter Palmer, who shot Cecil the lion, with another of his trophies

It adds: “Method of take is hunters’ choice.”

The Ultimate Hunters’ Market has been condemned by animal rights activists, amid a renewed focus on the ethics of big game hunting after SCI member and US dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil in Zimbabwe last year.

Wendy Higgins, of Humane Society International said: “The auction site reads like a grotesque killing-for-kicks catalogue, in which the lives of the precious wildlife are sold to the highest bidder so that they can be slaughtered for fun.

“It is a tragic indictment on our society that, despite the global outrage over Cecil the Lion’s pointless killing, this scale of trophy hunting is still going on,” said Wendy Higgins, of Humane Society International.

League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Eduardo Goncalves added: “It beggars belief that there are still people who are excited by the prospect of slaughtering an animal for target practice and turning it into a trophy.”

The Safari Club International (SCI) is expected to raise more than $2.5 million from auctioning the mammal hunts alone, which have been provided from various hunt organisers.

The club runs the convention annually and it provides the majority of its income – most of which is used to lobby Washington.

If Golden Globes Host Ricky Gervais Gives Out Prestigious Awards to His Favorite Animal Abusers

1. Worst Performance as a “Conservationist”

6 Awards Ricky Gervais Will be Giving Out
2. Worst Supporting Actress to the Above Jerk


3. Lifetime of Cruelty in Entertainment Achievement Award

6 Awards Ricky Gervais Will be Giving Out

4. Worst Original Idea to Abuse Animals for Sport

6 Awards Ricky Gervais Will be Giving Out

5. Best Onscreen Performance of Why Tigers Belong in the Wild

6 Awards Ricky Gervais Will be Giving Out

6. Most Rabbit Tears in Makeup and Hairstyling

6 Awards Ricky Gervais Will be Giving Out



They’re getting out of control!

From John A. Livingston’s The Fallacy of Wildlife Conservation:

“I happen to loath and abominate blood ‘sports.’ I think that killing any sensate being for recreation—for fun—is evil and contemptible. I have said so, for public consumption, many times.

“The most frequent theme in the resulting letters I receive is that I have absolutely no rational argument to present, and that as the result I (sneakily) resort to purelyDSC_0192 emotional appeals. Some of the mail, by the way, has to be opened with my asbestos gloves.

“An acquaintance of mine in the arctic town of Inuvik once said to me, ‘John, we’ve got to do something about all these ravens here in town!’ ‘Why so?’ I asked. ‘For heaven’s sake, man, look around you—there are so many of them they’re getting out of control!’

“Loss of control is the abdication of power. It is tantamount to chaos. The universe is orderly, therefore chaos is unnatural. …

“So, it is seen that the ravens of Inuvik (prospering on our garbage) are thumbing their amiable beaks at universal order and thus at us. …

“Death is the final sting, the ultimate victory of uncontrollable, unmanageable, immoral, chaotic nature—from which experience we are snatched at the final exhalation by the gorgeous rationalization. Spirit over flesh, man over nature.”

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Bear shot dead by NINE-YEAR-OLD boy at a children’s birthday party

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, All Rights Reserved

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, All Rights Reserved

Looking through the scope of a high powered hunting rifle, an excited boy of nine celebrates his birthday by shooting dead a majestic brown bear.

Reed Sutley shouted “yeah” after firing the fatal shot.

The delighted lad and four pals then giggled at the grisly birthday party as they chatted about the killing.

Reed boasted: “We saw eight bears – one down and seven more to go.”

The boys were taken on the trip by Reed’s dad, Greg, who filmed the killing and posted the footage online.

The video – which has emerged as part of a Mirror investigation – shows Reed and his school friends perched in a lair high above the ground.

Whispering and waiting on the wooden platform in a tree, they watched the bears that were lured to the area with bait provided by Mr Sutley.

An adult then took the gun from a collection of weapons and passed it to Reed.

The boy can hardly contain his glee as he prepared to kill.

Reed took aim as two bears gorged on the food.

His dad gave encouragement and told the lad to shoot the animal that was lying on the floor while it ate.

A single bullet is fired and the animal collapses as Reed celebrates the slaying and the other bear runs away.

After filming the birthday party in Alberta, Canada, hunter Mr Sutley posted the harrowing three-minute video – called “9 Year Old Shoots First Bear at Birthday Party” – on YouTube.

The proud dad bragged on his YouTube page: “Reed took his first bear with a perfect shot!”

His footage has attracted outrage, with one YouTube user saying: “Words cannot describe how disgusting this is.

“Greg mate, you should be ashamed of yourself bringing kids out on a road trip for the soul purpose of killing an innocent animal… Why the f*** are these kids laughing… after they killed it?”

Canadian Mr Sutley runs a hunting company in Alberta which charges up to £5,500 for those wanting to follow in the footsteps of Walter Palmer, the US dentist who killed Cecil the lion and has shot dead black bears with a bow and arrow.

The Mirror’s probe into Canada’s cruel hunters found the use of the term “hunter” in parts of North America is not a true reflection of these sickening expeditions.

Images of people tracking animals for days were shown to be myths.

In fact, companies like Mr Sutley’s lure their quarry to their death using barrels filled with beaver tails, doughnuts and maple syrup.

Hunters sit comfortably in hides or trees waiting to kill their prey. The animals are shot dead from yards away.

As part of our investigation we watched as eager trophy hunters descended on Alberta to kill baited bears.

US beauty queen Brittany York, who describes herself on her social media pages as an “animal lover”, is among those who have recently been to the region to hunt.

Last month the 25-year-old along with her dad Richard, 49, travelled more than 2,000 miles via Dallas to Edmonton.

It was her second hunting trip this year to Alberta after killing a bear three months earlier.

Often boasting about her skills she regularly posts graphic pictures and videos of her hunts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

After practising with her bow, Miss York and her party drove in convoy, taking two 4×4 trucks and towing two off-road vehicles to Halliards Bay where her guide and his team bait the area.

For four days the group sat as bears weighing up to 30st and standing 7ft tall ate in front of them, waiting until they found what they thought would make an acceptable kill.

Last Thursday Ms York, who was crowned Miss North Carolina in 2011, published a photo of her dad on Instagram, holding the paw of one of their kills. “Great job, Daddy!” she wrote.

The beauty queen justifies her hobby by claiming she only hunts to eat. But she has been slammed.

One critic said on Facebook: “You call yourself an animal lover when your own cover picture is you smiling disgustingly with a dead animal? You’re despicable.”

Despite repeated attempts to contact Mr Sutley and Miss York, both were unavailable for comment.

The hunts are licensed and there is no suggestion that anything illegal has been done.

Mr Sutley runs his Smoky River Outfitting business from his home in Debolt, Alberta.

The video of his son was published online last year but it has only just been unearthed.

Our probe has also found that hunters can kill bears for as little as £67.



Woman Sprints In To Save Fox As Hunters Scream At Her

There’s simply nothing classy about fox hunting, a bloody tradition that uses dogs to tear foxes limb from limb.

While a ban on the cruel sport has been in place for a decade, it’s hard to enforce, and no one knows how many foxes are still killed each year.

But some animal activists in the U.K. are taking the law into their own hands, using whatever means they can to intervene on behalf of the defenseless animals hunted down despite the law protecting them.

Moving footage from 2012 shows the determination of a woman who couldn’t stand the cruelty.

Facebook/Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

The hunters sit astride horses in the fox hunting tradition, while their trained dogs do their dirty work.

Facebook/Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

The hounds are zeroing in on a tiny fox when a woman sprints towards them. She starts screaming at the dogs to get them to stand back.

Facebook/Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

She throws her own body on the fox and brings the shaking animal into her arms.

As she runs away with the fox, the hunters shout at her from their horses: “Leave it!”

Facebook/Leon Vegano Animal Sanctuary

Watch her beautiful act of bravery here: